Hu Xian








Pebble Pathway


In the blind’s mind, this is a different

version of darkness: a type of boundless evil

operates its concentration camp in the music:

Takes the gentle lick of dripping water

as a gloved executioner’s practiced caress,

we see ourselves as being this unfortunate.

When sharp corners dull, its enormous body

attempts to become an eye…..

But then what? All types of evil seem

entirely haughty, not caring what you can see,

even more, can appear as portraits, fully realized.

Like knowing simple pleasures, like

developing a certain delight in

pondering the end. This is a howl

sliding out from your body, constantly

looking out for the deeper, more secret things in you.

You are continually losing, and so your blurred view

slowly becomes more clear. But then what? Years,

they quietly watch, have yet to say why all needs eyes.

When you appear on this path, there is no scenery.

—Feet, stamping on mounds of eyes. Only

the few to experience this, only they can see

the remnant fear in your mind and know

why it is you all squeeze so tightly together.


(Translated by Brendan H.)






From things once whole it starts

Makes the unprepared mind

Suddenly have this coast, and that.


And so, there are those who build bridges

Those who build boats…..

An unknown spirit controls this all, and travels

Cultivating talented sailors. Up until,


Things break off.

Two separate halves split


by a patch of white space.


Looks like, each half is a whole;

Looks like, there is no crack.


(Translated by Brendan H.)






Perhaps you’ll never know

how it is the wind blows.


When one journey’s far, there’s no news

and only the wind whispers. When one

comes back from afar

this has already become a time out of reach.


Perhaps you’ll never know,

wind both carries along and leaves behind.

Anything it comes across, it’s already

met with its inherent passion.


Wind blows past rocks, weighing their silence;

flows over water, that impregnable surface.

Sometimes, you think it’s all gone by,

but a breeze builds, and all come and gone

returns in the wind.


Sometimes there’s no wind. Quiescent

like a breath in the face of nothingness.

Sometimes, wind blows, blows, then leaves

like a deep rooted wound.


After a passing gale, docks and boats

seem the only reminder of our world.

But you still don’t know, wind

is a constructed secret

and an intangible entity.


(Translated by Brendan H.)




The Sands


I hold in my hands, the sand falling from the passing time

What can figure from them?

So small, each of them, so impersonal, imprinted with nothing

Perhaps to guess by seeing how they fall from my fingertips?


Favor follows the revolutionaries, desolation leaves for their return

Only things lost are still expanding its free land, its territory defined by the

Humblest god

While the biggest wind adjusting themselves in their smallest senses


Sands, I see once more

Once again, I adore your vastness

But you only see the presence of me, here and now

Now the dunes begins to move, any grandeur, any time, has to be buried by

this sloppy floating.


(Translated by Sun Dong)












Hu Xian (1966-), born in Tong Shan County, Jiangsu Province.Editor of The Yangtze Poetry Journal in Nanjing. Member of Writers’ Association of China. Publications of Verse: Ten Years of Light (2007),Shower(2010) and Search for the Chinese Cultural Root(2015);Prose:Caishu Vegetables and Their Anecdotes(2008).Recipient: TheTopTen Young Poets of the New Century by Poetry Journal(2009),The Second Biennial TopTen Poems Award by Fragrant Grass Jounal (2010),Wen Yiduo Poetry Award (2011),The Yearly Long Poem Golden Award by Works Journal(2011),Xu Zhimo Poetry Award(2012), The Yearly Poetry Prize by October Journal (2012), The Best Chinese Poet Award by“The First Reader »(2012),The Yearly Ten Top Young Poets Award by Modern Youth Journal(2013), The Yearly Poetry Prize by Times Literature(2013),Rou Gang Poetry Award(2014)and The Yearly Poetry Prize by Poetry Journal(2014).





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