Zhao Si











They disappeared, swiftly

without a trace. Coiling waves, whirled-away time

each and every spinning vortex, soft head curls,

bright smiles.


Acres and acres vanished, they of brightness. Before

they were dim reflections of stars on the earth.

Cherubim, borrowed the initial appearance of the soul,

the quantum fluctuations of their light-reflecting wings;

Stars, too far away from the earth,

reflection fluctuates.


Coils and coils whirled-away time, soft angels,

the reflections of stars disappeared, so swift.


Trans. by Tim Lilburn and Xuan Yuan and the author





for all the slaughter victims


I hear, I hear flock of rain, crowing, rushing out of stirred crowds of

chaos and frights, sweeping past, laughing, roars of laughter

crashing into the Wailing Wall. Triumphant karma holds a sharp blade

in its mouth and slices the sigh into pieces; one piece, two pieces,

feathers flutter, dancing. You emerge, among the whirling snow.

The thing you can’t imagine arises. It’s the time,

drops of white blood splash, the brightest blossom of snowflakes.

I see, I see your heart of great suffering swells up, up

till an angel thunders out, and he tightens up his not-yet-familiar

large wing roots, pressing against the blowing

from the wind gap in your heart, then bows his head to peck

such a sizable petrified world with his sharp beak. An already stiffened You,

so giant a sigh, stands upright while burning inside.

A fire wall, a wall of fire burns darkly and damply, smoking

whitely and bitterly, collapses and buries, buries the eternal sighs.


Trans. by Tim Lilburn and Xuan Yuan and the author





My dispossessed soul opens to you like a jellyfish,

transparent, innocent, not knowing the toxins of itself.

It only feels warm and intimate in your staring eyes.

You love it in patheticly, don’t you?

It is destined to belong to you;

ubiquitously, you, now, are the lovely water-green

swinging in the moving metro, a huge kettle,

while I’m a small drop of riders of you.

With just one glance, you know it all.

Inside me the water molecules echo your swinging, don’t they?

Suck it!

Too noisy isolation.

I am willing to dehydrate and wither in your arms,

and then, there would be a ball of bright silver

promise to give you

a low earth orbit spiritual spacecraft

rising from your palms


Trans. by Xuan Yuan and the author



Love Dance


Those weary faces are all my face;

those hopeless hearts are all my heart;

those struggling people are all struggling inside me;

this world full of loopholes is the clothes I have to wear too;

but those seeming happinesses cannot satisfy my desiring soul.

Only in every enlightened flash of the deity of creating,

I see the inherited esoteric happiness

unfolds its huge brilliant phoenix tail

upholds steadily my waist soothingly

in the brutal dance of survival.



A Sacrificial Meat


A pair of crumpled muddy jeans

lies on the street unusually after a rain

looking like a weather-beaten face

no one knows it is the remain

of violence or harm or just plain abandoned


A host of people with weary faces waiting for the bus

swarm at the station on time everyday

Whenever a bus comes

the crowd is stirred, as if

a flock of raptors dashing toward sacrificial meats


This morning, unusually,

my impaired vision sees that

the darkest part of fate keeps pace with

a sacrificial meat running into its doom


Trans. by Tim Lilburn and Xuan Yuan and the author













ZHAO SI’s Short Bio-Bibliography


Poet, essayist, translator, poetics scholar, editor, Dr. Zhao Si (1972—), original name, Zhao Zhifang is the author of 2 books: White Crow (poems, China Peace Publishing House, Beijing, 2005), Gold-in-sand Picker, (essays, CPPH, 2005). As a strictly self-critical poet, she has published not extensively but with some focus attentions. As a translator, she has translated a comprehensive poetry anthology Tomaž Šalamun: Selected Poems (Writers Publishing House, Beijing, 2013) and selected poems and essays, theses by Hart Crane (US), Harold Broom (US), Ted Hughes (UK), Dariusz Tomasz Lebioda (Poland), Robert Hass (US), Robert Minhinnick (Wales), Jon Cook (UK), Mikhail N. Epstein (Russia-US), etc. As a poetry theory scholar, she has published more than 30 theses and reviews, including some published on the best Foreign Literature Study Journals in China, such as: Contemporary Foreign Literature, Foreign Literature Bi-Monthly, Foreign Literatures Quarterly, Theoretical Studies In Literature and Art. She also writes Wallace Stevens’ section for college Teaching Books: An Introduction to Masterpiece of World Literature (China Renmin University Press, Beijing, 2012), Western Modernist Literature (Higher Education Press, Beijing, 2013). She is currently the translation poetry editor in Poetry Periodical, which is the primary poetry journal of the Chinese Writers’ Association. She is also the editor of the prestigious poetry translation series Contemporary International Poetry. She is the editor& modifier of a valuable dialogues book which exchanged between the top Chinese and Japanese poets: Touching, Connecting, Sharing: Contemporary Sino-Japanese Poetry Dialogues (WPH, 2010). She has invited to take part in the 2ed Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival (Xining, China, 2009), the 35th November International Poetry Festival (MLP, Poznan, Poland, 2012), the 28th Vilenica International Festival (Slovenia, 2013). She was awarded Marii Konopnickiej Prize for translating Polish poetry in 2012. She lives in Beijing.



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