By William McNaughton, Lenore Mayhew
Those attractive and unique poems are made to be had to Western readers in a translation that fuses the imagery of age-old China with a supple, vigorous smooth idiom. This translation (with explanatory notes) allows Western readers to know the sensitivity, grace, and poetic ability that make the Tzu Yeh poems the most very important creative contributions in their time.
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Additional resources for A Gold Orchid: The Love Poems of Tzu Yeh
39 Self-Portrait in Hell I will build a wall around my past. I will build a wall around my country. I will build a wall around my memory. I will set broken bottles on top of the wall. Just like they do in my country. I will spread thorns and nails and crowns of barbed wire. I will put up a sign saying, It is forbidden to lean against this wall. In that walled-up space I will let everything grow in wild abandon. Weeds, snakes, mushrooms, worms, bacteria, orchids, hornets, dragonflies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, maggots, rats.
The junta has declared all mourning will be done on Wednesdays, all births at noon, and we shall read from right to left, except on Sundays, when God deserves our silence. No unauthorized auguries shall prevail; comets are contraband; all prophets shall repent. The republic will respect all religions except those proscribed; there will be quotas for sources of happiness, such as alcohol and sex. The official portrait of the military junta will be displayed in all homes, public offices, libraries, churches, and in the private dens of prostitutes, so that citizens may remember their allegiance even in the fervency of love.
This is destiny written on the face of the woman who wears the tropics in her hair, black hibiscus flown by jet across the sea, nigger bitch, slave. This is the angel in his suit of rusty armor. This is the virgin who lost her laughter to the harlequins. This is the boy desired by God the Pedophile. This is the drug, the holy ghost, that takes away my fear. Beyond this cage is America, flawless and hermetic. This is the city shrunk to the size of an eye. And this is the shirt they will kill me in.
A Gold Orchid: The Love Poems of Tzu Yeh by William McNaughton, Lenore Mayhew