Coins Tossed in All Directions

By MO FEI

Translated by STEPHEN HAVEN and LI YONGYI

Coins tossed in all directions,
The sky pure as after an oath,
You note threads of dark fate,
Tassels stitched to words.

The messenger comes to change dates,
Already sets off from his home,
The heavy leaves, parasols of trees,
Overabundant, a plenty of rain.

Cascading deep in their dreams
Shrubs frisk like birds.
Worrying about the fall of night
Is like running for someone else’s life.

The disruption of her sweet meeting
Lingers in your memory:
The naïveté of an ear
Silent, cold.

 

 

Mo Fei is the author of Words and Things and the Selected Poems of Mo Fei. As a main figure in the Chinese Third Road school of poetry, he writes poems that navigate between the influences of Western modernism and Chinese classical poetry.

 

 

Stephen Haven is the author of The Last Sacred Place in North America (2012, winner of the New American Press Poetry Prize). He has published two previous collections of poetry, Dust and Bread (2008, for which he was named Ohio Poet of the Year), and The Long Silence of the Mohawk Carpet Smokestack (2004). He directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Ashland University, in Ohio. He was twice a Fulbright Professor of American literature at universities in Beijing.

Li Yongyi is Professor of English at Chongqing University, in Chongqing, China. He was a 2012–2013 Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of Washington. His major fields of scholarship include Anglo-American modern poetry, classical Roman poetry, and classical Chinese poetry. He has translated fourteen books into Chinese from English, French and Latin. His translation of Carmina was the first Chinese translation of the entire body of Catullus’s poetry. He is the author on one collection of his own poems, Swordsman Poet Phantom.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 10 here.]

Coins Tossed in All Directions

Related Posts

Tree

May 2022 Poetry Feature

By ELIZABETH METZGER
For now, let us choose not to remember / who said History repeats as Tragedy then Farce, / and who else / repeated such nonsense / with variations because, friends, allow me / to be pedantic, just this moment. History repeats / as Tragedy more than once.

Two Poems by Alejandra Pizarnik

ALEJANDRA PIZARNIK
And it was then / that with a tongue dead and cold in the mouth / he sang the song others allowed him to sing / in this world of obscene gardens and shadows / coming at unseemly hours to remind him / of songs of his youth / in which he could not sing the song he wanted / the song they allowed him to sing

town of italy

In the Fog

ADA NEGRI
So dense was the fog, you were blinded by it. You had to cut through it like a swimmer against water. It forced its way into your mouth, into your nostrils, suffocating you. All around, houses and streets dissolved in the nebulous mass of vapors. The atmosphere of a dream.