Confession of Love

Yu Xiuhua
Translated from the Chinese by Wang Fang & Yvonne Reddick

I try hard at life: I carry water, cook, and take all my pills on time.I throw myself into it, like putting a piece of dried orange peel in my tea when the sun is warm and bright.I drink my different teas in turn: chrysanthemum, jasmine, rose and lemon —all these lovely things bring me to the path that leads to spring.So again and again I press down the snow in my heart —it’s too pure and close to spring.I read your poems in a clean yard. All the world’s love-affairsare a blur, like sparrows darting by,and the years are pure as moonlight. No, I’m not being sentimental —if I send you a book, it won’t be poetry.I’ll send you a book about plants and crops,telling you the difference between rice and grass,telling you how the grasses that look like rice are afraid of spring.

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Yu Xiuhua became well known in 2014 with her online poem “Crossing Half of China to Sleep with You.” In 2015 her debut book, Moonlight Drops on My Left Hand, sold fifteen thousand copies in one day. The New York Times named her one of the eleven most courageous women around the world in 2017.

Wang Fang is an English Language lecturer at Shanghai University of Sport. Her research focuses on the poetry of Robert Frost and Tao Yuanming. Her poetry translations from Mandarin are forthcoming in Smoke magazine.

Yvonne Reddick holds a Leadership Fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, researching, writing and publishing environmental poetry. Her poetry appears in The Guardian and her articles in the Times Literary Supplement.

250 Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019


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Michael Schmidt

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