Flying Towards a Borderland of Rain
Flying towards a borderland of rain
the Boeing 757 in its rigid pose
steals some rest in flight
Paper phantoms sit beside me
watching a two-hour movie
The blue stewardess hands me an ice-cold cola
Jello quakes faintly in a foil cup
The wings expose their bones
placid engines drone on and on and
unfamiliar winds outside the window tear things apart
Nails stuck to the water inherit our disquiet
Somewhere beneath my feet, trucks hauling loads of iron ore
have formed a long, long line
It's midnight, and it's nearly dawn
The moon turns its back on us and leaves
Troubled bowl, its fine surface
brimming with homesick joy
Tears bring an end to pain
This endless ambivalence clings to me
It's plagued me nearly all my days
Drifting clouds above the junkyard
Suspended stars twist and turn
along with me
flying towards a borderland of rain
“Flying Towards a Borderland of Rain” from A SUMMER DAY IN THE COMPANY OF GHOSTS: by Wang Yin.
Published by New York Review Books on August 23, 2022.
English Copyright © 2022 by Andrea Lingenfelter.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Wang Yin is a poet, art journalist, and photographer. His poetry has appeared in several publications, including Granta, Continent, and Tendency. His 2015 poetry collection, Limelight, was awarded the Jiangnan Poetry Award and the Dong Dang Zi Poetry Award. Born in Shanghai, Wang now lives and works in New York.
Andrea Lingenfelter is a poet, scholar of Chinese literature, and translator of contemporary Chinese-language fiction. Her translation of poetry by Zhai Yongming, The Changing Room, won a 2012 Northern California Book Award, and she was a 2008 recipient of the PEN Translation Fund grant and a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Grant awardee. She has also translated Hon Lai-chu’s The Kite Family, Li Pik-wah’s Farewell My Concubine, and Mian Mian’s Candy. She teaches at the University of San Francisco.
"The poignant clarity of Wang Yin’s images, so memorably rendered by Andrea Lingenfelter, makes his poems burn in your brain long after you close the book."
"Wang Yin’s poetry is ever-changing and unpredictable, at once fierce and subtle, and infused with the spirit of the international poetry world in which he participates. He is one of the most outstanding avant-garde poets to emerge in China since 1980."
"Wang Yin’s poetry is restrained and elegant, detached and yet brimming with feeling. His poetic language combines the classical Chinese merging of poetry and image with the distinctive dramatic qualities of modern Chinese. Reading his poetry immerses one in the delicate and transcendent lyrical atmosphere that he has created."