Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shu Ting: "Perhaps..."

for the loneliness of an author

Perhaps these thoughts of ours
             will never find an audience
Perhaps the mistaken road
             will end in a mistake
Perhaps the lamps we light one at a time
             will be blown out, one at a time
Perhaps the candles of our lives will gutter out
             without lighting a fire to warm us

Perhaps when all the tears have been shed
             the earth will be more fertile
Perhaps when we sing praises to the sun
             the sun will praise us in return
Perhaps these heavy burdens
             will strengthen our philosophy
Perhaps when we weep for those in misery
             we must be silent about miseries of our own

Because of our irresistible mission
We have no choice

"Perhaps..." by Shu Ting, from Carrying Over: Poems from the Chinese, Urdu, Macedonian, Yiddish and French African, edited by Carolyn Kizer. Translated from the Chinese by Carolyn Kizer. © Copper Canyon Press, 1988.

Photography credit: Untitled image by unknown photographer, found at this link (originally black and white).


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