Label   Post Date: 2/9/2019
Three Poems by Wang Yi
Author: Wang Yi
Rise Up, Go Call On the Dear Departed
God of the Moment
In this Age, You Must Write a Poem that Borders on Criminal

Rise Up, Go Call On the Dear Departed


Rise up, go call on the dear departed

The rain’s stopped, the rice’s already above your knees

Do you believe the instant a broken bone heals

It’s sturdier than when intact?


Death is the antonym of creation

In great volumes, books on death

Are awarded Nobel prizes


Breathing still calmly carries on

Explaining invisible things by way of tangible objects

Or going about it the other way round?


Rise up, return to a homeland that’s already gone

Do you believe the swaying of trees whips up the wind

And it’s not the wind blowing the trees?


Is the start buried in the end, or is a

Blurry-faced person incessantly making

Idols after his own image?


Rise up, go ask forgiveness of a dead man

Winter has passed and this is my purpose on earth

He has died and cannot die again

I have lived and cannot live again


                      January 11, 2016, Chengdu



     God of the Moment


God of the moment. Not a part

Of any time. The god here

The god there. The same god

At weddings, at funerals

In dialogue, and on the road being travelled


God of the moment. Bearing wounds and worry

Carrying all the perfections of the imperfect

Carrying the scars of history, the odor of dust

The same god. Dropping disasters and

Bestowing blessings. Judging people and pitying people


God of the moment. Freeing the heart

Also bending the body. Magnificent

Insignificant, a god of

Christmas and of Good Friday

A god of white people, a god of black people


Hey, god of the moment. God of

The Party and the people

God of dogs, pigs, and breeders

The god of judges and convicts,

Nuclear bombs and stem cells


God of the moment. Of Bethlehem

Guiyang and Chengdu

God of heavenly stems and earthly branches, of Yin and Yang

God of parties of the right and left, of the long-lived and prematurely dead

Of all that breathe, offer praise or rejection


             December 20, 2012, A prayer while waiting for the holiday



       In this Age, You Must Write a Poem that Borders on Criminal


In this age, you must write a poem that borders on criminal.

A line of Chinese characters may overthrow a state.

A sonnet may overthrow fourteen states.


At a secret masquerade, let those who recognize you

Identify you. Those who don’t recognize you do so even less.


In this age, you must make leaders fear a poem.

A metaphor is a nuclear bomb.

The singer doesn’t know a page of absurd words are tears of a subjugated nation.


On the worst days, a massive sea swell strikes.

Death becomes a prisoner, detained by water.


Who is not related to a political prisoner? Who is not the widow of a ghost?

In this age, when you recite a poem, you become suspect of crime.

If you don’t recite, they’ll recite you.


In this age, the blind stammer to themselves.

Holy, holy, holy. The blind ask the deaf, have you seen?


In this age, you must write a poem that borders on criminal.

Pay respect to those suspected of this crime.


June 5, 2015, at night

Key Words: Wang Yi
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