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Desolate is the River Water


Xu Lingqin
Translated from Chinese by Ou Shilin

No one knows how long the river is,
even the elders in the village.
Passing us every day, it never stays.
It appears and disappears in quick succession,
as it is said of the Dragon in legend.
The village owns part of it,
while it sees the entire village
and fate of all the people within.

Xu Lingqin is the author of the poetry collection
The Left String of the Violin. Her works appear
in major Chinese literature magazines such as the
Poetry Periodical, Chuangjiang literature, Stars Poetry
and China Poetry. Her poems won a number of prizes.







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