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 Stars Poetry

The Stars

Jian Nan
Translated from Chinese by Ou Shilin

Of all the stars studding the sky, I know
only a few; the one that has been shining
since it got dark; the one left behind at dawn;
and a shooting star streaking across the sky
dragging fireworks at its tail.

Some says that stars are the real bodies
of people in heaven; that everyone has a star;
that when somebody on earth suffers, his star
grows dim. Yet I can never find myself
in the boundless night sky,
and know no more than these few.

I wonder if my gloomy life is hence confirmed
that I shall have no place in this world
and neither in heaven.
Someone taught me to make out the Big Dipper,
saying it takes the shape of a spoon in the sky.
When I finally recognized the worldly vessel
up there in heaven, my heart sank,
worrying the true presence of an ever-lasting banquet
in this land of the living.

About the author:

Jian Nan is the author of 3 poetry collections Worried and Indignant,
Pages and Fragments, and Selected Poems of Jian Nan. His works of poetry,
essay and review appear in major Chinese literature magazines such as People's
literature and Poetry Periodical. His poems won a number of prizes and were
selected as experimental teaching material for middle schools.

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