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Poetry

I Want to Walk Toward the Altar of the Lord

By Li Hao
Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman
A poem about suffering and the Divine by the Chinese poet Li Hao, whose first collection, The Tempest, was banned in China. 

The clamor of the dead on the wall
spin in the lobes of my lungs

the vault of heaven’s many
gears: corpulent

Leviathan of my soul,
covered in knifepoints, making the heavens

rain down iron nails. Eternal light
strikes upon the earth’s altars.

Lord, I am foolish,
I am suffering, and my body,

like a spoon, here on this earth, sweetly scoops out
my brain.


“‘我要走向上主的祭台'”  © Li Hao. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Eleanor Goodman. All rights reserved.

English Chinese

The clamor of the dead on the wall
spin in the lobes of my lungs

the vault of heaven’s many
gears: corpulent

Leviathan of my soul,
covered in knifepoints, making the heavens

rain down iron nails. Eternal light
strikes upon the earth’s altars.

Lord, I am foolish,
I am suffering, and my body,

like a spoon, here on this earth, sweetly scoops out
my brain.


“‘我要走向上主的祭台'”  © Li Hao. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Eleanor Goodman. All rights reserved.

“我要走向上主的祭台”

墙壁上死亡的噪声,

在我的肺叶里,

 

旋转着众多天穹中的

齿轮:肥胖的

 

利维坦,在我的灵魂里,

布满刀剑,并让天空,

 

下起了铁钉。永恒的光,

撞击着,地下的坛子。

 

上主,我多么愚蠢,

我多么痛苦,我的身体,

 

如同勺子,在地上甜蜜地掏食

我的脑子。

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