Chinese Poet Xu Duoyu’s Poems

In Search of Deities

The finite world of infinite mysteries
A grim hill entwined by streams
The refreshingly cool autumn wind cannot wake up
The lambs grazing at the foot of the hill

Whose children are they
Fate put them at the hillside
Growing and mating freely
And breeding desolation of the next life

Art of Speaking

Why tell a pack of lies
Why speak with vehemence
Why make filthy remarks
Why mix up words
Why give an irrelevant answer
Why fail to express ideas
Why speak in hesitation
Why submit to humiliation
Why be lost for words


Sometimes we turn our heads,
Looking back at the road we’ve taken.
Why did we make so many detours?
So many obstacles—
How did we overcome?
The bright road ahead…
How did we set foot on?
All these are like a miracle.

The Human Body

Why am I a human body?
If my body were a stone
Or made of wood
How lovely it would be!

I’d never feel dissatisfied
And never feel pain again

Moreover, because there’s not so much need
I’d never take, rob, pray…

I just give what I can give
What I’m able to give
And willing to give
Never would I feel despaired
Or be forced

I could be a statue of Buddha
Or a puppet

It doesn’t matter to be worshipped
Or to be manipulated
But I’d never take the initiative
Nor cater to others
Compassion is the only thing I have

Why am I a human body?
If my body were a stone
Or made of wood
How lovely it would be!

(Translated by Ding Liqun)

About the author:

Xu Duoyu, born in Jinzhai County, Anhui Province in 1983, is an outstanding contemporary poet, novelist and artist in China. He has published more than 20 books, including novels, essays, poems and plays. Some of his poems have been selected in Centennial Series of Chinese New Poetry, Selected Chinese Poetry, Annual Selection of Chinese Poetry, etc. Some of his works have been translated overseas. Some books have been listed on the Sina China Best Books, a must textbook for Chinese language and literature postgraduate examination, and on the major bestseller lists. He has been shortlisted in “Fortune People” and “2010 China Post-80s Writers’ Fortune List”, and has been interviewed and reported by hundreds of media, including Hunan TV’s “More Talk, More Happy”, Beijing TV’s “Perfect Model of Post-80s” of “Hall of Fame”, Anhui TV’s “May 4th Youth New Leaders” of “First Time”, Shanghai TV, China Daily, etc. He is now a freelance writer.

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