Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Fang Xianhai

This work of art

Getting out
of the taxi
I noticed in the distance
on the corner of Nanshan Road

a couple embracing

I thought as I walked passing couples lock-
ed in embrace
brought more of joy to the eye
than a city
full of degenerate
sculptures

but as I got closer
what answered my musing
took me by surprise
I saw

that this couple
were only going through the motions
of embracing
two heads drooping
and stuck
demoralized
together
without pleasure
without sadness
and even without
a stillness
to make you stop for a minute

in an uneasy
mood I
walked away
from them

but I went on
trying to come to terms with

this work of art

THIS WORK OF ART

Close

This work of art

Getting out
of the taxi
I noticed in the distance
on the corner of Nanshan Road

a couple embracing

I thought as I walked passing couples lock-
ed in embrace
brought more of joy to the eye
than a city
full of degenerate
sculptures

but as I got closer
what answered my musing
took me by surprise
I saw

that this couple
were only going through the motions
of embracing
two heads drooping
and stuck
demoralized
together
without pleasure
without sadness
and even without
a stillness
to make you stop for a minute

in an uneasy
mood I
walked away
from them

but I went on
trying to come to terms with

this work of art

This work of art

Getting out
of the taxi
I noticed in the distance
on the corner of Nanshan Road

a couple embracing

I thought as I walked passing couples lock-
ed in embrace
brought more of joy to the eye
than a city
full of degenerate
sculptures

but as I got closer
what answered my musing
took me by surprise
I saw

that this couple
were only going through the motions
of embracing
two heads drooping
and stuck
demoralized
together
without pleasure
without sadness
and even without
a stillness
to make you stop for a minute

in an uneasy
mood I
walked away
from them

but I went on
trying to come to terms with

this work of art
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère