Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Hu Xudong

THE RIVER BANK

I am holding a river and sleep through the night.
I forget how it is that we met:
in short, it flows down the bank,
freely down into the street, overflowing elevators,
coming to my room. A river,
its outline flowing and fat but
with a collarbone, a meandering stream
but all full of nimble fish—
the river stays in all day but
still cannot sleep at night, just now
holding it softly, while it hears my speech about
the ocean a thousand miles away, about the secular world
a thousand miles away. Very quickly it’s at hand,
every drop of water closes up the eyes,
in the brain every swimming fish becomes
as calm as the stars are. I forgot
I was holding its soft waves
sleeping through several generations. I wake up
pull open the window curtains to see
the gorgeous and meandering river
inside the sunshine flowing down with reciprocal love.
 
(2009. Chongqing)

RIVIEROEVER

Met een rivier in mijn armen slaap ik een hele nacht.
Ik ben vergeten hoe we elkaar hebben ontmoet,
in ieder geval trad zij buiten haar oevers,
stroomde over de straat, spoelde de lift in
en bereikte mijn kamer. Een rivier,
een beetje mollig maar met een sleutelbeen als brug,
vol langzaam stromend water
maar met een hoofd vol vlugge vissen,
die de hele dag thuis blijft, maar ’s nachts
aan slapeloosheid lijdt – die rivier ligt lichtjes
in mijn armen, luistert naar mijn verhalen over de zee
meer dan duizend mijl ver, over een wereld meer dan
tienduizend mijl ver. Heel snel sluit
elke druppel van haar lichaam de ogen,
wordt elke vis in haar hoofd stil
als de sterren. Vergetend
dat ik haar zachte golven vasthoud
slaap ik enkele generaties. Als ik ontwaak
en de gordijnen opendoe, zie ik
die bekoorlijke, luie rivier
in het zonlicht diepe liefde stromen.
 
Chongqing, 16 mei 2009

江畔

我抱着一条江睡了一夜。
我忘了我们是怎么认识的了,
总之,它流上了堤岸、
漫过了街道、涌进了电梯,
来到了我的房间。一条江,
一条略显肥胖但却有着
桥梁的锁骨、一条水流缓慢
但满脑子都是敏捷的游鱼、
一条在江中宅了一天但夜间
仍会失眠的江,就这么
被我轻轻地抱着,听我讲
千里之外的海、万里之外的
人世间。很快,它身上的
每一滴水都闭上了眼睛,
它脑中的每一条游鱼都变得
和星辰一样安静。我忘了
我握着它柔软的波涛
睡了几生几世。一觉醒来,
我拉开窗帘,看见
那条娇美的、懒洋洋的江
在阳光下流淌着恩爱。
 
   2009/5/16 重庆
Close

THE RIVER BANK

I am holding a river and sleep through the night.
I forget how it is that we met:
in short, it flows down the bank,
freely down into the street, overflowing elevators,
coming to my room. A river,
its outline flowing and fat but
with a collarbone, a meandering stream
but all full of nimble fish—
the river stays in all day but
still cannot sleep at night, just now
holding it softly, while it hears my speech about
the ocean a thousand miles away, about the secular world
a thousand miles away. Very quickly it’s at hand,
every drop of water closes up the eyes,
in the brain every swimming fish becomes
as calm as the stars are. I forgot
I was holding its soft waves
sleeping through several generations. I wake up
pull open the window curtains to see
the gorgeous and meandering river
inside the sunshine flowing down with reciprocal love.
 
(2009. Chongqing)

THE RIVER BANK

I am holding a river and sleep through the night.
I forget how it is that we met:
in short, it flows down the bank,
freely down into the street, overflowing elevators,
coming to my room. A river,
its outline flowing and fat but
with a collarbone, a meandering stream
but all full of nimble fish—
the river stays in all day but
still cannot sleep at night, just now
holding it softly, while it hears my speech about
the ocean a thousand miles away, about the secular world
a thousand miles away. Very quickly it’s at hand,
every drop of water closes up the eyes,
in the brain every swimming fish becomes
as calm as the stars are. I forgot
I was holding its soft waves
sleeping through several generations. I wake up
pull open the window curtains to see
the gorgeous and meandering river
inside the sunshine flowing down with reciprocal love.
 
(2009. Chongqing)
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
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