No one dances where no music is

Out in the cold border
of the solar system
angels twitch, elves leap
no song stirs the no-air

meanwhile, here,

edges sharpen, and clouds
pull away from the sun

I hear that trees, unlike us,
hear the large hum of all that lies
beneath the scaffold sky

I think, by Dai Wangshu (1905-1950)

I’ve been reading the Big Red Book of Twentieth Century Chines Literature. Wonderfully eye-opening, with poets and novelists who are famous in China, but whom we’ve never heard of here, and really rather minimal-to-no political pandering. This is one of my favorites.

I think therefore I am a butterfly…
The soft call of a flower ten thousand years later
Has passed through the dreamless unwaking mist
To make my multicolored wings vibrate

Translated by Gregory Lee