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Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Uyghur Poetry Translations

With my translations I am trying to build awareness of the plight of Uyghur poets and their people, who are being sent in large numbers to Chinese "reeducation" concentration camps which have been praised by Trump as "exactly" what is "needed."

Perhat Tursun (1969-????) is one of the foremost living Uyghur language poets, if he is still alive. Unfortunately, Tursun was "disappeared" into a Chinese "reeducation" concentration camp where extreme psychological torture is the norm. Apparently no one knows his present whereabouts or condition.

by Perhat Tursun
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

"Your soul is the entire world."
―Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Asylum seekers, will you recognize me among the mountain passes' frozen corpses?
Can you identify me here among our Exodus's exiled brothers?
We begged for shelter but they lashed us bare; consider our naked corpses.
When they compel us to accept their massacres, do you know that I am with you?

Three centuries later they resurrect, not recognizing each other,
Their former greatness forgotten.
I happily ingested poison, like a fine wine.
When they search the streets and cannot locate our corpses, do you know that I am with you?

In that tower constructed of skulls you will find my dome as well:
They removed my head to more accurately test their swords' temper.
When before their swords our relationship flees like a flighty lover,
Do you know that I am with you?

When men in fur hats are used for target practice in the marketplace
Where a dying man's face expresses his agony as a bullet cleaves his brain
While the executioner's eyes fail to comprehend why his victim vanishes,...
Seeing my form reflected in that bullet-pierced brain's erratic thoughts,
Do you know that I am with you?

In those days when drinking wine was considered worse than drinking blood,
did you taste the flour ground out in that blood-turned churning mill?
Now, when you sip the wine Ali-Shir Nava'i imagined to be my blood
In that mystical tavern's dark abyssal chambers,
Do you know that I am with you?

TRANSLATOR NOTES: This is my interpretation (not necessarily correct) of the poem's frozen corpses left 300 years in the past. For the Uyghur people the Mongol period ended around 1760 when the Qing dynasty invaded their homeland, then called Dzungaria. Around a million people were slaughtered during the Qing takeover, and the Dzungaria territory was renamed Xinjiang. I imagine many Uyghurs fleeing the slaughters would have attempted to navigate treacherous mountain passes. Many of them may have died from starvation and/or exposure, while others may have been caught and murdered by their pursuers.

The Fog and the Shadows
adapted from a novel by Perhat Tursun
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

“I began to realize the fog was similar to the shadows.”

I began to realize that, just as the exact shape of darkness is a shadow,
even so the exact shape of fog is disappearance
and the exact shape of a human being is also disappearance.
At this moment it seemed my body was vanishing into the human form’s final state.

After I arrived here,
it was as if the danger of getting lost
and the desire to lose myself
were merging strangely inside me.

While everything in that distant, gargantuan city where I spent my five college years felt strange to me; and even though the skyscrapers, highways, ditches and canals were built according to a single standard and shape, so that it wasn’t easy to differentiate them, still I never had the feeling of being lost. Everyone there felt like one person and they were all folded into each other. It was as if their faces, voices and figures had been gathered together like a shaman’s jumbled-up hair.

Even the men and women seemed identical.
You could only tell them apart by stripping off their clothes and examining them.
The men’s faces were beardless like women’s and their skin was very delicate and unadorned.
I was always surprised that they could tell each other apart.
Later I realized it wasn’t just me: many others were also confused.

For instance, when we went to watch the campus’s only TV in a corridor of a building where the seniors stayed when they came to improve their knowledge. Those elderly Uyghurs always argued about whether someone who had done something unusual in an earlier episode was the same person they were seeing now. They would argue from the beginning of the show to the end. Other people, who couldn’t stand such endless nonsense, would leave the TV to us and stalk off.

Then, when the classes began, we couldn’t tell the teachers apart.
Gradually we became able to tell the men from the women
and eventually we able to recognize individuals.
But other people remained identical for us.

The most surprising thing for me was that the natives couldn’t differentiate us either.
For instance, two police came looking for someone who had broken windows during a fight at a restaurant and had then run away.
They ordered us line up, then asked the restaurant owner to identify the culprit.
He couldn’t tell us apart even though he inspected us very carefully.
He said we all looked so much alike that it was impossible to tell us apart.
Sighing heavily, he left.

The Encounter
by Abdurehim Otkur
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I asked her, why aren’t you afraid? She said her God.
I asked her, anything else? She said her People.
I asked her, anything more? She said her Soul.
I asked her if she was content? She said, I am Not.

The Distance
by Tahir Hamut
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We can’t exclude the cicadas’ serenades.
Behind the convex glass of the distant hospital building
the nurses watch our outlandish party
with their absurdly distorted faces.

Drinking watered-down liquor,
half-****, descanting through the open window,
we speak sneeringly of life, love, girls.
The cicadas’ serenades keep breaking in,
wrecking critical parts of our dissertations.

The others dream up excuses to ditch me
and I’m left here alone.

The cosmopolitan pyramid
of drained bottles
makes me feel
like I’m in a Turkish bath.

I lock the door:
Time to get back to work!

I feel like doing cartwheels.
I feel like self-annihilation.

Refuge of a Refugee
by Ablet Abdurishit Berqi aka Tarim
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I lack a passport,
so I can’t leave legally.
All that’s left is for me to smuggle myself to safety,
but I’m afraid I’ll be beaten black and blue at the border
and I can’t afford the trafficker.

I’m a smuggler of love,
though love has no national identity.
Poetry is my refuge,
where a refugee is most free.

The following excerpts, translated by Anne Henochowicz, come from an essay written by Tang Danhong about her final meeting with Dr. Ablet Abdurishit Berqi, aka Tarim. Tarim is a reference to the Tarim Basin and its Uyghur inhabitants...

I’m convinced that the poet Tarim Ablet Berqi the associate professor at the Xinjiang Education Institute, has been sent to a “concentration camp for educational transformation.” This scholar of Uyghur literature who conducted postdoctoral research at Israel’s top university, what kind of “educational transformation” is he being put through?

Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang, has said it’s “like the instruction at school, the order of the military, and the security of prison. We have to break their blood relations, their networks, and their roots.”

On a scorching summer day, Tarim came to Tel Aviv from Haifa. In a few days he would go back to Urumqi. I invited him to come say goodbye and once again prepared Sichuan cold noodles for him. He had already unfriended me on Facebook. He said he couldn’t eat, he was busy, and had to hurry back to Haifa. He didn’t even stay for twenty minutes. I can’t even remember, did he sit down? Did he have a glass of water? Yet this farewell shook me to my bones.

He said, “Maybe when I get off the plane, before I enter the airport, they’ll take me to a separate room and beat me up, and I’ll disappear.”

Looking at my shocked face, he then said, “And maybe nothing will happen …”

His expression was sincere. To be honest, the Tarim I saw rarely smiled. Still, layer upon layer blocked my powers of comprehension: he’s a poet, a writer, and a scholar. He’s an associate professor at the Xinjiang Education Institute. He can get a passport and come to Israel for advanced studies. When he goes back he’ll have an offer from Sichuan University to be a professor of literature … I asked, “Beat you up at the airport? Disappear? On what grounds?”

“That’s how Xinjiang is,” he said without any surprise in his voice. “When a Uyghur comes back from being abroad, that can happen.”…

This poem helps us understand the nomadic lifestyle of many Uyghurs, the hardships they endure, and the character it builds...

Iz (“Traces”)
by Abdurehim Otkur
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We were children when we set out on this journey;
Now our grandchildren ride horses.

We were just a few when we set out on this arduous journey;
Now we're a large caravan leaving traces in the desert.

We leave our traces scattered in desert dunes' valleys
Where many of our heroes lie buried in sandy graves.

But don't say they were abandoned: amid the cedars
their resting places are decorated by springtime flowers!

We left the tracks, the station... the crowds recede in the distance;
The wind blows, the sand swirls, but here our indelible trace remains.

The caravan continues, we and our horses become thin,
But our great-grand-children will one day rediscover those traces.

The original Uyghur poem:

Yax iduq muxkul seperge atlinip mangghanda biz,
Emdi atqa mingidek bolup qaldi ene nevrimiz.
Az iduq muxkul seperge atlinip chiqanda biz,
Emdi chong karvan atalduq, qaldurup chollerde iz.
Qaldi iz choller ara, gayi davanlarda yene,
Qaldi ni-ni arslanlar dexit cholde qevrisiz.
Qevrisiz qaldi dimeng yulghun qizarghan dalida,
Gul-chichekke pukinur tangna baharda qevrimiz.
Qaldi iz, qaldi menzil, qaldi yiraqta hemmisi,
Chiqsa boran, kochse qumlar, hem komulmes izimiz.
Tohtimas karvan yolida gerche atlar bek oruq,
Tapqus hichbolmisa, bu izni bizning nevrimiz, ya chevrimiz.

Other poems of note by Abdurehim Otkur include "I Call Forth Spring" and "Waste, You Traitors, Waste!"

My Feelings
by Dolqun Yasin
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The light sinking through the ice and snow,
The hollyhock blossoms reddening the hills like blood,
The proud peaks revealing their ******* to the stars,
The morning-glories embroidering the earth’s greenery,
Are not light,
Not hollyhocks,
Not peaks,
Not morning-glories;
They are my feelings.

The tears washing the mothers’ wizened faces,
The flower-like smiles suddenly brightening the girls’ visages,
The hair turning white before age thirty,
The night which longs for light despite the sun’s laughter,
Are not tears,
Not smiles,
Not hair,
Not night;
They are my nomadic feelings.

Now turning all my sorrow to passion,
Bequeathing to my people all my griefs and joys,
Scattering my excitement like flowers festooning fields,
I harvest all these, then tenderly glean my poem.

Therefore the world is this poem of mine,
And my poem is the world itself.

To My Brother the Warrior
by Téyipjan Éliyow
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When I accompanied you,
the commissioners called me a child.
If only I had been a bit taller
I might have proved myself in battle!

The commission could not have known
my commitment, despite my youth.
If only they had overlooked my age and enlisted me,
I'd have given that enemy rabble hell!

Now, brother, I’m an adult.
Doubtless, I’ll join the service soon.
Soon enough, I’ll be by your side,
battling the enemy: I’ll never surrender!

Another poem of note by Téyipjan Éliyow is "Neverending Song."

Keywords/Tags: Uyghur, translation, Uighur, Xinjiang, elegy, Kafka, China, Chinese, reeducation, prison, concentration camp, desert, nomad, nomadic, race, racism, discrimination, Islam, Islamic, Muslim, mrbuyghur

Chinese Poets: English Translations

These are modern English translations of poems by some of the greatest Chinese poets of all time, including Du Fu, Huang E, Huang O, Li Bai, Li Ching-jau, Li Qingzhao, Po Chu-I, Tzu Yeh, Yau Ywe-Hwa and Xu Zhimo.

Lines from Laolao Ting Pavilion
by Li Bai (701-762)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The spring breeze knows partings are bitter;
The willow twig knows it will never be green again.

A Toast to Uncle Yun
by Li Bai (701-762)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Water reforms, though we slice it with our swords;
Sorrow returns, though we drown it with our wine.

Li Bai (701-762)    was a romantic figure who has been called the Lord Byron of Chinese poetry. He and his friend Du Fu (712-770)    were the leading poets of the Tang Dynasty era, which has been called the 'Golden Age of Chinese poetry.' Li Bai is also known as Li Po, Li Pai, Li T'ai-po, and Li T'ai-pai.

Moonlit Night
by Du Fu (712-770)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Alone in your bedchamber
you gaze out at the Fu-Chou moon.

Here, so distant, I think of our children,
too young to understand what keeps me away
or to remember Ch'ang-an...

A perfumed mist, your hair's damp ringlets!
In the moonlight, your arms' exquisite jade!

Oh, when can we meet again within your bed's drawn curtains,
and let the heat dry our tears?

Moonlit Night
by Du Fu (712-770)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight the Fu-Chou moon
watches your lonely bedroom.

Here, so distant, I think of our children,
too young to understand what keeps me away
or to remember Ch'ang-an...

By now your hair will be damp from your bath
and fall in perfumed ringlets;
your jade-white arms so exquisite in the moonlight!

Oh, when can we meet again within those drawn curtains,
and let the heat dry our tears?

Lone Wild Goose
by Du Fu (712-770)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The abandoned goose refuses food and drink;
he cries querulously for his companions.

Who feels kinship for that strange wraith
as he vanishes eerily into the heavens?

You watch it as it disappears;
its plaintive calls cut through you.

The indignant crows ignore you both:
the bickering, bantering multitudes.

Du Fu (712-770)    is also known as Tu Fu. The first poem is addressed to the poet's wife, who had fled war with their children. Ch'ang-an is an ironic pun because it means 'Long-peace.'

The Red Cockatoo
by Po Chu-I (772-846)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A marvelous gift from Annam—
a red cockatoo,
bright as peach blossom,
fluent in men's language.

So they did what they always do
to the erudite and eloquent:
they created a thick-barred cage
and shut it up.

Po Chu-I (772-846)    is best known today for his ballads and satirical poems. Po Chu-I believed poetry should be accessible to commoners and is noted for his simple diction and natural style. His name has been rendered various ways in English: Po Chu-I, Po Chü-i, Bo Juyi and Bai Juyi.

The Migrant Songbird
Li Qingzhao aka Li Ching-chao (c.1084-1155)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The migrant songbird on the nearby yew
brings tears to my eyes with her melodious trills;
this fresh downpour reminds me of similar spills:
another spring gone, and still no word from you...

The Plum Blossoms
Li Qingzhao aka Li Ching-chao (c.1084-1155)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This year with the end of autumn
I find my reflection graying at the edges.
Now evening gales hammer these ledges...
what shall become of the plum blossoms?

Li Qingzhao was a poet and essayist during the Song dynasty. She is generally considered to be one of the greatest Chinese poets. In English she is known as Li Qingzhao, Li Ching-chao and The Householder of Yi'an.

Star Gauge
Sui Hui (c.351-394 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

So much lost so far away
on that distant rutted road.

That distant rutted road
wounds me to the heart.

Grief coupled with longing,
so much lost so far away.

Grief coupled with longing
wounds me to the heart.

This house without its master;
the bed curtains shimmer, gossamer veils.

The bed curtains shimmer, gossamer veils,
and you are not here.

Such loneliness! My adorned face
lacks the mirror's clarity.

I see by the mirror's clarity
my Lord is not here. Such loneliness!

Sui Hui, also known as Su Hui and Lady Su, appears to be the first female Chinese poet of note. And her 'Star Gauge' or 'Sphere Map' may be the most impressive poem written in any language to this day, in terms of complexity. 'Star Gauge' has been described as a palindrome or 'reversible' poem, but it goes far beyond that. According to contemporary sources, the original poem was shuttle-woven on brocade, in a circle, so that it could be read in multiple directions. Due to its shape the poem is also called Xuanji Tu ('Picture of the Turning Sphere') . The poem is now generally placed in a grid or matrix so that the Chinese characters can be read horizontally, vertically and diagonally. The story behind the poem is that Sui Hui's husband, Dou Tao, the governor of Qinzhou, was exiled to the desert. When leaving his wife, Dou swore to remain faithful. However, after arriving at his new post, he took a concubine. Lady Su then composed a circular poem, wove it into a piece of silk embroidery, and sent it to him. Upon receiving the masterwork, he repented. It has been claimed that there are up to 7,940 ways to read the poem. My translation above is just one of many possible readings of a portion of the poem.

Xu Hui (627-650)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Confronting the morning she faces her mirror;
Her makeup done at last, she paces back and forth awhile.
It would take vast mountains of gold to earn one contemptuous smile,
So why would she answer a man's summons?

Due to the similarities in names, it seems possible that Sui Hui and Xu Hui were the same poet, with some of her poems being discovered later, or that poems written later by other poets were attributed to her.

Zhai Yongming (1955-)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The waves manhandle me like a midwife pounding my back relentlessly,
and so the world abuses my body—
accosting me, bewildering me, according me a certain ecstasy...

Zhai Yongming (1955-)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I am a wild thought, born of the abyss
and—only incidentally—of you. The earth and sky
combine in me—their concubine—they consolidate in my body.

I am an ordinary embryo, encased in pale, watery flesh,
and yet in the sunlight I dazzle and amaze you.

I am the gentlest, the most understanding of women.
Yet I long for winter, the interminable black night, drawn out to my heart's bleakest limit.

When you leave, my pain makes me want to ***** my heart up through my mouth—
to destroy you through love—where's the taboo in that?

The sun rises for the rest of the world, but only for you do I focus the hostile tenderness of my body.
I have my ways.

A chorus of cries rises. The sea screams in my blood but who remembers me?
What is life?

Zhai Yongming is a contemporary Chinese poet, born in Chengdu in 1955. She was one of the instigators and prime movers of the 'Black Tornado' of women's poetry that swept China in 1986-1989. Since then Zhai has been regarded as one of China's most prominent poets.

Guan Daosheng (1262-1319)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You and I share so much desire:
this love―like a fire—
that ends in a pyre's
charred coffin.

'Married Love' or 'You and I' or 'The Song of You and Me'
Guan Daosheng (1262-1319)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You and I shared a love that burned like fire:
two lumps of clay in the shape of Desire
molded into twin figures. We two.
Me and you.

In life we slept beneath a single quilt,
so in death, why any guilt?
Let the skeptics keep scoffing:
it's best to share a single coffin.

Guan Daosheng (1262-1319)    is also known as Kuan Tao-Sheng, Guan Zhongji and Lady Zhongji. A famous poet of the early Yuan dynasty, she has also been called 'the most famous female painter and calligrapher in the Chinese history... remembered not only as a talented woman, but also as a prominent figure in the history of bamboo painting.' She is best known today for her images of nature and her tendency to inscribe short poems on her paintings.

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I heard my love was going to Yang-chou
So I accompanied him as far as Ch'u-shan.
For just a moment as he held me in his arms
I thought the swirling river ceased flowing and time stood still.

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Will I ever hike up my dress for you again?
Will my pillow ever caress your arresting face?

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Night descends...
I let my silken hair spill down my shoulders as I part my thighs over my lover.
Tell me, is there any part of me not worthy of being loved?

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I will wear my robe loose, not bothering with a belt;
I will stand with my unpainted face at the reckless window;
If my petticoat insists on fluttering about, shamelessly,
I'll blame it on the unruly wind!

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When he returns to my embrace,
I'll make him feel what no one has ever felt before:
Me absorbing him like water
Poured into a wet clay jar.

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Bare branches tremble in a sudden breeze.
Night deepens.
My lover loves me,
And I am pleased that my body's beauty pleases him.

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Do you not see
that we
have become like branches of a single tree?

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I could not sleep with the full moon haunting my bed!
I thought I heard―here, there, everywhere―
disembodied voices calling my name!
Helplessly I cried 'Yes! ' to the phantom air!

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I have brought my pillow to the windowsill
so come play with me, tease me, as in the past...
Or, with so much resentment and so few kisses,
how much longer can love last?

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When she approached you on the bustling street, how could you say no?
But your disdain for me is nothing new.
Squeaking hinges grow silent on an unused door
where no one enters anymore.

Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I remain constant as the Northern Star
while you rush about like the fickle sun:
rising in the East, drooping in the West.

Tzŭ-Yeh (or Tzu Yeh)    was a courtesan of the Jin dynasty era (c.400 BC)    also known as Lady Night or Lady Midnight. Her poems were pinyin ('midnight songs') . Tzŭ-Yeh was apparently a 'sing-song' girl, perhaps similar to a geisha trained to entertain men with music and poetry. She has also been called a 'wine shop girl' and even a professional concubine! Whoever she was, it seems likely that Rihaku (Li-Po)    was influenced by the lovely, touching (and often very ****)    poems of the 'sing-song' girl. Centuries later, Arthur Waley was one of her translators and admirers. Waley and Ezra Pound knew each other, and it seems likely that they got together to compare notes at Pound's soirees, since Pound was also an admirer and translator of Chinese poetry. Pound's most famous translation is his take on Li-Po's 'The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter.' If the ancient 'sing-song' girl influenced Li-Po and Pound, she was thus an influence―perhaps an important influence―on English Modernism. The first Tzŭ-Yeh poem makes me think that she was, indeed, a direct influence on Li-Po and Ezra Pound.―Michael R. Burch

The Day after the Rain
Lin Huiyin (1904-1955)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I love the day after the rain
and the meadow's green expanses!
My heart endlessly rises with wind,
gusts with wind...
away the new-mown grasses and the fallen leaves...
away the clouds like smoke...
vanishing like smoke...

Music Heard Late at Night
Lin Huiyin (1904-1955)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

for Xu Zhimo

I blushed,
hearing the lovely nocturnal tune.

The music touched my heart;
I embraced its sadness, but how to respond?

The pattern of life was established eons ago:
so pale are the people's imaginations!

Perhaps one day You and I
can play the chords of hope together.

It must be your fingers gently playing
late at night, matching my sorrow.

Lin Huiyin (1904-1955) , also known as Phyllis Lin and Lin Whei-yin, was a Chinese architect, historian, novelist and poet. Xu Zhimo died in a plane crash in 1931, allegedly flying to meet Lin Huiyin.

Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again
Xu Zhimo (1897-1931)  
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Quietly I take my leave,
as quietly as I came;
quietly I wave good-bye
to the sky's dying flame.

The riverside's willows
like lithe, sunlit brides
reflected in the waves
move my heart's tides.

Weeds moored in dark sludge
sway here, free of need,
in the Cam's gentle wake...
O, to be a waterweed!

Beneath shady elms
a nebulous rainbow
crumples and reforms
in the soft ebb and flow.

Seek a dream? Pole upstream
to where grass is greener;
rig the boat with starlight;
sing aloud of love's splendor!

But how can I sing
when my song is farewell?
Even the crickets are silent.
And who should I tell?

So quietly I take my leave,
as quietly as I came;
gently I flick my sleeves...
not a wisp will remain.

(6 November 1928)  

Xu Zhimo's most famous poem is this one about leaving Cambridge. English titles for the poem include 'On Leaving Cambridge, ' 'Second Farewell to Cambridge, ' 'Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again, '  and 'Taking Leave of Cambridge Again.'

These are my modern English translations of poems by the Chinese poet Huang E (1498-1569) , also known as Huang Xiumei. She has been called the most outstanding female poet of the Ming Dynasty, and her husband its most outstanding male poet. Were they poetry's first power couple? Her father Huang Ke was a high-ranking official of the Ming court and she married Yang Shen, the prominent son of Grand Secretary Yang Tinghe. Unfortunately for the young power couple, Yang Shen was exiled by the emperor early in their marriage and they lived largely apart for 30 years. During their long separations they would send each other poems which may belong to a genre of Chinese poetry I have dubbed 'sorrows of the wild geese' …

Sent to My Husband
by Huang E
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The wild geese never fly beyond Hengyang...
how then can my brocaded words reach Yongchang?
Like wilted willow flowers I am ill-fated indeed;
in that far-off foreign land you feel similar despair.
'Oh, to go home, to go home! ' you implore the calendar.
'Oh, if only it would rain, if only it would rain! ' I complain to the heavens.
One hears hopeful rumors that you might soon be freed...
but when will the Golden **** rise in Yelang?

A star called the Golden **** was a symbol of amnesty to the ancient Chinese. Yongchang was a hot, humid region of Yunnan to the south of Hengyang, and was presumably too hot and too far to the south for geese to fly there.

Luo Jiang's Second Complaint
by Huang E
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The green hills vanished,
pedestrians passed by
disappearing beyond curves.

The geese grew silent, the horseshoes timid.

Winter is the most annoying season!

A lone goose vanished into the heavens,
the trees whispered conspiracies in Pingwu,
and people huddling behind buildings shivered.

Bitter Rain, an Aria of the Yellow Oriole
by Huang E
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

These ceaseless rains make the spring shiver:
even the flowers and trees look cold!
The roads turn to mud;
the river's eyes are tired and weep into in a few bays;
the mountain clouds accumulate like ***** dishes,
and the end of the world seems imminent, if jejune.

I find it impossible to send books:
the geese are ruthless and refuse to fly south to Yunnan!

Broken-Hearted Poem
by Huang E
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My tears cascade into the inkwell;
my broken heart remains at a loss for words;
ever since we held hands and said farewell,
I have been too listless to paint my eyebrows;
no medicine can cure my night-sweats,
no wealth repurchase our lost youth;
and how can I persuade that ****** bird singing in the far hills
to tell a traveler south of the Yangtze to return home?
judy smith May 2016
For the fifth year in a row, Kering and Parsons School of Fashion rolled out the ‘Empowering Imagination’ design initiative. The competition engaged twelve 2016 graduates of the Parsons BFA Fashion Design program, who "were selected for their excellence in vision, acute awareness in design identity, and mastery of technical competencies." The winners, Ya Jun Lin and Tiffany Huang, will be awarded a 2-week trip to Kering facilities in Italy in June 2016 and will have their thesis collections featured in Saks Fifth Avenue New York’s windows.

The Kering and Parsons competition, which is currently in its fifth year, is one of a growing number of design competitions, including but not limited to the LVMH Prize, the ANDAM Awards, the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund, and its British counterpart, the Woolmark Prize, the Ecco Domani fashion award, and the Hyères Festival. among others.

In the generations prior, designers were certainly nominated for awards, but it seems that there was not nearly as intense of a focus on design competitions as a means for designers to get their footing, for design houses to scout talent, or for these competitions to select the best of the best in a especially large pool of young talent. Fern Mallis, the former executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and an industry consultant, told the New York Times: “Take the Calvin [Kleins] and the Donna [Karans] and the Ralph [Laurens] of the world. Some of these people had money from a friend or a partner who worked with them, but they weren’t out spending their time doing competitions and winning awards to get their business going.” She sheds light on an essential element: The relatively drastic difference between the state of fashion then and fashion now. Fashion then was slower, less global, and (a lot) less dominated by the internet, and so, it made for quite different circumstances for the building of a fashion brand.

Nowadays, young designers are more or less going full speed ahead right off the bat. They show comprehensive collections, many of which consist of garments and an array of accessories. They are expected to be active on social media. They are expected to establish a strong industry presence (think: Go to events and parties). They are expected to cope with the fashion business that has become large-scale and international. They are expected to collaborate to expand their reach, and while it does, at times, feel excessive, this is the reality because the industry is moving at such a quick pace, one that some argue is unsustainably rapid. The result is designers and design houses consistently building their brands and very rarely starting small. Case in point: Young brands showing pre-collections within a few years of setting up shop (for a total of four collections per year, not counting any collaboration or capsule collections), and established brands showing roughly four womenswear collections, four menswear collections, two couture collections, and quite often, a few diffusion collections each year.

The current climate of 'more is more' (more collections, more collaborations, more social media, more international know-how, etc.) in fashion is what sets currently emerging brands apart from older brands, many of which started small. This reality also sheds light on the increasing frequency with which designers rely on competitions as a means of gaining funds, as well as a means of establishing their names and not uncommonly, gaining outside funding.

The Ralphs, Tommys, Calvins and Perrys started off a bit differently. Ralph Lauren, for instance, started a niche business. The empire builder, now 74, got his start working at a department store then worked for a private label tie manufacturer (which made ties for Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart). He eventually convinced them to let him make ties under the Polo label and work out of a drawer in their showroom. After gaining credibility thanks to the impeccable quality of his ties, he expanded into other things. Tommy Hilfiger similarly started with one key garment: Jeans. After making a name for himself by buying jeans, altering them into bellbottoms and reselling them at Brown’s in Manhattan, he opened a store catering to those that wanted a “rock star” aesthetic when he was 18-years old with $150. While the store went bankrupt by the time he was 25, it allowed him to get his foot in the door. He was offered design positions at Calvin Klein (who also got his start by focusing on a single garment: Coats. With $2,000 of his own money and $10,000 lent to him by a friend, he set up shop; in 1973, he got his big break when a major department store buyer accidentally walked into his showroom and placed an order for $50,000). Hilfiger was also offered a design position with Perry Ellis but turned them down to start his eponymous with help from the Murjani Group. Speaking of Perry Ellis, the NYU grad went to work at an upscale retail store in Virginia, where he was promoted to a buying/merchandising position in NYC, where he was eventually offered a chance to start his own label, a small operation. After several years of success, he spun it off as its own entity. Marc Jacobs, who falls into a bit of a younger generation, started out focusing on sweaters.

These few individuals, some of the biggest names in American fashion, obviously share a common technique. They intentionally started very small. They built slowly from there, and they had the luxury of being able to do so. Others, such as Hubert de Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and his successor Sarah Burton, Nicolas Ghesquière, Julien Macdonald, John Galliano and his successor Bill Gaytten, and others, spent time as apprentices, working up to design directors or creative directors, and maybe maintaining a small eponymous label on the side. As I mentioned, attempting to compare these great brand builders or notable creative directors to the young designers of today is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, as the nature of the market now is vastly different from what it looked like 20 years ago, let alone 30 or 40 years ago.

With this in mind, fashion competitions have begun to play an important role in helping designers to cope with the increasing need to establish a brand early on. It seems to me that winning (or nearly winning) a prestigious fashion competition results in several key rewards.

Primarily, it puts a designer's name and brand on the map. This is likely the least noteworthy of the rewards, as chances are, if you are selected to participate in a design competition, your name and brand are already out there to some extent as one of the most promising young designers of the moment.

Second are the actual prizes, which commonly include mentoring from industry insiders and monetary grants. We know that participation in competitions, such as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Woolmark Prize, the Swarovski, Ecco Domani, the LVMH Prize, etc., gives emerging designers face time with and mentoring from some of the most successful names in the industry. Chris Peters, half of the label Creatures of the Wind (pictured above), whose brand has been nominated for half of the aforementioned awards says of such participation: “It feels like we’ve talked to possibly everyone in fashion that we can possibly talk to." The grants, which range anywhere from $25,o00 to $400,000 and beyond, are obviously important, as many emerging designers take this money and stage a runway show or launch pre-collections, which often affect the business' bottom line in a major and positive way.

The third benefit is, in my opinion, the most significant. It seems that competitions also provide brands with some reputability in terms of finding funding. At the moment, the sea of young brands which is terribly vast. Like law school graduates, there are a lot of design school graduates. With this in mind, these competitions are, for the most part, serving as a selection mechanism. Sure, the inevitable industry politics and alternate agendas exist (without which the finalists lists may look a bit different), but great talent is being scouted, nonetheless. Not only is it important to showcase the most promising young talent and provide them with mentoring and grant money, as a way of maintaining an industry, but these competitions also do a monumental service to young brands in terms of securing additional funding. One of the most challenging aspects of the business for young/emerging brands is producing and growing absent outside investors' funds, and often, the only way for brands' to have access to such funds is by showing a proven sales track record, something that is difficult to establish when you've already put all of your money into your business and it is just not enough. This is a frustrating cycle for young designers.

However, this is where design competitions are a saving grace. If we look to recent Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund winners and runners-up, for instance, it is not uncommon to see funding (distinct from the grants associated with winning) come on the heels of successful participation. Chrome Hearts, the cult L.A.-based accessories label, acquired a minority stake in The Elder Statesman, the brand established by Greg Chait, the 2012 winner, this past March. A minority stake in 2011 winner Joseph Altuzarra's eponymous label was purchased by luxury conglomerate Kering in September 2013. Creatures of the Wind, the NYC-based brand founded by Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, which took home a runner-up prize in the 2011 competition, welcomed an investment from The Dock Group, a Los Angeles-based fashion investment firm, last year, as well.

Across the pond, the British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund has awarded prizes to a handful of designers who have gone on to land noteworthy investments. In January 2013, Christopher Kane (pictured below), the 2011 winner, sold a majority stake in his brand to Kering. Footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood was named the winner 2013 in May and by September, a majority stake in his company had been acquired by LVMH.

Thus, while the exposure that fashion design competition participants gain, and the mentoring and monetary grants that the winners enjoy, are certainly not to be discounted, the takeaway is much larger than that. These competitions are becoming the new way for investors and luxury conglomerates to source new talent, and for young brands to land the outside investments that they so desperately need to produce their collections, expand their studio space, build upon their existing collections, and even open brick and mortar stores.

While no one has scooped up inaugural LVMH winner Thomas Tait’s brand yet or fellow winner, Marques'Almeida, it is likely just be a matter of time.Read more |

Have you seen faded flowers in the night?
Where an unknown heart got burnt at moonlight.

Would they wrap pale sunlight?
Allowing petals to sneak into a treasure box.
She lay in her chamber in the sea mountain side..
Fire flame burns the window green...
Wooden floor danced on crystal glasses..
The wind rushes out of the cloud by night,
Stabbing and poking her, Madam Huang
Of those who were wiser than us---
Of many far talents than us---
Pray, neither for the angels in Heaven above
Nor the devil down under the tunnel
For the moon sunk in late November
Without interpreting her wonders, she left the sea bank,
Tears can ever dissolve her stories within the stories
Of the sorrowful Madam Huang
When the stars have not risen,
They gather in the chamber by the sea.
A falling star shining in the far and burst,
a bolide flames transmitted Requiem finale.
Of the sorrowful Madam Huang
May the sky award true colours of the dying night.

Silent prayers are kneeling there, they seemed to share the shame
Prior to breathing out the crispy air of Late November.
She asked him once Her name.

Of the sorrowful Madam Huang
from the chamber in the sea mountain.
By Angel.XJ 23/11/2019
Raj Arumugam Jul 2012
Water, Mother
Huang He
Vibrant Yellow Beast of fine-grained loess
fierce and breaking all bounds
like a restless dragon
Dragon with fire in its belly
and that screams out of its den
Oh Life-Giver, Death-Bringer
River, Yellow River, Huang He
with animal jaws that ****, with lingering ******
and disease even after your rage -
what brought you to wildness?
such madness and ferocity - you wave away
villages, animals, women, mothers, children
and men and soldiers and trees and life;
you re-make the landscape with few brushstrokes:
black ink, swift flows, a scroll that is left sparse
Oh you who gives life at other times
with your arms of warm embrace –
Water, Mother
Huang He
Yellow of fine-grained loess -
why do you take it all away
with clawed hands of wanton, unbridled dragons?
- Poem based on painting “The Yellow River Breaches
its Course” by Ma Yuan (1160-1125)
Michael Hoffman Jun 2012
Bodhidharma, the first Zen patriarch,
told Emperor Wu that merit
meant nothing;
but great emptiness
revealed by sitting facing a wall
had great merit.
Wu was perplexed.

Patriarch number two, Hui-k’o,
faced a granite wall in a forest for seven years;
it became his beloved.

Seng-Tsan, the third Zen patriarch wrote poems
and his legendary Hsinhsinming verse
transcended all the unnecessary duality
in the mind’s mire.

Tao-Hsin, patriarch number four,
said don’t’ stare at a wall,
just do the laundry
and watch the clear water
turn brown
then pour it onto the vegetables in the garden
when you’re done.

Patriarch five, Hung-Jen
meditated from age six staring at the horizon
and said if you find the line between sky and land and sea
you slip into infinity
with no sky, land and sea
just one place for the mind to finally rest.

Hui-Neng came next;
no wall
no laundry water
no heavenly horizon
just fascinating monkey mind
sometimes full, sometimes empty
running whichever way, whenever,
and that was all good.

The 300-year Tang dynasty
had three wild man patriarchs-
Ma-Tzu shouted constantly;
Pai-Ching did laundry,
and Huang-Po told everyone
they were already enlightened
and should not bother  with Zen at all.

Lin-Chi was the Jesus of Zen
who loved everybody everyday.
He taught the heart’s clear natural action,
compassion, not walls and laundry and trying not to think.
His love was wiser than his mind.

The patriarchs of zen
taught more than a thousand years
before I grew up an American idiot
in a materialistic world
populated by narcissistic borderline freaks
thumbing smartphones in leather car seats
never doing laundry
afraid to face the walls
built of brick made
mortared tight together
with the fear
of their own compassionlessness.
Hope you don't mind the history lesson, but it's just so true.
Rouge, threaded dragons intertwined with oriental cherries
stain a mockery of silk spread across an unsteady table.
The lady, dwarfed by the redwood counter,
has skin stretched taught across the bones of her temples
only to softly be drooped and draped around her jowls.
She caught both my eyes in the little dips of her palms
but wrinkles worked onto her face are focused on receipts
and she is obviously oblivious that her hands, veined with sickly blue,
had struck me so hard that my head is thudding numbly.
Her nails are narrow and naturally long,
set into the spotted skin of her delicate fingers,
pulling at a memory bathed in red by the Chinese lanterns
hanging over me, the couple near the kitchen and tiny Mrs Huang.
Her hands gesture to me after calling my order twice  
and I walk towards them to take the sterile, plastic packet
so that I can finally exit to the alley and spit into the gutter
a touch of an image much too familiar
to only belong to Mrs Huang.
Please share your thoughts with me.
I was staying in the village
That was known as Banzhushan,
In the mountains, in the Province
That the Chinese call Hunan,
It was perched atop the mountain
You could reach, and touch the sky,
But there were no single women,
And the men up there were shy.

They were poor, could offer nothing
To entice a willing bride,
They earned little from their labours,
And their houses, poor inside,
So the girls would leave to travel
Down the mountain to the plain,
Where they’d find a richer husband
Than the farmer, sowing grain.

So the men would send out raiders
To the outskirts of the towns,
And they’d kidnap straying peasants,
All the women that they found,
And they’d target younger widows
Who would not put up a fight,
Then would carry them to Banzhushan
Protected by the night.

I had met a village elder
By the name of Zhang Fan Cheng,
He was ancient, a magician,
One the Chinese call yāorén,
He invited me to dinner,
It was simple, shoots and rice,
He was dignified and courteous,
But caught me by surprise.

In the further room, a mirror
Stood at length, both straight and tall,
The frame was wrought in silver
And it leant against the wall,
He showed it to me proudly
Then asked how much would I pay?
For just 5,000 R.M.B.
He’d sell it me, today!

I reached out to feel the silver,
Was it fake or was it real?
He sensed my hesitation
Then he motioned, ‘You be still!’
And plunged his hand into the glass
The mirror let him in,
His arm up to the elbow
Against science, against sin!

He reached his arm behind and pulled,
A girl came into sight,
She was standing in the mirror,
He was holding her so tight,
And she stared, while looking at me
And she said: ‘Qing bang bang wo!’
I could read it on her lips, and then
The wizard let her go.

She had said: ‘Would you please help me!’
But I’d stepped back in the room,
She was nowhere near behind me
Just reflected, in the gloom,
And I saw a tear forming at
The corner of her eye,
The wizard pulled his arm out, and
She waved to me, ‘Goodbye!’

I paid the man his money, and
I took the mirror down
On a wooden cart he lent me,
And I took it through Hunan,
Then I packed it on a train and went
Off speeding to Nanjing,
Where I kept a small apartment,
And I turned, and locked us in.

I stood the mirror over by
A meagre wooden shelf,
Then I stood quite still before it
Hoping she would show herself,
And I tried to put my arm inside
Like he had done before,
But the mirror was unyielding,
So I stood there, and I swore!

That night the girl appeared,
Standing right behind the glass,
And she pummelled on the surface
As if she’d be free at last,
But the mirror was ungiving,
And I couldn’t hear her voice,
So I took a ball pein hammer -
It had given me no choice!

She could see me through the mirror,
In alarm, she mouthed ‘Meiyou!’
But her beauty had beguiled me
Though I knew she’d shouted ‘No!’
I was fevered and impatient now
To set this beauty free,
So I swung the ball pein hammer
And it shattered, over me!

She fell out through the broken glass,
Lay trembling in my room,
Bleeding, sobbing in the silence,
Like the silence of the tomb,
And she said she’d been imprisoned
Since the days of Qin **** Huang,
Then she writhed upon the carpet
As her flesh turned into sand.

I had wanted to release her
To relieve those tender tears,
But her body, once released took on
The last two thousand years;
She took one last, despairing look
Then withered up to die,
And for years I’ve sought the answer
To the only question - ‘Why?’

David Lewis Paget

(Glossary -
R.M.B. - Ren-Min-bi - or yuan (Chinese currency.)
Yāorén - magician
Qing bang bang wo - (Ching bang bang wor) - Please help me!
Meiyou - (May yo) - No, nothing
Qin **** Huang - (Chin Sher Hwang)
1st Emperor of China - 246-210 BC)
Gabriel K  Oct 2015
Gabriel K Oct 2015
Lucky’s Bar
1080 Norodom
Phnom Penh
capital of the southeast Asian *** trade
where Happy Hour is all day
I sip a beer
catch the eye
of number 29
feline attractive quite shy
senses me staring
draws near
“You handsome boy” she lies.
I take out a cigarette
offer her a drink she orders Sprite
this flower of the Khmer
Pol *** child
of maybe nineteen or twenty
dressed modestly
in black
name Muai or Huang
or something like that.
I feel a textbook compassion for this war-wronged people
if it’s not exploited or genocide
it's purging the intellectuals killing fields
but my blood runs thick when she brushes my thigh.
How could Cambodia do this to its own people
three million dead?
the charge is $15 plus room hire.
Muai leads me up to our room
switches on tv (it’s cable!)
disrobes showers
waits for me to do the same.
When I finish in the bathroom
she is naked now
encourages me onto the bed
(the room is let by the hour)
takes off my glasses
I trace her warm sinuosity
colonise her form with my tongue
and she kisses me back
lovers now.

When we disengage
she touches my cheek
says goodbye
exit through the back door not the bar.
Later on
I glimpse Muai in a tuk-tuk
I wave she smiles
my vehicle coughs into motion
our ways part,
strangers again
in the muggy night.
The Good Pussy Oct 2014
                        Killer Tsuomy
                      Miyazaki   T e d
                      Bundy Saeed Ha
                       nuel Robert Pic
                       ton Robert Mau
                       dsley Robert Ha
                       nsen Moses Sith
                       ole  Mary  A n n
                       Cotton J e f f rey
                       Dahmer  Huang
                       Yong   G regorio
                       Cardenas Herna
            Dez Gary Leon  Ridgway Eliza
         Beth  Bart hory   Dean Arnold Corli
           Pedro  Lopez       Mary Bell Louis
               V  a. n                  S c h o o r
marriegegirl Jul 2014
Caroline Tran est un génie absolu ;un photographe vraiment doué qui arrive à nous envoyer quelques-uns des plus beaux mariages que vous aurez jamais poser les yeux sur .Tops sur cette liste ?Cette affaire à couper le souffle de Los Angeles .un moderne répond partie classique qui tisse toutes sortes de beaux détails ( hello fleurs magnifiques de Green Leaf modèles) dans un événement extraordinaire .Découvrez tout cela dans la galerie complète de génial.\u003cp\u003e

Et une vidéo spéciale fou de studio205films .Aujourd'hui peut faire mieux ? ! ?( Réponse: non . )\u003cp\u003eColorsSeasonsSpringSettingsLoftStylesModernTraditio­nal

De Caroline Tran .Un architecte Alan si Catherine .leur planificateur \ pensée du thème «l'architecture de pierres précieuses " pour eux." gel vous " était le mignon disant sur ​​leur table de desserts et Catherine avaient découpes de diamants personnalisés fabriqués à partir de Pitbulls etPosies à accrocher robe courte devant longue derriere partout .Catherine a même construit un support de diamant de carte d'escorte .Le mariage a eu une belle et fraîche palette de couleurs de bleu robes demoiselles d honneur blanc et glace .avec des accents de rose .

Photographie : Caroline Tran | vidéographe: Studio205films | planification de l'événement: Catherine Cindy Leo | gâteau : Simplement Sweets | Restauration : Patina Restauration | Cheveux et Maquillage : Thérèse Huang Maquillage \u0026Hair Design | Dj : Shine Divertissement | Dessert Toile de fond : Pitbulls Et Posies | Planification et conception: CCL Mariages et Evénements | Réception et cérémonie Lieu: AT \u0026 T Center | Location

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