About Zhang Zhizhong
He was born in 1966, and is a famous literary translator in contemporary China, as well as a poet and scholar. His ancestral place is Boai County of Henan Province. He successively obtained a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Zhengzhou University, a master’s degree in English and American literature from Tianjin Foreign Studies University, and a doctor’s degree in translation studies from Nankai University, and he has done his postdoctoral study in aesthetics of poetry translation at Henan University. He is now director of Translation Studies Center of Tianjin Normal University, and professor of Foreign Languages College of Tianjin Normal University. Meanwhile, he is a part-time researcher at the Central Literature Translation Research Base of Tianjin Foreign Studies University, guest editor of The World Poets Quarterly and vice chairman of International Poetry Translation and Research Centre. He has done a huge amount of translation, including over 50 classic American movies (English-Chinese), the 84 episodes of TV play The Romance of Three Kingdoms and the movie entitled The Tale of Sister Liu (Chinese-English), etc. Until now, he has published 60 books, 90 academic papers, and over 4,000 translated poems. Besides, he has published his own poems. In October, 2003, he received scholarship from Nankai University; in November, 2003, he obtained Excellence Award in the 15th National Translation (Chinese-English) Competition for Youth Sponsored by Han Suyin; in December, 2005, he was entitled as the Best International Translator for 2005; in November, 2006, he won the Prize for Distinguished Translator in the 2nd World Poetry Prizes Sponsored by Dr. CHOI Laisheung; in March, 2007, he was entitled as the academic leader for 2006 by Henan Provincial Educational Bureau, and in September, 2011, he won the Translation Prize of “Contemporary Chinese Poetry Prizes (2000-2010)”; in September, 2013, he was ratified by Tianjin City as the object of financial support in the project of “Recruiting One Thousand High-Level Talents in Three Years”; he has finished An Aesthetic Study of English Translation of Chinese Poetry, a project funded by the National Social Science Foundation of China.
When I was a child,
I liked making circles aground with a mothball,
To encircle the ants within.
When I am grown up,
I wonder who has made a circle for me,
And I cannot but move about within.
Rape Flowers Are Blossoming Again
Rape flowers are blossoming again
On the hillside in the valley
Near the lake beside the road
Clump after clump
Cluster upon cluster
The golden rape flowers are golden
In the sunshine and also golden
Is my heart
Bees and butterflies must be flying
Fragrance must be flowing
However I fail to see them
And I fail to smell it I
On a train running at fast speed
Am on an errand from one city to another city
Other passengers are thick in their talk about business
To the beautiful scenery without the window they turn a blind eye
All of a sudden I feel
The golden rape flowers in the field are merely
Plastic flowers hooded with a layer of glass
The real rape flowers
Are only blossoming in the heart of my childhood
A Red Fish
Coming out of the book city
I am dog-tired and it is noontide
I finally find a seat in a nearby restaurant
After frustrations and with efforts
Lowering my head unconsciously
I find a red fish beside my feet
I am surprised and my heart misses a beat
With an unexpected jump of the red fish
When it is placed into a plastic bag of water
The fish swims and rollicks at once
Without any fish vat in my home
I raise it in a plastic pail of water
When it comes to the still of the night
Within the pail is an unruly soul
Splash again splash
The water-striking sound travels in the deathly still air
I finally come to understand its adventure
It must have jumped out of the plastic bag of water carried by an eater in the restaurant
Until I carry it home
How adventurous is its experience
Owing to the accidental lowering of head
The red fish does not stop its struggling of soul
It is still on the moving and stirring
The third splash the fourth splash
Each sound of splash enters my ears
To impinge on
My very soul
The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Since You Left Me
Since you left me, my lord,
No shuttlework is made.
A full moon is my heart,
Which wanes from night to night.
Of the same green are lotus leaves and skirts;
Lotus blossoms bloom against fair faces.
In a pool of riotous flowers, plucking girls
Are hard to be descried till their ditties.
Night Walk in Drizzling Rain
Murky and fuzzy arise autumnal
Clouds; a touch of coldness invades as night
Proceeds. The clothes are wet with moisture,
Without raindrops and without sound, withal.
By a Buddhist Temple
Living a drunken and dreamlike life from day to day,
I brace myself to climb mountain when spring’s on the wane.
By a bamboo temple I talk with a monk midway:
Half a day, in my floating life, is thus whiled away.
No flowers in spite of arrival of the New
Year; the second moon is surprised to see grass
Budding. Snowflakes hate the late coming of spring:
They fall and fly, like blossoms, through courtyard trees.
Grass grows green and lush beneath the city walls;
Creek water flows now east and then west. Petals
Fall unenjoyed from fragrant trees; the mountain
Is overflowing with birds’ twitters, all in vain.
Passing by the Southern Garden
No wonder wineshops low and tall:
Life is short and youth is shorter.
As preserver and destroyer,
Spring wind blooms flowers only to fall.
Autumnal moon sheds luminous light on deserted
Courtyard; the air is quite chill before hoarfrost arises.
The parasol tree does not reconcile itself to
Leaf-falling; a few leaves are still dancing in the breeze.
沙沙 沙沙 沙沙 沙沙 沙沙
沙沙沙沙 沙沙沙沙 沙沙沙沙 沙沙沙沙
細雨 濛濛 濛濛 細雨
沙沙 沙沙 沙沙 沙沙 沙沙 沙——
濛濛 細雨 細雨 濛濛
飄入云間 飄入 林間
Drizzle- drozzle- drizzle- drozzle- drizzle
Drizzledrozzle- drizzledrozzle- drizzledrozzle- drizzledrozzle
Drizzle- dro —
Mizzle misty misty mizzle
Converging into rivers coursing towards seas
Lo, egrets white dim starlight
Lo, rivulet rilling kitchen smoke curling
Lo, grass sweet and lush flowers fair to ravish
Lo, hill on hill in dark green wood on wood in bright sheen
Drizzle- drozzle- drizzle- drozzle- drizzle- dro —
Misty mizzle mizzle misty
Sifting through clouds wafting into woods
The Final Phase
Crystalline grains of wheat
After ransacking of a rainstorm
The deserted field
Is by birds
Nameless birds hopping about
Pecked clean and clear
O my heart, bereft of all except wheat stubbles
The final phase, who is going to see to it
May 14, 1993
Sonnet — To Xiao Qiu
When you appear with the first light of morning,
The train of fate is carrying me faraway.
Why the scheduled flight of life is always late?
Two stars turn in different orbits for aye.
You are to traverse my eyes with what posture?
A lonely sail sails in the spoondrifts of years,
Please turn back your face for me to find answer.
Why the scheduled flight of life is always late?
A snake of lightning rips boundless blue thither.
Saved in my heart is your beautiful image,
The acid rain of time fails to work magic.
All nirvana of phoenix is wrong message.
Ask not where the ship of life does run aground,
Why the scheduled flight of life is late for age?
The Flowers Have Not Come to Autumn
The flowers have started off the flowers are walking in spring rain
The procession of overbrimming charming beauty
Has opened wide the sun’s eyes of surprise and admiration
With a gay leaf after another gay leaf
With pregnant dewdrops
With fair faces of village girls
With the form of ships
With the moon and the stars the flowers have started off
Spells after spells of vernal breeze are following
A fragrant simile after another fragrant simile is born on the way
The flowers are marching onward
Marching onward while carrying silvery twitters
Among which the flowery root
Is incomparably loud and clear
The flowers have not come to autumn they are hurrying on with their journey for the fruit
But in the heart of flowers
There is no single shade of darkness
Autumn, memory which is the easiest to be hurt
Bitten by the teeth of frost
O, even so gently
And there is a palmful of blood
The wind tosses red leaves
Before my feet.
The green life contains blood,
Which I know after frost —
A Young Tree
O snow here and snow there and snow everywhere
Which has covered the slumbering field
Countless white furrows
Disappear in the misty border
Under the gray night sky
Standing is a young tree
Which has refused the dreamy love
And is pondering over the other world
The native song
Is a clear and distant flute
Which produces music
On moon-lit night
The native visage
Is a misty and listless gazing
Like waving hands to bid adieu
In the fog
Nostalgia is a tree without annual rings
Which never ages
I like to start I like to go
In my life bright with new dreams
To myriads of hills and rills at will
No matter what direction the stars will show
I like to stay I like to remain
I like to plant in the garden thousands of fruit trees
Through winter thunder & summer rain spring flowers & fall fruits
I like my life be simple with a pure hope
With a growth that is steady and slow
I like the color rinsed by years
I like the song which has not been sung
I like to write a long poem in the depth of night
Before coming to this clean and clear morning
To check from line to line
To drop and cross out
Each and every word that is related to you