Yi Lu (Photo Credit: Zheng Zhixin)

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Fiona Sze-Lorrain (Photo Credit: Dominique Nabokov)


(Audio Credit: Zheng Yikan)




In Those Days Father Repaired the Clock

Father said
his clock could walk again
Father’s face had a strange light
what did he do
not to let the little clock die
when weary Father
returned to his hut
by a path in the tea mountain
things felt different with a clock alive
in those days Father repaired the clock
he must have been more anxious than a surgeon
after all in that silent tea mountain
only that clock
was like a life by his side

“In Those Days Father Repaired the Clock” from Sea Summit by Yi Lu, translated by Fiona SzeLorrain (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Yi Lu and Fiona SzeLorrain. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions. www.milkweed.org

Yi Lu ( 伊路 ) is a theater scenographer who leads a parallel life as a poet. Born in 1956, she is the author of five books of poetry, including the award-winning titles, See (2004) and Using Two Seas (2009). Her fifth volume, Forever Lingering (2011), was published by Culture and Art Press in Beijing. Yi is known for her elegant and distilled lyrical voice, as well as her ecological awareness. Her honors include the Hundred Flowers Award for Literature and other distinguished literary prizes from Fujian province. A theatrical stage and set designer at the People’s Art Theatre in Fujian, she lives in the southern coastal city of Fuzhou. Sea Summit, a bilingual edition of Yi Lu’s selected poems (translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain), is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2015.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. Her new poetry collection, The Ruined Elegance (2016), is forthcoming from Princeton University Press (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets). The author of two previous titles, My Funeral Gondola (2013) and Water the Moon (2010), as well as several translations of contemporary Chinese, French, and American poets, she is a zheng harpist and an editor at Vif Éditions. She lives in Paris, France.

Her latest collection, The Ruined Elegance, published by Princeton University Press can be found here.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

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