Wang Xiong was born in July, 1985 in Taipei, Taiwan, where he still lives with his two cats. He graduated from the Department of Chinese Literature and dropped out of the Master's Program of the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, he is currently working in journalism. He has previously been awarded National Taiwan University Prize for Modern Verse.This poem won the Modern Poetry Judge's Award of the 34th United Daily News Literature Prize.
Amidst the drudgery of every day life, I hope to say something more. I am still yet to gain an understanding of life, god, and the nature of truth in the world, and I haven't given up on asking. In the face of towering bafflement, I write down a few lines, if they happen to have a little bit of rhythm to them, then I call it a poem. This poem is an attempt at setting down in words all the things that I've yet failed to grasp, to crystalise all my expectations and efforts in the form of a "you".
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That's a cloud, this is a bird
That's the sky, the stars, the moon
That's a horse, this is time.
This is you, and that is me
That which we
Must be called love
That's a cat, that's an elephant
Further still are the mountains and trees
This is language
Language is an ocean, we're boats upon it
Language flows between us
Laden as we are with memories
We stir up ripples in the plane of consciousness
This is a number
This is a letter, this is the world
At times we think things over at others we'd rather not
But they're usually just there
Perhaps with bad intentions
But not with lies. Lies are sincere
As sincere as we are
That is good; it's also evil
I don't know if that's god or not
but I hear He is made in our image
Perhaps it's better to believe
But that's all I can tell you
This is man.
Every man should have a name
They can be addressed and identified
known and loved
Adored or detested
I hope you'll not be like me
That you can live alone
Just you against the world
I'll teach you everything I know
A written promise I make to you
Translated from the Chinese by Wang Xiong and Conor Stuart. The Chinese original was first published in United Daily News on 31st October 2012.
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