[China] Zheng Min (1920-)
郑敏 ZHENG Min 1920- Chinese Poet
Golden Sheaves of Rice
[China] Zheng Min (1920-) tr. Fan Jinghua
Golden sheaves of rice stand
In mowed fields under the autumn sky,
Reminding me of a throng of exhausted mothers;
On a path after sunset I see their faces with furrowed beauty,
As the Harvest Moon nestles
Upon the crowns of high-rising trees.
Twilight falls on the distant mountains
That hug the borders of our heart;
No statue can be more stilled than this.
You shoulder the grandness of exhaustion
In the autumn field that stretches to the far,
Your head lowered in musing,
Silent, still. History is but a river
That runs along by your feet, whereas
You, standing still over there,
Are becoming a thought of our human race.
First published in Poems 1942-1947 (1948)
ZHENG Min was born in Sept. 1920 and she is now hailed as the representative of the second generation of modern Chinese poetry. She wrote and published poems in university days when China was fighting its anti-Japanese war. Her university years was a time when western modernist such as W. H Auden, William Empson had direct impact in China, and hence she was among the best modernist poets in China.