poems by chen hsiu-chen
POET : CHEN HSIU-CHEN TRANSLATED BY : Lee Kuei-shien
Tree and leaves 樹與葉 The letter has energy I hug it tightly when shivering The letter may glow I hug it deeply in the dark The letter is a prophet I hug it hard when I am in distress The letter is a warrior I hug it when I am weak I hug the letter as if a branch holds the leaves firmly When the letter becomes unbearable weight of life I will start to release the leaves one by one waiting for the tree ring to wake up the new leaves in another season.
Singing 唱歌 In the van bounding for Pristina the group of poets sang in laughter all the way while I was watching the scenery outdoors in the melody ups and downs. Most of leaves have turned into yellow or red those two warm colors are gifts for the winter. As we went across the mountains of Kosovo it emerged in my mind from time to time the pink capsules of Taiwan Golden-rain Tree. Happy songs drive away the fog. When asked to sing a Taiwanese song I was so flustered that could not find a folk song completely remembered. Finally, I barely sang a section of sad “rainy night flowers”. Is it because a sad Taiwanese so I could not find a happy song?
Flag 旗 The color of petals painted Prizren hillside looks like a red handkerchief hanging in the early winter dusk confronting my eyes longing for warm. It also looks like a sail heading for my sleepless midnight approaching to my heart surrounded by sea. In early morning a flag is waiting for your wind to wave let me recognize whether a sign to hello or farewell.
In Prizren 在普里茲倫 Passing through the heavy fogs of the Saar Mountains we arrived at revolutionary foundation built by the League of Prizren The fortified castle on the hilltop could not prison the spring breeze could not prohibit the trend of Albanian independence Under free sky the street artists sang Albanian folk song the poets from various countries followed the music to dance We took a picture on the bridge I wanted standing still to become a part of eternal landscape in Prizren We gathered under an old tree of four hundred years listening to her an ethnic history of bloody suffering I would write down our Taiwanese story Under the hillside I was busy looking for wildflowers as if looking for an affectionate person to meet This was my unexpected journey I could not find the same flower twice The poetry festival came to an end A certain poets had to kiss us goodbye here saying farewell in their heart
Retrograde Vallejo’s footprints ／逆向巴列霍足跡 From the bustling capital Lima to the quiet highlands of the Andes mountains from Trujillo university to secondary school returning to homeland San Diego de Chanco I retrograded Vallejo's footprints If life can be retrograded Vallejo’s childish elder brother can slip out of his grave in hiding and continues to play unfinished hide and seek If life can be retrograded Vallejo may be still in a cynical mind to taste endlessly the bitter of life as well as to suffer the prison and exile with the hard bones blessed by God Ah the anger broke the soul of Vallejo down into a lot of flesh* His poem is his scars and shadows just like the woman's stretch marks Anyone walks on own way none can change the way of others Though I want to stop at the terminal of Vallejo in order to write his unfinished life poems for him with a crown of thorns *Excerpted from the poem of Vallejo “ The Anger That Breaks a Man Down into Boys / La cólera que quiebra al hombre en niños”.
Chen Hsiu-chen 陳秀珍（Taiwan） 【About the Poet】 Chen Hsiu-chen, graduated from Department of Chinese Literature in Tamkang University and has been served as an editor in newspaper and magazines, now is one of the editor members of “Li Poetry Sociaty”. Her publications include essay “A Diary About My Son, 2009”, poetry “String Echo in Forest, 2010”, ”Mask, 2018”, “Uncertain Landscape, 2017”, “Tamsui poetry, 2018”and “BoneFracture, 2018” Mandarin-English-Spanish trilingual “Promise, 2017” as well as Mandarin-English “My Beloved Neruda”. Her poems have been selected into Mandarin-English-Spanish trilingual anthologies “Poetry Road Between Two-Hemispheres, 2015” and “Voices from Taiwan, 2017”, Spanish “Opus Testimoni, 2017”, Italian “Dialoghi, 2017” and “Quaderni di traduzione, 2018”, as well as English “Whispers of Soflay, Vol. 2, 2018” and “Amaravati Poetic Prism, 2018”. Her poems have been also translated into Bengali, Albanian, Turkish and the like. She participated Formosa International Poetry Festivals in Taiwan held in 2015~2019 annually, Kathak International Poets Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2016, International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit” in Tetova, Macedonia, 2016, Capulí Vallejo y su Tierra in Peru, 2017, International Poetry Festival of Sidi Bou Saïd Tunisia, 2018, “Tras las Huellas del Poeta”in Chile, 2018, 3rd International Poetry Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam, 2019, 6thIasi International Poetry Festival in Romania, 2019, as well as Primer Festival Internacional de Poesía por Ediciones El nido del fénix, 2019. She was awarded with estrella matutina by Festival of Capulí Vallejo y su Tierra in Peru, 2018. Lebanon Naji Naaman Literary Prizes 2020.
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