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© 2005 - 2007 Patrick Hassel Zein

This page was last updated 24.02.2007

Emi Siao (萧三)
1896 - 1983





I remember...

I remember my old home and my childhood days.
Together we walk up on a wall.
A river of clear water binds together the horizons.
Far away a glimpse of a sailing boat is floating.
Father speaks calmly as he raises a hand.
"Human life pours like running water.
Look at those big trunks of poplars on the riverside.
They were planted and cultivated by my own hands.
The colours of next spring will be twice as good.
Our songs will sound further and higher."
I remember the patiently teaching voice of my father,
just like older living relatives he stands on a higher level.

How can such a beautiful country and national territory
endure oppression by the enemy's trampling iron hooves?!


Comments by the translator: I believe this poem can be regarded as a sonnet consisting of 4 + 6 + 4 lines. The first four lines is an introduction, the middle six lines speak of the father and his words, and the final four lines reconnect to the first four lines with a rather unexpected and almost brutal ending. Since English is not my mother tongue, the English translation is rather plain and simple, without rhymes or rhythm. I have aimed to keep the wording for each line as close to the Chinese text as possible, but some verb forms may be open for other interpretations. The original text does not tell if the son and father are alone up on the wall, if there is one or many poplars standing on the riverside, if one or many songs will be sung...

The Swedish translation of the poem contains the same pattern of rhymes as the original (a, a, b, b - c, d, c, d, e, e - f, g, g, f) and it also has been given a rhythm suitable for a sonnet.

I have also translated a few more poems into Swedish. See the Swedish version of this page!

Further reading:

Jag söker fler dikter av Emi Siao. Har du en eller flera i originalspråk, så hör av dig!
Cerco altre poesie di Emi Siao. Se ne ha una o alcune in lingua originale, per favore mi faccia sapere!
I am searching for other poems by Emi Siao. If you've got one or more in original language, please let me know!
Ich suche andere Gedichte von Emi Siao. Wenn Sie ein oder einige im Originalsprache haben, bitte lassen Sie mir wissen!

E-mail: patrick@*no spam!*zein.se