Ouyang Yu translates Zhang Meng

Zhang Meng, born in 1975, is a member of Shanghai Writers Association and has published five books of poetry.


High Summer

I was sitting beneath a cool loofah shed
I had let go of a strayed snake
the one I didn’t want to see went past my door on time again
I had won praise from a goose
I am always eased into sleep by the sound of cicadas
I walk on the earthen road with bright puddles
moonlight like flat salt, salt in the country
my old neighbour, prior to the coming of his centennial
cries for his dead partner every night
I often dream of the ancient gingko that wakes up
its bulgy bark thicker than a history book
the autumn wind was cruising in the reeds
decades after, there are fresh footprints of wild rabbits
apart from those of the egrets, and in the dews
and the thin birdcalls in the early mornings
I wander between the stone bridge and the sound of the tide
I blow the sound of a reed that defies understanding
I’ve lost myself, having woken up
another self

but, I am in a cinema


By November 2021, Ouyang Yu has published 137 books in both English and Chinese in the field of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, literary translation and criticism. His second book of English poetry, Songs of the Last Chinese Poet, was shortlisted for the 1999 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. His third novel, The English Class, won the 2011 NSW Premier’s Award, and his translation in Chinese of The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes won the Translation Award from the Australia-China Council in 2014. He won the Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection in the 2021 Queensland Literary Awards, his bilingual blog at: youyang2.blogspot.com