The Chinese poet Yau Noi (also known as Wa Lan, a former pseudonym), like many of his generation, has come to know two very different Chinas in the course of his lifetime. Born and raised on a small farm, he later came to experience the complexity of an increasingly urban world. Then as a young man in the late 1980s, he began to describe the profound changes taking place in China through those tumultuous years.
Influenced by surrealism and by the ‘Misty’ poets who resisted restrictions on art during the Cultural Revolution, Yau Noi’s poetry describes distinct ‘Before’, ‘During’ and ‘After’ periods that are both a record of his own journey and that of his country.
“Chinese literature has always been almost too immense to talk about …” writes Liu Xun in her Foreword to this bilingual Selected Poems. We are grateful to her and co-translator Harry Clifton for giving us a sense in English of these utterly engaging and distinctive poems, and a glimpse of the times that brought them into being.
Winter in northern China, fogbound,
And in the distance, the fields
And the beasts, bleeding under the lash,
The Crane: Selected Poems
Publication: 11 April 2022
108 pp, 140 x 216 mm
ISBN 978-1-910251-94-2 PB €12.50
ISBN 978-1-910251-95-9 HB €20