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Influenced by both the “gray, sinister sea” near the village where Yi Lu grew up during the Cultural Revolution, and the beauty of the sea in the books she read as a child, Sea Summit is a collection of paradox and questioning. The sea is an impossible force to the poet: it is both a majestic force that predates man, and something to carry with us wherever we go, to be put “by an ancient rattan chair,” so we can watch “its waves toss” from above. Exploring the current ecological crisis and our complicated relationship to the wildness around us, Yi Lu finds something more complex than a traditional nature poet might in the mysterious connection between herself and the forces of nature represented by the boundless ocean.

Translated brilliantly by the acclaimed poet Fiona Sze-Lorrain, this collection of poems introduces an important contemporary Chinese poet to English-language readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571314765
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 02/16/2016
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Yi Lu is a theater scenographer who leads a parallel life as a poet. Born in 1956, she is the author of five books of poetry, including the award-winning titles, See (2004) and Using Two Seas (2009). Her fifth volume, Forever Lingering (2011), was published by Culture and Art Press in Beijing. Yi is known for her elegant and distilled lyrical voice, as well as her ecological awareness. Her honors include the Hundred Flowers Award for Literature and other distinguished literary prizes from Fujian province. A theatrical stage and set designer at the People’s Art Theatre in Fujian, she lives in the southern coastal city of Fuzhou.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. Her new poetry collection, The Ruined Elegance (2016), is published by Princeton University Press in the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. The author of two previous titles, My Funeral Gondola (2013) and Water the Moon (2010), as well as several translations of contemporary Chinese, French, and American poets, she is a zheng harpist and an editor at Vif Éditions. She lives in Paris, France.

Melissa Kwasny is the author of five books of poems, including, most recently, Pictograph (2015), The Nine Senses (2011), and Reading Novalis in Montana (2009), all from Milkweed Editions. Her book of essays, Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision, was published by Lynx House Press in 2013. She lives in the Elkhorn Mountains of western Montana.

Table of Contents

Foreword 1

Introduction 5


Early Spring 17

March Pasture 19

A Pregnant Woman Walks in the Fields 21

Bird Call 23

Yell 25

Father in a Basket 27

A Treeful of Bird Calls 29

Flower 31

Goats on a Desert Island 33

On My Way to Grandma When I Was Little 35

Sweet Olive Scent 37

Spring Camellias 39

Valley's Green 41

An Expanse of Azure 43

In the Canyon 45

Fading Things 47

Behind the Isle 49


Sea Summit 53

Sea First Man Next 55

Drift Bottle 57

Many Many Mothers 59

My Own Sea 61

Using Two Seas 65

A Dog on the Shore 67

No Prop Can Shield You 69

Look at the Sunset 71

Red Earth 73

In That Wild Mountain 75

Heavy Rain 77

Names on the Tombstone 79

This Wind Comes Alone 81

A Patch of Sunlight 83

A Common Life 85

By the Maple Woods 87


Two Porcelain Vases 91

An Old Tree 93

In Those Days Father Repaired the Clock 95

Sun on the First Day of the New Century 97

Is There Such an Eagle 101

Spring Arrives 105

A Bird 107

A Bouquet of Cauliflower 109

Marigold 111

Carnation 113

The Pregnant Woman 115

O Water… 117

Bird Call on a Spring Day 121

Joy 123

They Still Have Not Emerged 125

Voice of Flowing Water 127

In the Open Field 129


Eternal 133

They Say 135

Wind Comes Wind Goes 137

A Flight of Floating Stairs 141

Rain Pours Harder 143

Yesterday's Rain Joins Today's Rain

In the Form of a Scissor Cut 147

The Aroma We Smell 149

Birds Have Already Flown Away 151

Recalling Your Birth 153

Safety Zone 155

Creek of Nine Tunes 157

Golden Butterfly 159

In an Instant 161

Fairy Tale 163

Solitude 165

Because of Awakening 167


Sand Sculpture 171

Volcanic Stone 173

The Eagle's Shadow Darkens the Storm 175

Always a Moon Locked Inside 177

Lake, Again 179

Broken Water 181

Pit of the Stomach 183

The Power of a Chest Cavity Is Too Weak 185

The World's Heart Always Aches Faintly 189

Many Stars Emerge 191

One Day It Will Stop Completely 193

That Bouquet of White Flowers 195

Space of Drama 197

Solo Dance 199

Only the Sun Can Do What the Sun Does 203

With Mount Liangye Falls 205

Two White Houses 209

May You See the Splendor of Stars in This World 211

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