Poem of the Week

Sunflower in the Sun by Mang Ke

Do you see?
Do you see that sunflower in the sun?
You see, it didn’t bow its head
But turned its head back
As if to bite through
The rope around its neck
Held by the sun’s hands.

Do you see it?
Do you see that sunflower, raising its head
Glaring at the sun?
Its head almost eclipses the sun
Yet even when there is no sun
Its head still glows.

Do you see that sunflower?
You should get closer to it.
Get close and you’ll find
The soil beneath its feet
Each handful of soil
Would ooze with blood.

© Mang Ke. Translation © Jonathan Stalling and Yibing Huang.

This week’s poem is taken from Push Open the Window: Contemporary Poetry from China, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in Summer/Fall 2011, and reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Find out more at the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.


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