South China Tiger
In the small zoo
I have seen a tiger.
Standing amid the crowded spectators
I watch the caged tiger
Through two rail fences
For quite a long long time,
The gorgeous countenance of the tiger
And his fiery eyes.
The caged tiger,
With his back towards the timid and desperate audience,
Is lying in a corner serenely.
Somebody hits him with stones
Somebody shouts at him brutally
And somebody tries to coax him
However, he ignores!
The long and thick tail
Is whisking with ease.
Tiger, O, the caged tiger,
Is it that you dream of the verdant and luxuriant mountain forest?
Is it that your humiliated heart is twitching?
Or is it that you want to scourge the pitiable and laughable spectators?
Your sturdy legs
Are spreading out in all directions,
I see that all of your toes
And coated with blood!
Are your toes
Cut off from your feet
By binding you up?
Or is it out of rage
That you bite them into bloody shreds
With the same broken teeth
I see in the iron cage
On the gray walls of cement
There are bloody gullies after bloody gullies
Which are dazzling like lightning!
It dawns on me finally
Shamefully I left the zoo;
In a trance I heard
A snarl which is welkin-shaking;
An unruly spirit
Runs across my head
To fly on high;
I have seen the fiery streaks
And the fiery eyes!
An Half Tree
Really, I have seen an half tree
Standing on a desolate massif
Like a person
To avoid the head-on wind & storm
The tree was neatly cleaved
Into two halves by a February thunderbolt
From top root
With the coming of spring
The half tree is still standing upright
Green with twigs and leaves
The half tree
Is still as tall as a whole tree
As gigantic in stature as a whole tree
It is said that
The thunderbolt is going to come at it again
Since it is still as straight and as tall as before
The thunderbolt takes aim at it from afar
About the author:
Niu Han (1923—2013), his original name was Shi Chenghan, and his another name is Niu Ding. He was born in Dingnang County of Shanxi Province, and he belongs to the nationality of Mongolia. He was graduated from the Russian Department of the Northwest University in 1946. Between 1948 and 1950, he worked in North China University and People’s University of China. After 1953, he worked at People’s Literature Publishing House, and has ever been editor-in-chief of Historical Materials of New Literature and vice editor-in-chief of the literary magazine of China. His main works include collections of poems such as Colorful Life, Motherland, Love and Songs, Hotspring, Earthworms and Feathers, etc. Besides, he has published his selected poems and prose entitled Vastness and Expansiveness in the Distance. He is an important member of the “July School”.
（Tr. by Zhang Zhizhong）