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Syndic Literary Journal

Say to the Soul

Written by Xiao Xiao

Translated from the Chinese by Jami Proctor Xu

Narrated by Jami Proctor Xu



You need to make yourself happy a million times faster

Remove the shackles of long-held delusions

from your neck, and throw them away


When you open your eyes from the window of long-held suffering,

take a deep breath, and rub your veins

in the most subtle, real waves deep in the soul


How much clamor comes from your imaginary enemies?

How many obstructions come from your blood relatives?

How much necrosis comes from your dark parts? 


You can’t make everything become possible

You only have one body, one heart scattered in the headwind

Write happiness on the back cover of suffering


Don’t let the heavy burdens in your life be fatal

Live purely for yourself once

at least for 60 seconds, at most for the rest of your life


Xiao Xiao is a Chinese poet and painter.  She has published six poetry collections in China and edited a series of modern and contemporary Chinese poetry anthologies.  Her work has been translated into a number of languages including, among others, German, English, Japanese, French, Korean, and Farsi. She is a recipient of many literary awards in China, such as the Wen Yiduo Poetry Prize, Special Contribution Award of a Hundred Years of New Chinese Poetry, the Poetry Prize of Beijing Literature.  She is the first Asian to receive the Tudor Arghezi International Poetry Prize of Romania, and Romania named her an honorary citizen. 
Jami Proctor Xu is a bilingual poet and translator. She is the recipient of a Zhujiang Poetry Award and a First Readers Poetry Award. Her translations of Song Lin’s collection, Sunday Sparrows (Zephyr, 2020), received the Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation.






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