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Syndic Literary Journal

Snowflakes Have Floated All Night

Written by Feng Yan

Translated from the Chinese by Jami Proctor Xu

Narrated by Jami Proctor Xu


White awakens winter, starting from the right cheek’s coldness,
a zipper stitching together a crack
——footprints head toward the light.
I’ve licked glass, guard rails, and iron plates in ice and snow,
hoar frost has torn the tip of my tongue.
In an instant, the air was cut off.
Cliff walls and withered branches are buried in the solid state of low-hanging
There are always innumerable protectors beating back.
I escape from the no man’s land of meditation; the crescent moon drops in the
My absence always makes winter closer to the ego,
and I discover loving.
Sleeplessness, the melting that feelings of existence face, have never ceased,
snowflakes have floated all night.
Cohen’s serenely profound and bleak “Blue Raincoat” has floated all night



Feng Yan is a Chinese poet and essayist who has been publishing her poetry since the 1980s. She has published eight collections of poetry, including Mirror Image, which was named as one of the top ten commercial press books of winter 2016. She has received numerous literary awards including, among others, the Macau Literature Award for prose, the Fourth China Long Poem Award, and the 2021 Zuojia (Writers) Poetry Award. Her works have been translated into several languages, and she has read at poetry festivals around the world. 
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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