Syndic No.44 ~ International Poets
Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.44 ~ Chrysanthemums on the Sea

Chrysanthemums on the Sea

Written by Song Lin

Translated from the Chinese by Jami Proctor Xu

Narrated by Jami Proctor Xu


Sprinkle the seeds sprouted in the mirror onto the sea

Put the sword away.  The sword

is emanating heat in the seawater

The chrysanthemums are in bloom; the books have fallen off the shelves

Three nightingales simultaneously fly out from the mirror

What is this that feels so frightened and shaken

Who is it on the leaking rubber boat, so frightened and shaken

My throat catches a sword falling from the sky

From the firmament, I enter the world, then sink back down,

sleepwalking among mountains of immortals and the bright moon above the sea


Song Lin, who was born in Fujian, China, began writing poems in the 1980s. He has published six poetry collections and is the recipient of Rotterdam, Romanian, and Hong Kong International Poetry Nights fellowships, and the Shanghai Literature Prize. His bilingual collection, Sunday Sparrows, received the Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation.
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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