As part of their “Translation Tuesday” feature, World Literature Today has published “Translating Zhu Zhu: Poetry as Lifeline,” by Dong Li on his translation of the poetry of Zhu Zhu 朱朱, The Wild Great Wall 野长城 (Phoneme Media). He writes:
As I went through the last proof of The Wild Great Wall in one long breath, these final smoked lines came alive again in Zhu Zhu’s attentive voice. I lament the irretrievable loss of these Chinese words, whose constellation first moved me and sent me on a mission to look for the English words that could approximate the sensory traces and emotional pulls of the original. I feel consoled that the reader can now experience Zhu Zhu in the English language for the first time. As I shift between Zhu Zhu’s Chinese and my English, our shared words, like trees in a forest, seem to grow with each season. Here is a lyric that continues to extend.
Click the image above to read the essay in full.