Translating Sun Wenbo’s poetry can seem deceptively straightforward. Because his language can be casual, and his topics ordinary (even base), a translator can produce a reasonable likeness of the original by skimming the surface, never plumbing the material beneath …
The Butterfly Effect
With twists and turns, I talk butterflies into women,
talk women into nymphs, talk nymphs into tigers,
talk tigers into bureaucrats, talk bureaucrats into wrathful gods.
Going a step further, what else can I say?
I’d have to ask you. It wouldn’t do not to ask.
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