Henry W. Leung reviews Bai Hua's Wind Says
Wind Says, a polyphonic composition that includes translated poems on facing pages with the original Chinese, excerpts twenty-five years of Bai Hua's work. Also included in this volume are an interview from 2010 between the poet and his translator, and an exceptional translator's 'prelude' written as a zuihitsu of cuts and observations across time, honoring the tone and promise of Bai's work even as it reveals the brightness of Fiona Sze-Lorrain's own engagement with his work as a poet herself. The title of the book succinctly characterizes Bai's style—restless, murmuring, with an impressionistic brevity of image—and also displays Sze-Lorrain's translating prowess. The title is just as metrically and syntactically immediate as the original Chinese, precisely because the absence of a preceding article—"Wind Says"—makes it ungrammatical while still sounding idiomatically acute.