Four Poems by 玉珍 Yu Zhen

Yu Zhen’s work is rooted in the rural setting of Hunan’s Yanling mountains. Drawing on the pastoral tradition while resisting the platitudes of poverty, she writes poems that are lyrical, occasionally rhapsodic, but lucid and sharp in their observational detail. These four poems showcase the visual richness of her poetry, but Yu Zhen’s wider body of work incorporates a range of styles, sometimes echoing Haizi’s exclamatory invocations of nature, sometimes presenting philosophical claims with the aphoristic assurance of Emily Dickinson, concretising vast abstractions (love, death, suffering) in elemental imagery (fire, water, wind).

——Dave Haysom

Four Poems by 玉珍 Yu Zhen

Paper Republic, (Online)

Aug. 2022

Translated by David Haysom, from works by Yu Zhen


I did not know tr. David Haysom from 我并不知道 by Yu Zhen
Wo Bing Bu Zhidao by Yu Zhen
rainforest tr. David Haysom from 雨林 by Yu Zhen
Yulin by Yu Zhen
back at the gap in the tree tr. David Haysom from 回到树洞面前 by Yu Zhen
Hui Dao Shu Dong Mianqian by Yu Zhen
one day tr. David Haysom from 一天 by Yu Zhen
Yi Tian by Yu Zhen