A Bird Translates Silence


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Wong May represents a middle ground between Pound, with his barely intelligible Chinese, and sinologists with their near-pedantic veracity. As a bilingual poet who can harness her own experience of diaspora and the long afterlives of war and displacement, she offers a lived intimacy that one hopes will become increasingly prevalent in the field of translation. “Poetry lives in the present—though it happened in Tang China,” she writes. “I do not mean the poem should read like it has just been translated, but like it has just been written.”


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