Still by Duo Duo Translated by Ming Di and Katie Farris

Waking at night with snow on the forehead it’s still
the same like walking on a piece of paper and it’s still
like walking into the field of invisible snow, and it’s still

like walking between words, wheat fields, walking
in the shoes on sale, walking to the words
The moment you can see where your home is, it’s like

still standing in the empty field, fixing your suit, still
bending your knees. The gold shields. It still is.
The world’s most loud, the loudest

is, still, the earth

And the October light is passing though his legs when he’s mowing, it’s
like a golden corn field
with a burst of wild laughter, a burst
of firecrackers, a bright red pepper field, still, it’s

the golden that no arrangement can reproduce
the order of furious growth is a burst of October
which is persuasive, omnipresent, it’s

like the cold ox dung of September shoveled in the air, it’s
the stones in October walking to us, forming a team, it’s
November rain passes over a place without you, still, it’s

the seventy pears on the tree laughing their faces off
Your father is still the cough among your mother’s

The ox moves towards our disappearance, jotting
Still it’s a family sitting on the cart watching the snow
licked by a huge ox tongue

O warm, it’s still warm

And in memory, snow increases the weight of remembrance
It’s what snow owes us. Snow falls to cover
the page that snow has turned over

turned over, but still is

And the winter field understands the cemeteries
four trees planted by four trees here
the old light opens the speaking, outside words’

cracking, but still it is

your father who saw your mother’s death as the sky
and his own death as your mother’s tombstone
your father’s bone is walking up these hills

and still is

the planet walks through this life
every piece of broken glass in the backyard talks
for the reason of not seeing us again, says

still, it is still


Duo Duo (1951- ), is a Chinese poet, and laureate of the 2010 Neustadt International Literature Prize from Oklahoma University.

Katie Farris is the author of boysgirls, as well as a co-translator of books of poetry from the French and Russian. Her translations and original work have been published in literary journals including Virginia Quarterly Review, Triquarterly, Hayden’s Ferry. She received her MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. She currently teaches at San Diego State University.