Bao Huiyi – Kyrie – translated by Li Huiying

I have dispelled all figments of 
Truth in departure. When the silver bright rain of night
Imbues my garden with babbling glass 
When stars fall into revolving buds
Bringing a crisp chill; when I know stars
Merely derive from Man’s pupils: those who on the ground collect light and void 
Should be in the sky etched with light and void. The creation of stars
Originates from gaze: so steady, so precise.

And my inner cavalry broke through the fire of night
The mighty forces stride and stomp, the icy blade of sword
Mirrors the time-honoured land of promise: the dark pupil created by the lord
Knows the promise. For it I’ve been bleeding profusely
Who assigned this bootless transmission
Who sent me to the shadow-layered country, where aquatic creatures travel day after night to arrive
To serve as a new bride far from the one and only? Over there
I will day after day trim the tree root of lightning
In my insulated white porcelain clothing, I’ll forever broodingly but gently
Polish a round shield shaped by a sunken sand dune…

I’ll soullessly play an antique ceramic eyeball to see that reindeer with branched antlers 
How it forces its way into his interior totem; to reveal his tenebrous, fragrant
Dire divine grace, how it strives to burn the chandelier between its ears
See how it repeatedly practices self-loss in the corridor thronged with phantoms 
And constraint, and shot by an arrow, and death, and departure…
And till the end, at the center of his tendril find my 
Echo which has been chilled for ages.

Bao Huiyi (b. 1985 in Shanghai) is a poet, literary translator and scholar in medieval literature with a PhD from University College Dublin. Currently she is associate professor at Department of English, Fudan University and director of CAWC (China-Australia Creative Writing Centre) at Fudan. She has published two books of poetry in Chinese, A Pagan Book of Hours (2012) and I Sit on the Edge of the Volcano (2016), one monograph in English, Shaping the Divine: The Pearl-Poet and the Sensorium in Medieval England (2018), one monograph in Chinese, The Art of Middle English Lyrics (2021), and four books of essays, A Portrait of the Translator as a Young Woman (2020), The Rose of Sharon (2020), Scriptorium (2018) and Annal of the Emerald Isle (2015). She is the translator of twelve books from English to Chinese, including Complete Poems (2015)by Elizabeth Bishop,  Ariel (2015)by Sylvia Plath, Good Bones(2009)by Margaret Atwood, and Immram and Isle: Works of Four Contemporary Irish Poets(2016). She co-edited the bilingual poetry anthology Homings and Departures: Selected Poems from Contemporary China and Australia (2018) with Hai An. 

Li Huiying is a literary translator based in Shanghai. She graduated from the English Department of Fudan University.