WHAUR THE DEEP SEA DEVAULS: A sequence and Other Short Poems.



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This pamphlet presents the work of one of the major voices in modern Chinese poetry in Scots translation. Published to mark Yang Lian's appearance at the 2005 Edinburgh International Book Festival, it contains the complete sequence 'Whaur the Deep Sea Devauls' (Where the Sea Stands Still) along with 16 'Sixteeners' (16-line poems). The sequence is translated by Brian Holton, Yang Lian's principal translator into English, and the Sixteeners are "owerset" by Scots poet (and brother of Brian) Harvey Holton. A unique and astonishing collaboration, pushing the boundaries of language and poetry. As Yang Lian has said, "To open up language is to open up possibilities of thinking and feeling..."


reality is pairt o ma naiture
spring has taen the skailin green o the deid again
cawsies    tak mair kistins that are blecker aye ablow
the flooers
reid phone boxes in the rain like a tellin
time is pairt o the deep guts             bird voices
aipen every ruistin face oan the benches
watchin nicht’s een a strung oot fleein accident
when aye anaither day is blottit oot    London

screive oot awe ma madness   lick oot awe the broon beer’s
the bell’s toll in a wee birdie’s harns rummlin like a dour
verse oan the dole
the toon is pairt o the word     the maist fearfae pairt o me
showin ma weeness                  acceptin
blue moudied sheepskin pillie-case ootside the winnock
sheep mait’s mindins earnestly bindin
its ain daith      deein in      the unreeshlt lens
when atween twae leaves o newsprint is a grave      ahint
the grave is the ocean

Yang Lian, translated by Harvey Holton


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