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- If I love you—
I never behave like a climbing trumpet vine
Using your high branches to show myself off;
If I love you—
I never mimic infatuated little birds
Repeating monotonous songs into the shadows,
Nor do I look at all like a wellspring
Sending out its cooling consolation all year round,
Or just another perilous crag
Augmenting your height, setting off your prestige.
Nor like the sunlight
Or even spring rain.
No, these are not enough.
I would be a kapok tree by your side
Standing with you—
both of us shaped like trees.
Our roots hold hands underground,
Our leaves touch in the clouds.
As a gust of wind passes by
We salute each other
And not a soul
Understands our language.
You have your bronze boughs and iron trunk
Like knives and swords,
Also like halberds;
I have my red flowers
Like heavy sighs,
Also like heroic torches.
We share cold waves, storms and thunderbolts;
Together we savor fog, haze and rainbows.
We seem to always live apart,
But actually depend upon each other forever.
This has to be called extraordinary love.
Faith resides in it:
I love not only your sublime body
But the space you occupy,
The land beneath your feet.
- A colorful hanging chart with no lines.
A pure algebra problem with no solution.
- "Missing You" (1978), in Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry, ed. Tony Barnstone (Wesleyan University Press, 1993), p. 61
- Remember the storm, the lighthouse
That brought us together
Another storm, a different light
Drove us asunder again
Even though morning or evening
Sky and ocean stand between us
You are always on my voyage
I am always in your sight
- "Two-Masted Ship" (27 August 1979), in The Red Azalea: Chinese Poetry Since the Cultural Revolution, ed. Edward Morin (University of Hawaii Press, 1990), p. 101
- Instead of being on display on the cliff for a thousand years
I'd rather have a hearty cry on my lover's shoulder for a single night.
- "Goddess Peak" [神女峰, Shennü feng], in The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, Volume II: From 1375 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 649
Quotes about Shu Ting
- Her voice is distinctly feminine, but not feminist. In the decade after the Cultural Revolution, when China was struggling to recover from ten years of trauma, Shu Ting's gentle poetic voice and her faith in the human spirit drew a remarkably large following.
- Eva Hung, Shu Ting: Selected Poems (Renditions, 1994), p. 8, as quoted in Twentieth-Century Chinese Women's Poetry: An Anthology (Routledge, 2015) by Julia C. Lin, p. 59.
- Encyclopedic article on Shu Ting at Wikipedia