Zheng Xiaoqiong, Yi Sha, and Chun Sue readings

On March 19, Zheng Xiaoqiong 郑小琼, Chun Sue 春树 and Yi Sha 伊沙 read their poems at University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. Beate Maria Wörz took photos and recorded parts of the reading on video. I have uploaded the videos on Youku and Youtube, so they can be accessed both in China and elsewhere.

You can read the poems in Chinese, English and German on my blog. It should be accessible in China, too. Click on the pictures to get to the Youku videos. Please tell me if it doesn’t work. I also have a Sina Blog, but it’s not as easy to put videos there.

Unfortunately, the recording of Zheng Xiaoqiong’s reading is rather short and not very loud. But you can also find the poem KNEELING, DEMANDING THEIR WAGES 《跪着的讨薪者》 in Chinese, English and German here:


The Youku version can also be accessed via this Sina page: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_68d111990102vrd5.html

The poem is here, in Chinese and English: http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/68d111990102uwud

The recording from Chun Sue’s reading comprises two poems, one of them with the German translation, read by Austrian poet, novelist and translator Cornelia Travnicek.


Please click on the pictures of the first two poems in this blog post to access the Youku videos. Click on the picture of the third poem to access my English translation. This third poem was also read out in German, but there is no video, as far as I know. The reading featured four of Chun Sue’s poems altogether, all have appeared on Yi Sha’s daily microblog forum NPC 新世纪诗典 – New Poetry Classics, as he calls it. Chun Sue’s second poem featured here, DREAMING OF LIVING INSIDE A DREAM, is printed in EPIPHANY magazine’s Winter 2014 issue, curated by Nick Admussen for the poetry parts. After Cornelia and I did the German translation, which is printed in the magazine LICHTUNGEN (Graz, Austria – issue 141, March 2015), I thought of another English version. Please compare my two versions of this poem, if you can, and tell me your impressions! The main difference comes from the expression 谈恋爱 – to talk of love, or to make love, in the old sense.

Yi Sha’s reading was captured on four videos. Two are rather short. One has only the last three lines from Yi Sha’s signature poem S-S-ST-T-T-TUT-T-TER-RING 《结结巴巴》(1991), in my German translation. As far as I know, there are two classic versions of this poem in English, by Simon Patton and by Maghiel van Crevel. My German version is rather free. I grew up with Ernst Jandl and other post-WWII-avantgarde poetry in Austria. Yi Sha didn’t know Jandl’s “schtzngrmmm” when he wrote this, but the machine gun sound t-t-t is a very powerful link. In my understanding, S-S-ST-T-T-TUT-T-TER-RING came about in the context of Liao Yiwu’s MASSACRE 《大屠杀》(1989). Yi Sha says the poem could refer to Liu Xiaobo’s stuttering, although he only thought of that after he wrote it.


The second short Yi Sha video has the whole German translation of another signature poem by Yi Sha, 9/11 REPORT FROM THE COUCH 《9/11心里报告》. Again, my versions are rather free, beginning from the title. You can compare the English one to Heather Inwood’s earlier translation.

The two longer videos have Yi Sha himself reading MENTAL PATIENTS 《精神病患者》and I WANT TO KILL 《我想杀人》(both  from 1994).

Yi Sha wrote very interesting poems while he was in Austria, some originating from dreams. They will be presented later – meanwhile you can find them in Chinese on his Sina blog.

A bilingual book with almost 200 poems by Yi Sha in my German translation is coming out soon. My translations of Zheng Xiaoqiong’s poems are also coming out in German, at FabrikTransit publishers.

Thanks to professors Esther Dischereit and Agnes Schick-Chen, as well as Markus Jaroschka and everyone who organised the readings, the workshop, the magazine and so on and so on!

Please don’t hesitate to comment on the poems and translations and anything related in any way.

Martin Winter <dujuan99@gmail.com>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *