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Bei Dao
Bei Dao
Born on August 2, 1949, the poet Bei Dao is the author of several books of poetry and has been nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times...
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Ramallah

 
by Bei Dao
translated by Eliot Weinberger and Iona Man-Cheong

in Ramallah
the ancients play chess in the starry sky
the endgame flickers
a bird locked in a clock
jumps out to tell the time

in Ramallah
the sun climbs over the wall like an old man
and goes through the market
throwing mirror light on
a rusted copper plate

in Ramallah
gods drink water from earthen jars
a bow asks a string for directions
a boy sets out to inherit the ocean
from the edge of the sky

in Ramallah
seeds sown along the high noon
death blossoms outside my window
resisting, the tree takes on a hurricane's
violent original shape







"Ramallah" by Bei Dao, from World Beat: International Poetry Now, copyright 200 by Zhao Zhenkai, Translation © Eliot Weinberger and Iona Man-Cheong. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
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