translated by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern
One person’s landscape
is monotonous and desolate
in the eyes of passersby,
like a forgotten word in the ocean of a dictionary,
an incomplete image in a broken lens.
Liu Xia is the author of Empty Chairs: Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015), which was translated by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern. Also a painter and photographer, Liu is a founding member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center. She lived under extralegal house arrest in Beijing after her husband, the poet and activist Liu Xiaobo, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. She was released in 2018 and lives in Berlin, Germany.