Translated by Lucas Klein
“Bloom and change your way of living,” Xi Chuan exhorts us. “Bloom / unleash a deep underground spring with your rhizome.” In his wildly roving new collection, Bloom & Other Poems, Xi Chuan, like a modern-day master of the fu-rhapsody, delves into the incongruities of daily existence, its contradictions and echoes of ancient history, with sensuous exaltations and humorous observations. Problems of mourning and reading, thoughts on loquaciousness, Manhattan, the Luxor Temple, and socks are scrutinized, while in other poems we encounter dead friends on a visit to a small village and fakes in an antique market. At one moment we follow the river’s flow through the history of Nanjing, in another we follow an exquisite meditation on the meaning of the golden. Brimming with lyrical beauty and philosophical intensity, the collection ends with a transcript of a conversation between Xi Chuan and the journalist Xu Zhiyuan that earned seventy million views when broadcast online. Award-winning translator Lucas Klein demonstrates in this remarkable bilingual edition that Xi Chuan is one of the most electrifying international poets writing today.