“My Motherland is Not Made of Love,” by Shen Haobo

Shen HaoboPoet and publisher Shen Haobo was born in 1976 in Taixing, Jiangsu Province. He is a leading figure in the “Lower Body Poets” (下半身写作) contemporary poetry movement. Follow Shen on his Sina blog and Weibo account.

Following is a translation of Shen’s poem “My Motherland is Not Made of Love” (我的祖国并非由爱组成), originally published in September of last year [Chinese]. Amid an ongoing and nationwide security crackdown, the political relevance of the poem continues to resonate today.

My Motherland is Not Made of Love

My motherland is not made of love, my motherland is made of resentment

My motherland is not made from a beautiful spirit, my motherland is made from a monster

My motherland is not made of fresh flowers, my motherland is made of guns

My motherland is made of triggers and bullets, made from the bullets that strike its hazy face

My motherland is not made of a strong body, my motherland is stained with blood

My motherland is not made of prayers, my motherland is made of terror

Terror like an insect crying in the night, gnawing the marrow from the calves of our leg

My motherland is not made of confessions, my motherland is made of police

My motherland is not running, my motherland is the same as a nail

Made by the knock-kneed, my motherland is made of nails

My motherland is not made of kisses, my motherland is made of teeth

My motherland is not made of transparent light, my motherland is made of probes

My motherland is not made of gods, my motherland is made of snake skin

My motherland is not made from youth, my motherland is made from the lewd hearts of the elderly

My motherland is not made from the sound of bagpipes, my motherland is made from the sound of weeping

My motherland is not made from weeping, my motherland is made of endurance

My motherland is not made of endurance, my motherland is made of a soft flesh

My motherland is made of air-cured meat, my motherland is made of cancer

My motherland is not made of love, my motherland is made of choked emotion

My motherland is not made of love, my motherland is made of silence

My motherland is not made of love, my motherland is made of tightly shut eyes

My motherland is not made of love, so what can be done? There is so much love in my heart

It has so much love to give to the motherland — my motherland is not made of love.

2013/9/11

 

的祖国并非由爱组成

我的祖国并非由爱组成,我的祖国由怨恨组成

我的祖国并非由美丽的心灵组成,我的祖国由怪兽组成

我的祖国并非由鲜花组成,我的祖国由枪组成

我的祖国由扳机和子弹组成,由中弹者模糊的脸组成

我的祖国并非由强壮的身体组成,我的祖国由污血组成

我的祖国并非由祈祷组成,我的祖国由恐惧组成

恐惧像昆虫一样在深夜鸣叫,啃食我们小腿里的骨髓

我的祖国并非由忏悔组成,我的祖国由警察组成

我的祖国并非由奔跑组成,我的祖国由钉子一样

被敲弯了腰的人组成,我的祖国由钉子组成

我的祖国并非由亲吻组成,我的祖国由牙齿组成

我的祖国并非由透明的光组成,我的祖国由探头组成

我的祖国并非由神灵组成,我的祖国由蛇蜕组成

我的祖国并非由青春组成,我的祖国由老人淫荡的心组成

我的祖国并非由风笛组成,我的祖国由哭泣组成

我的祖国并非由哭泣组成,我的祖国由忍受组成

我的祖国并非由忍受组成,我的祖国由柔软的肉体组成

我的祖国由风干的腌肉组成,我的祖国由癌症组成,

我的祖国并非由爱组成,我的祖国由哽咽组成

我的祖国并非由爱组成,我的祖国由沉默组成

我的祖国并非由爱组成,我的祖国由紧闭的眼睛组成

我的祖国并非由爱组成,但是怎么办?我的心中有那么多的爱

有那么多的爱想留给祖国——我的祖国并非由爱组成 [Chinese source]

Translated by Natalie Ornell. Also see CDT’s translation of Shen Haobo’s “On the Plateau” and Martin Winter’s translation of Shen’s poem “Republic” (理想国).

June 18, 2014 6:22 PM
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