poet Bei Dao

Bei Dao

The Answer

Debasement is the password of the base,
Nobility the epitaph of the noble.
See how the gilded sky is covered
With the drifting twisted shadows of the dead.

The Ice Age is over now,
Why is there ice everywhere?
The Cape of Good Hope has been discovered,
Why do a thousand sails contest the Dead Sea?

I came into this world
Bringing only paper, rope, a shadow,
To proclaim before the judgment
The voice that has been judged:

Let me tell you, world,
I—do—not—believe!
If a thousand challengers lie beneath your feet,
Count me as number thousand and one.

I don't believe the sky is blue;
I don't believe in thunder's echoes;
I don't believe that dreams are false;
I don't believe that death has no revenge.

If the sea is destined to breach the dikes
Let all the brackish water pour into my heart;
If the land is destined to rise
Let humanity choose a peak for existence again.

A new conjunction and glimmering stars
Adorn the unobstructed sky now;
They are the pictographs from five thousand years.
They are the watchful eyes of future generations.

TRANSLATED BY BONNIE S. MCDOUGALL

Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 10, 2016

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Comments about The Answer by Bei Dao

  • Pranab K ChakrabortyPranab K Chakraborty (11/10/2016 5:27:00 AM)

    Let me tell you, world,
    I—do—not—believe! ..................

    Intense the forceful voice but it's another way of believing. Actually as a living person we can't escape from the trap throughout the universe. Not believing the traditional way of conceiving the outer world means I believe all these things by other way of define it. No believing means I believe my own entity where everything reflect as different tune and tone. Actually not-believing does not mean belief-less journey. Not believing means I believe my existence by which I can take the challenge of not-believing others.............Quiet bold and excellent by its approach and aesthetical point of view. Good poem indeed. Thanks for sharing by translation................10+
    Pranab k chakraborty

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