Books Magazine

Sea Summit by Yi Lu

By Pamelascott

Influenced by both the "grey, sinister sea" that came ashore where her artist parents were sent during the Cultural Revolution, and the beauty of the sea in the books she read as a child, Sea Summit is a collection of paradox and questioning. The sea is an impossible force to the poet: It is both a destructive force that predates man, and something to carry with us wherever we go, to be put "by an ancient rattan chair," so we can watch "it's waves toss" from above. Exploring the current ecological crisis and our complicated relationship to the wildness around us, Yi Lu finds something more complicated than a traditional nature poet might in the uneasy connection between herself and the forces of nature represented by the boundless ocean.

Translated brilliantly by the acclaimed poet Fiona Sze-Lorrain, this collection of poems introduces a major contemporary Chinese poet to English-language readers.


[suddenly I found the only stirring in the fields / the tails of four crows EARLY SPRING]


(Milkweed Editions, 10 November 2015, 208 pages, ebook, borrowed from @natpoetrylib via @OverDriveLibs, translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain)



These poems were just okay. I'm not sure if something is lost in translation but nothing really stood out about the poems. Many of the poems explored nature themes and to be honest, these sorts of poems leave me cold. The language used is very descriptive and beautiful at times. Many of the poems were very nice but I felt they had no real depth.


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