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Xiao Qiang: Stars

June 30, 2007

1989 Democracy Movement veteran Jiang Pinchao, now living in Los Angeles, compiled 385 poems to mark the 18th anniversary of the June 4th crackdown. Advance drafts of the book, reproduced in pirated editions, have been confiscated by officials throughout China. This is translations of a small selection of the poems.

Stars (星星)

Xiao Qiang (萧强)


That night, I was so tired.
Once asleep, I didn’t wake.

When the tanks came grinding past the tents,
I was still in the midst of the sweetest dreams.

Our flesh was cleft in the freezing tracks,
blood seeping by inches into the slabs;

Our youth
Sprang up with the roaring flames.

We watch yet over the square,
The brightest stars of dawn.

From “Beijing Notebook” (北京诗笺)