Poems

《不要恐高》 bù yào kǒng gāo


带着烟去阳台上跳楼
dài zhe yān qù yáng tái shàng tiào lóu 
或带着跳楼
hùo dài zhe tiào lóu
的念头
de niàn tou
去阳台上抽烟
qù yáng tái shàng chōu yān
五楼并不高
wǔ lóu bìng bù gāo
死的时候只会在一楼
sǐ de shí hou zhǐ hùi zài yī lóu 
住再高
zhù zài gāo
也不会害怕
yě bù hùi hài pà
实际上我活得很好
shí jì shàng wǒ húo de hěn hǎo
每天都要跟
měi tīan dōu yào gēn
住在一楼的人打招呼
zhù zài yī lóu de rén dǎ zhāo hu
 

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Comments (1)

William Locke IV

Great poem and translation! I just discovered this site via Pathlight: New Chinese Writing at Paper Republic, and am really glad I did! I have one question about the finished translation. The final two lines of the poem are:

每天都要跟
住在一楼的人打招呼

every day I say hello to my neighbors
on the ground floor

However, my first thought on reading 每天都要。。。 was to translate it as “every day I want to…” Is there some clue in the text that tells you 要 in this line should be understood as something the narrator does as opposed to something the narrator wants to do?

Thanks for the wonderful reading!

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