Flying clouds over the Jade Mountains
Are like the changes of history
—Du Fu
Flowers were blooming so gaily,
and all around was green
peaceful and dreamingly
like the pandas in the trees.
Poetry echoed in tongues
one couldn’t understand.
Chinese poems were shouted,
announcing The Change?
The dance and the show were fascinating.
But the poet remained thoughtful,
meditating and questioning
the future of Time.

Translation by Stanley Barkan in cooperation with the author

Remembering Chengdu International Poetry Festival 2019


At the Chengdu poetry festival, the Chinese poets did not read, but shouted their poems; by “Change” the poet refers
to the USA, losing its power as world leader, gradually being replaced by the Chinese pushing to replace the US from
power. These Modern Times are characterized by emptiness, by protests and demagoguery. The poet, Du Fu, alike,
who lived in times of turmoil, is worried about the future of Humanity.