3 Dong Li Translations by Song Lin

By and | 1 February 2022

Notes from South Xinjiang

  1. The reckless god reads the braille of the desert.
  2. One night in Kupa, I received a telegram from Mars: there were traces of water.
  3. Dead rivers look like twisted mummies in the gallery of the sky.
  4. Language, dust of dust, flies on the long, long road.
  5. An oar stands before the boat-shaped coffin. Sailors of the desert sea, tell me, what kind of sail do you dream of?
  6. Business caravans head east, and west. The sun bakes eyebrows, beards, and crusty flatbreads.
  7. Go. Once you lie down, you run the risk of being air-dried.
  8. From one invisible border to another, I count those disappeared countries.
  9. A silkworm once dreamed of Rome; or rather, Rome once dreamed of a silkworm.
  10. Breeze in the dense forest, homonym of silk and porcelain.
  11. The Han princess Liu Xijun – Sappho of Wusun country – was married to a vast and endless homesickness.
  12. Under the statue of Kumarajiva, I thought: perhaps his intelligible translation saved Buddhism.
  13. On their pilgrimage to Chang’an, the three Buddhist masters walked in the opposite direction to the three wise men.
  14. If Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty knew that the Ferghana horse was a horse with a disease, would the history of Ferghana be re-written?
  15. The donors depicted on the murals have thin eyebrows.
  16. Stupa – navigation system of the desert.
  17. What a pity! Gan Ying saw the sea but did not know which one he saw.
  18. Petals of the mandala – one five-baht coin after another.
  19. The auricle of the crescent rises on the ruins where Xuanzang preached.
  20. In the dark labyrinth of the karez, flowing water looks for bright vineyards.
  21. Migration – from Sanskrit to Charian, Uighur to Chinese; over battlefields and millennia of forgetting, Maitrisimit flies into my vision like a phoenix.
  22. Another Uighur muqam: alas the musailaisi wine, the ice-cold beauty, come quickly and rub out my burning desire for you!
  23. In Kashgar, Shen Wei said to me: there are people wherever poplars grow.


  1. 莽荒的上帝读着沙漠的盲文。
  2. 库车之夜,我收到火星拍来的电报:这里曾有水的痕迹。
  3. 死去的河流像扭曲的干尸,在天空的陈列馆里。
  4. 语言,尘埃中的尘埃,在漫漫长路上飞扬。
  5. 桨,立在船形棺前。沙海的水手,告诉我,你梦想着什么样的航行呢?
  6. 商旅的驼队向东,向西,太阳烘烤着眉毛、胡子和馕。
  7. 走。一旦躺下,你将冒着被风干的危险。
  8. 从看不见的边界到边界,我细数那些消失了的国度。
  9. 有一只蚕梦见过罗马,或相反,罗马梦见过一只蚕。
  10. 胡杨林里的微风:丝与瓷的谐音。
  11. 汉公主刘细君——乌孙国的萨福,嫁给了广袤无边的乡愁。
  12. 在鸠摩罗什的塑像下,我想到,也许是他晓畅的译文拯救了佛教。
  13. 前往长安朝觐的三大士,走着与三博士相反的路径。
  14. 设若汉武帝知道,汗血马是一种病马,《大宛列传》是否将改写?
  15. 壁画上的供养人有着细细的眉眼。
  16. 佛塔——沙漠导航系统。
  17. 多么大的遗憾!甘英看见了海,却不知是哪个海。
  18. 曼佗罗花瓣——一枚枚五铢钱。
  19. 玄奘讲经处的颓垣,升起月牙的耳轮。
  20. 在坎儿井的黑暗迷宫里,流水寻找着明媚的葡萄园。
  21. 迁徙——从梵语、吐火罗语、回鹘语到汉语;逃过战火和千年的遗忘,《弥勒会见记》
    像 凤凰飞入我的视野。
  22. 又一首《醉汉木卡姆》:木塞莱斯酒啊,冰冷的美人,快浇灭我对你的欲火吧!
  23. 在喀什,沈苇对我说:有白杨树的地方就会有人烟。
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