Author: 劉如芳 Claire Liu
Summer – June and July – in Taipei
by Claire Liu
Translation: Claire Liu / Yenyi Juo
Tchaikovsky’s Four Seasons – June,
is a summer barcarolle.
The oars gently sway
in the summer night breeze.
The pebbles smooth as eggs,
The weeping willows caress
In minor key, melancholic,
in major key, midsummer memories.
In the bushes by the riverbank,
where fireflies flicker,
lives mischievous Puck from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”
toying with romance,
turning enemies into lovers.
With the arrival of July,
The humid heat expands the lungs,
stagnant like a rest symbol,
makes one long for refreshment.
afternoon thunderstorms are
cool eye drops,
the stars in the night sky sparkles,
into believing that one’s eyesight has been corrected,
when in fact it’s just one’s miasma
that’s been cured by nature.
This poem was composed in June 2022, before my arrival in the United States to pursue a degree in Speech-Language Pathology. It captures the essence of summers from my past in Taipei City, blending memories and emotions with a
dash of imagination and life’s flavors in a subtle manner. The Chinese language differs greatly from English, as a single word can convey multiple meanings and evoke various sceneries. This enables montage-like images to be conveyed with brevity. This telegraphic language is a common characteristic found in Chinese poetry.