© 2010 . All rights reserved.

Hai Zi translated by Liu

Liu is an English major who helped us American faculty out at the hotel on the campus at Wuhan University by making life easier with quick thoughtful attention. And he was kind enough to do a translation of the poet Hai Zi for me when I asked him.

Hai Zi (1964-1989) is a popular poet right now in China. Everybody seems to love him. He was unknown at the time of his death when he lay down in the path of a train in Shanhaiguan on his 25th birthday with a copy of Walden, Kon Tiki, the Bible, and some short stories by Joseph Conrad by his side. The poem recited by Liu, On Facing the Sea with Spring Blossoms, is one of his most popular. It is said the Chinese see in his death the sacrifice of agricultural life for the industrial that followed the Cultural Revolution. Hai Zi escaped any harm during that awful time (when the educated were persecuted) because he was just a country boy in Anhui Province. He entered Beijing University at the age of 15, a kind of wunderkind

I’m afraid the video I did with Liu was last minute, the afternoon before leaving. There was a crying child, trucks rumbling by, hotel guests on cell phones, and it was a hot sweaty day too, but we did manage to get something down with Liu doing a fine job.







Be a happy person from tomorrow on
Feeding the horse
Chopping the wood
Traveling around the world
Caring for crops and vegetables
From tomorrow on
I have a house facing the sea
Where flowers’ eyes open and see

Writing to every friend and relative
Tell them of my happiness
What the happy lightning tells me
I will tell everybody
Name every mountain and river with a touching name

Strangers, I wish you good luck
Hope you have a brilliant prosperity
Hope your romance comes to reality
Hope you gain your felicity
My wish is just to face the sea
Where flowers’ eyes open and see


Hai Zi


  1. vincentjtomeo

    I too, am a poet. I enjoyed your reading both in English and Chinese. If you would like to hear me read, go to my Blog:vincentjtomeo.com

Leave a Reply