zhou xiaotian, born in qu county, sichuan province in 1948, professor of the school of literature and journalism, sichuan university, winner of poetry award of the 6th lu xun literary prize, the author ofchinese quatrain poetry history, chinese literature history by genre (poetry volume),zhou xiaotian's talks on art,sipping tea - zhou xiaotian's poetry selection and xiao tian's poetry, a series of 12 books.
a lady boy
by zhou xiaotian
tr. zhao yanchun
mei plays peking opera females the best;
fan plays canton opera males to the crest.
cross-dressed cross-cast is the cream of art;
need we off stage tell their gender apart?
colored lights illumine pers figure tall;
pers female charm in mist does all enthral.
pers shining teeth and electrifying glance
eclypse the girls doing their go-go dance.
singing a duet, swiveling to and fro,
pers baritone so deep, pers alto so low.
per throws pers hair up with ethereal balm,
and sways pers limbs, a whirligig of charm.
this lady boy was fostered in a lane,
so per could pers poor parents sustain.
the fold per was pushed in is like the sea;
a naughty child per could no longer be.
pers nature had been recast from the heart
before hormone reshaped pers outer part.
to learn such an art is the cruelest thing,
crueler than any worldly sling or sting.
the injections run all against health care;
the strict diet does pers vitals wear and tear.
such wear and tear is not hated or cursed;
like a night blooming cereus, per will burst.
beauty contests and acting pave pers way,
all those pageants, stages and colors gay.
visitors come from all parts, far and near;
an income doubles because of per mere.
pers sacrifice is not common, but so great,
which i respect and would much tolerate.
don’t jeer per’s fragile and will soon decay;
scores of years later, in dust you’ll all stay.
this beauty can but be watched from afar,
per’s not your toy, nope, whoever you are.
this i tell friends wise, back from overseas;
never spread this as an eerie tale, please.
赵彦春，博士生导师，上海大学中国文化翻译研究中心主任，国际学术期刊translating china 主编，国际汉学与教育研究会会长、传统文化翻译与国际传播专业委员会会长、中国先秦史学会国学双语研究会执行会长，中国语言教育研究会副会长，其翻译作品，被誉为“有史以来最美汉英翻译”“神翻译”“神还原”。
biosketch of the translator:
zhao yanchun: professor of english at shanghai university, director of center for translation of chinese culture, editor of translating china, president of international sinology and education, president of chinese culture translation and international promotion, executive president of chinese classics bilinguals’ association, vice president of china language education association, a proponent of the principle of translating poesie into poesie and classic into classic. his translations have been widely reported and acclaimed as the unprecedented chinese-english translation, the best, the choice, the cream.