To Be Elsewhere

By Hsia Yü Hsia Yu

Translated from the Chinese by Karen An-hwei Lee Read the translator's notes

We met in a coastal village
spent a lovely night without leaving an address
going separate ways. Three years later
we meet again by coincidence.
The whole
three years spun a novel
we abandoned:
They fail to recognize themselves
as though meeting in another story
for an encounter.
One asks: Who are you, so cold and weary
The other says: I only know a thread is loose on my sweater
            The more you pull it, the more it lengthens
            until I completely vanish.

Source: Poetry (June 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2011


Hsia Yü (also Xia Yu) is the author of several volumes of poetry, most recently Pink Noise (2007). A founding editor of the Taiwanese avant-garde literary zine, Xianzai Shi (Poetry now), she currently resides in Taipei where she works as a lyricist and translator.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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