Feng Chih (1905-1993) was a Chinese poet, writer and translator. He was also the director and then honorary director of the Institute of Foreign Literature.
We often pass a night warm and intimate
In an unfamiliar room whose shape
In the daytime we have no way to know,
Let alone its past, its future. The plain
Endlessly stretches before our window.
We vaguely remember the road we came by
In the dusk: such is our knowledge.
Tomorrow, we will leave and return no more.
Close our eyes then! Let these warm, intimate nights
And unfamiliar places weave in our heart:
Our life is like the plain outside the window.
Upon the misty plain we recognise
A tree, a flash of lake-light; within the boundlessness
Is hidden the forgotten past, the seen-unseen future.
Translated by Wai-Lim Yip
*Third World Resurgence No. 339/340, 2019, p 60