“I swallowed a moon made of iron”. Xu Lizhi, Worker, Poet.

Hummus For Thought

Xu Lizhi (1990-2014). Source: LibCom Xu Lizhi (1990-2014). Source: LibCom

我咽下一枚铁做的月亮
I swallowed a moon made of iron
他们把它叫做螺丝
They refer to it as a nail
我咽下这工业的废水,失业的订单
I swallowed this industrial sewage, these unemployment documents
那些低于机台的青春早早夭亡
Youth stooped at machines die before their time
我咽下奔波,咽下流离失所
I swallowed the hustle and the destitution
咽下人行天桥,咽下长满水锈的生活
Swallowed pedestrian bridges, life covered in rust
我再咽不下了
I can’t swallow any more
所有我曾经咽下的现在都从喉咙汹涌而出
All that I’ve swallowed is now gushing out of my throat
在祖国的领土上铺成一首
Unfurling on the land of my ancestors
耻辱的诗
Into a disgraceful poem.

‘I swallowed a moon made of iron’ – 19 December 2013, translated by LibCom’s Nao


I came across the work of Xu Lizhi, and couldn’t stop reading. Xu was a worker at Foxconn, the company best known for producing products such as iPhone, BlackBerry, iPad, Kindle, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Wii U in, let’s say, ‘controversial’ working conditions.

That I put the word…

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2 thoughts on ““I swallowed a moon made of iron”. Xu Lizhi, Worker, Poet.”

  1. Thank you Ned….
    Sometimes in life when there is no one to hear you or reach you it is the only solution

  2. Very true but sometimes swallowing the moon gives me gas – so I swallow Venus instead. Once, when Venus was especially close, I saw a Venus beam on the ocean down in Baja – can still see it now – was like a miracle!

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