Solid Geometry, 1908

By Ziying Yang

Solid Geometry—A Tribute

If I shall fold and reduce the time into
a pocketful of definite shapes:
a willow grove, a spiral staircase, women’s pearl buttons.
And rest them, one by one, at your doorsteps—
So on the same morning, when you retreat from your last sleep,
maybe—you could have all the world’s creations and kills collected under the sunlight—
Touched, quivered, yet began to live!
In spite of the eternal distortion of horizon I ventured,
I amaze at your cupidity of the divine disorder which
urges you, tilting a colored stone, to wonder: who will I be in this hour of
disquiet, on the day of doom?
Here beneath your feet,
ancient tribes on march, skulls whitened by centuries-old secrets, and fire—
the primitive fire upon your frail shoulder,
licks away the angels and puts out the green stars…
If I could only do this for you, my love—
to elate your fresh desires and thirsts,
I shall be contented.

(Eventually, if the time shall reduce me into
a shell, a mimosa, a song in the valley, a handful of dust,
and rest me near your hands and breaths—
I shall company you whom I’ve courted for so long and whom
I shall forever be inferior to—
and secretly, fit myself into your finger-ring for a memento forever.)

Image © Rodrigo Soldon 2 (

Image © Rodrigo Soldon 2 (


We were riding through the frosted fields at night
When winds were easy and moon in flight.

A sudden rosy light sprang up from the end of the forking path
Roused the weary ones gentle wonder:
Whose carriage creaked softly down the road
In a fleeting moment we did pass by?

One of us slowed his pony and whistled.
Did he also catch a glimpse of the sad brow
Under the black hair, white shawl floating in the dark, and
Trembling fingers fixing an earring?

That was many years ago. And yet again
Aroused by the same gentle wonder,
I put down the pen and think of her whom upon the path I meet no more.

Jiying_YangZiying Yang comes from China and has been studying in United States for three years. She is now a high school junior in Quarry Lane School, Dublin, CA. She has been writing Chinese poetry since middle school and has published poetry in Chinese literary magazines. As an international student who devotes herself into writing, Ziying seeks to integrate herself with and probe into the different cultural backgrounds through reading and writing. She is also passionate about films, dance, and travel.

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