My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree
- Shortlisted for the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize
Upon the magnificent extravagance of my beloved stilettos,
I want the world back. I’ve been alive—could it be?—
Near a century. My face has closed up shop.
My feet are a desolate country.
For a single woman, youth is a feast that lasts
Only until it is gone.
You didn’t come to live with me.—from “A Single Woman’s Bedroom”
Passionate, rigorous, and inimitable, the poems in My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree celebrate the joys of the body, ponder the miracle of compassion, and proclaim an abiding reverence for the natural world. Presented in the original Chinese alongside English translations by Changtai Bi and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith, this collection introduces American readers to a boundless spirit—one “composing an explosion.”
- “Even posthumously, Yi Lei remains one of the most revolutionary voices in Chinese poetry. This volume presents the expertly translated English poems alongside their Chinese originals for a beautiful and essential collection for any poetry lover.”—Ms. Magazine
- “These poems in English are a tour de force. . . . In our own moment of urgency, this collection is, as Smith says, essential.”—RHINO
- “Yi Lei’s astonishing poems, steeped in disquiet and desire, are at once aching and incendiary. Tracy K. Smith and Changtai Bi have coaxed them into English respectfully, inventively, and gorgeously. . . . A resonant conversation between two exceptional poets.”—Jhumpa Lahiri