He studied under a famous teacher, by using moulds
he perfected his skills, leaving behind models
that would be replaced by other masterpieces
praise from the masters, rush orders from customers
now he’s left the crowds of people
focused, deep in meditation
he can pick up any stone and carve it
and expect a life to emerge
a figure, perhaps not beautiful
perhaps it can speak, perhaps it will remain silent

Maybe she was always groping around, starting with the first rope
she picked it up, wove it, she tangled
the connections, without a master, without a model
when she finally found the center and the direction of the web
inside the ball of thread, she knew
life had already begun, she turned careless
using the happiest of emotions
perhaps she’ll be famous for her creations, perhaps she’ll stay nameless

Translated by Eleanor Goodman and Wang Ao(顾爱玲、王敖译)