Portrait of a Wordsmith Getting Newly Old

Born with half a dozen defects and deformities
But always trying to be a damned perfectionist

Never able to pass any English test in a Chinese high school
But managed to obtain a Canadian PhD in English literature

Growing up in the lowest physical conditions
But having the highest quests for spiritual life

With much fewer needs for money than a true puritan
But working like an unserviced coin-making machine

Deep in love with nature
But prisoned in a big city

A man of few words by nature
But making a living by teaching

Enjoys expressing himself most
But has few readers or listeners

Cherished a young dream about becoming a political leader
But living a self-exiled marginalized life most of the time

Never really cared for by any human
But full of love for other fellow beings

Yuan Changming, nine-time Pushcart and one-time Best of the Net nominee, published monographs on translation before moving out of China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1289 others across 38 countries. Read other articles by Yuan, or visit Yuan's website.