The Winter Solstice Book | Gao Pengcheng #poetry

This week was the Winter Solstice in Australia.

On the 21st June the Southern Hemisphere celebrated the shortest day of the year; whilst the Northern Hemisphere celebrated the longest (in terms of daylight hours).

Scientists and astronomers consider the solstice to be the beginning of winter (or summer). Because they use the solstices to mark the seasons, each year the length and time of the seasons can be a little different.

Meteorologists, however, use the beginning of the month to mark the season. This makes for consistent and predictable periods of time that help them with weather forecasting.

However, the winter solstice doesn’t also mean that it’s the coldest day of the year. The earth still contains some heat leftover from our summer and autumn. The coldest day of the year is still a month or so away.

The poem below, reflects my mood in winter perfectly!

The Winter Solstice Book | Gao Pengcheng (translated by Ouyang Yu) 

You’ll age and weaken one day 
When you have a solitary walk in the garden, wearing the
Dark-green coat.
Apart from it, there is no other green
You’ll take a rest, leaning against the gigantic tree, plunging into deep thoughts
In its heavy shade 
As if seeking asylum
The freshest parts of the fruit, hanging on the branches, in our memory 
The beings on the petals, gone missing in the spring
Our fragrant hearts, once filled with honey
Are now scars and holes 
Like a wintry honeycomb, an abandoned building
My dear, that is a fact of life
Solitary, dark, but not as bad as despair 

Gao Pengcheng, also known as, Shaiyanren, lives in Ningbo, a coastal city in Zhejiang province. He is a teacher and a journalist. His poems focus on museums and time. Ouyang Yu is a Melbourne-based poet in his own right. He has published over 90 books. He co-founded and edits Australia’s only Chinese literary journal, Otherland.

This post is part of A Poem For a Thursday with Jennifer @Holds Upon Happiness

6 thoughts on “The Winter Solstice Book | Gao Pengcheng #poetry

  1. LOL Brona, what you need is to spend seven weeks in the heat and humidity of Indonesia (and no airconditioned cocktails by the pool). I couldn’t wait to get home and feel the cold wind on my face. My husband picked me up from the airport with my warm woolly handknit to wear on our way to where he’d parked the car, and I was in heaven!


  2. Hi Brona, is there any chance you could have a FB option for comments here. it seems to be the only way I can comment easily without everything disappearing. It was freezing at our place last night – first time I’d really felt the cold this winter.


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