While wandering in the Motherland
I often dreamed of the scenery of Nanyang
Though I’d never tasted a durian
I’d heard that those went to Nanyang
would forget their homes

I have seen coconut plantations in films.
My longing for Nanyang‘s scenery has grown –
those towering and majestic trees
are more stirring than Byron‘s poems

Now that I have been to Nanyang
have looked at durians
and loitered in coconut plantations
my thoughts of Nanyang have altered completely.

Now as I walk on its streets
l hear money deriding me —
“You have to obey me!”
“l have absolute power here!”

I see a cluster of unemployed men
men who spent the first half of their lives in the mines.
and now cough in terminal consumption.
On their faces I see engraved:
“There is no sun in Nanyang.”

On the road
I see rickshaw-pullers moving side by side with bullock carts
In this world, there is no difference between man and animal
There is only the clink of gold.

Walking on the road
I seem to hear money scoffing all around me
A van dashes past me
and I see its driver’s tense face

A face so tense that
The blood in him seems to surge –
I think his eyes have seen a sun
even though there is no sun in Nanyang

By Jiang Shangfeng
Published 1930
Translated from Mandarin