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Cover of issue #223

Current Issue: #223 Agency & Affect (Winter 2014)

Canadian Literature's Issue 223 (Winter 2014), Agency & Affect, is now available. The issue features articles by Ranbir K. Banwait, Paul Huebener, Lisa Marchi, Veronica Austen, and Andrea Beverley, as well as an interview with Laurence Hill by Kerry Lappin-Fortin, along with new Canadian poetry and book reviews.

Alley in the Rain

by Wenting Liao, Wangshu Dai, Michael Bullock

Carrying an oil-paper umbrella
wandering alone in the deep, deep
and desolate rain-filled alley
I expect to meet
a girl steeped in the sadness of lilac

She will be steeped in the colors of lilac
sad in the rain
sad and wandering

She will be wandering in this lonely alley
carrying an oil-paper umbrella
like me
just like me
walking in silence
solitary and sad

She will approach in silence
draw close and gaze deep, deep into my eyes
she will drift past
like a figure in a dream

Like lilac
drifting in a dream
the girl will drift away from me
the girl will drift away from me
further and further, still in silence
she will pass a broken-down fence
and out of the rain-filled alley

Amid the melancholy music of the rain
her color will fade
her fragrance will fade
fade away like her deep, deep gaze
and lilac sadness

I expect that as I wander alone
in the deep, deep and desolate rain-filled alley
carrying an oil-paper umbrella
I shall see a girl drift past
steeped in the sadness of lilac





Wangshu Dai (1905-50), the writer of the poem Alley in the Rain, was a
renowned poet of his time in China. He also translated many European
works of literature into Chinese, including the French poet Charles Pierre
Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal. Alley in the Rain is his most distinguished
poem, for which he was given a unique epithet, "Poet of Rainy Alley."

Wenting Liao, born and raised in China, received her M.A. in Chinese
literature. After immigrating to Canada in 2000, she attended a PhD
program in Asian studies at UBC. She is the author of numerous Chinese
poems and stories. She is currently devoting herself to pursuing a career in
counselling psychology.

Michael Bullock, Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing, University of British
Columbia, is the author of numerous books of poetry and fiction. He is now
living at a four-hundred-year-old cottage in Harrow-on-the-Hill, surrounded
by the garden that inspired his latest collection, The Enchanted Garden.

This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #197 (Summer 2015), Predators and Gardens. (pg. 96 - 97)

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