Forged in Poetry and Fire
What is a symbol? Across He Sun’s writing practice, this question is made again and again, but never answered. The clouds in a childhood dream, the twin movements of the Moon and the Sun, the shadow of a lover. It seems that every sign she describes is both a simple object in her daily life and the part of an enigmatic prophecy. It’s this special relationship with her surroundings that morph her poems in a vibrant dialogue with the unknown.
No one wrote me a letter this winter
Except for the sky sending clouds every day
These distant letters
Entrusting me to myself
Be a good animal, spread kindness to the world
Eat on time, sleep on time, and when necessary
You can dream, cry and look for love
Every day I carefully open these letters
With truth in my hands, in my feet
When it’s dusk, walking through this Italian square
I want to write back to God
That I’m fine, sometimes lost, often happy
Never vanished, with my tough body
When the sun is strong, I accept without shyness and give eagerly
When the rain is strong, I try to keep my heart dry
I want to reply to you I am fine
Fine as those bursting bubbles
Fine as those flocks of birds flying south
Fine as an otter – its belly exposed in the afternoon sun
Fine as a dewdrop on a blade of grass, in the field, early morning
Every evening I walk through the Italian squares
Thinking like this
Please see me
Please see us
Every evening, my beating heart
Is a letter to God in reply
Ten years ago, I rose my eyes and saw the moon beyond layers of black clouds. In that moment, a strong perception confessed me that the world might be like a well. Later I saw the same clouds pushing against the sky above my head, chasing me strangely, as I was running desperately on the grass with bare feet, watching my back, sprinting, sure they would catch me. Finally I laid exhausted on the ground, glad that in the end they did not manage to swallow me up. I hated them for keeping people grounded, deprived of wings to fly and reach the moon. I hated them for preventing us from escaping our planet.
I had a childhood forged in poetry and fire, full of improbable nightmares. Growing up, I wanted to tell others how moving it was.
The inverted tree shadows overlap with me
A rainy season in the body
But no thunder
I – call – your – descent
The fragrance of osmanthus is my nostalgia
My naked innocence raising the sails
The wind chimes within my eardrum
Ringing all afternoon long.
There is an abstract light around you
Making the curve of time more tortuous
You are the island of lust, an innocent conspiracy
And my rind.
I want to waste time with you.
When I am bored, I do ballet on your eyelashes
When I am tired, I fall asleep in your palm.
Text by He Sun
Born in Jlin, the northern chinese province on the border with Russia and North Korea, raised in Beijing and based in Milan since 2019, where she is studying contemporary Italian literature, while working as an author and a model.
Reading by He Sun.
Video by Ruben Spini.
Ultravioletto is a newborn publishing house devoted to writing practices beyond the visible spectrum, blossomed outside the publishing market through mystery, manners, and make believe. Original poems and purple prose from a different author every month, with parallel traduction and video format.