Swordsmen in white robes offer rose bouquets
as a politeness, before swordplay starts.
The silver blades that nearly pierce their hearts
are lighter than the air. The words they say

a mystery to me and the music shrill
The swordsmen leap and dance and nearly fly
and in their battles random people die
for getting in their way. All swordsmen kill

but I have no idea why these shed blood,
I don’t speak Cantonese or Mandarin
the tongues soundtrack and subtitles are in.
Perhaps in English, I’d have understood.

But mostly we watch life, see it, are blind
as hands we can’t see stab us from behind.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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5 Responses to

  1. I am trying to identify the film from the poem. The poem is beautiful. I am, however, such a Hong Kong film nerd…

    • rozkaveney says:

      Three Swordsmen with Bridget Lin and Andy Lau

      • Ah, okay. I’ve seen that one, but some time ago. It’s one of the films that is a snapshot of something much longer (I think a novel) and thus the plot is highly compacted. But it’s mainly about someone who’s been falsely accused, in the midst of a martial school rivalry. And Brigitte Lin Qing-Hsia’s character is male, not a cross-dressing woman as in other films.

      • rozkaveney says:

        That makes some sense of the parts of it I watched – am I right in thinking that a male actor had over-dubbed Brigitte Lin?

      • Most films of that period were dubbed, and often not by the main actors, so it’s likely.

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