Sonnet in Split Infinitives

Yuan Changming

To really stay far apart from each other
Within the same inner space. To almost 
Completely have gone to the far end
To not spill darkness over the horizon 

Of mind. To in this manner treat
Their loved ones. To heavily knock before 
Struggling to enter the backdoor of God’s heart
To totally ignore the rules & conventions

To boldly go when no women 
Have gone before. To nobly
Maintain a low profile 
With tyrannical pride

To surely & steadily go along. To deeply 
Drive 1 into 0. To ever yang with yin.


Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include ten Pushcart nominations, the 2018 Naji Naaman's Literary (Honour) Prize, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline and nearly 1500 others worldwide. “Sonnet in Split Infinitives” is a classical literary form that can be taken as a symbol of war as a ‘classical form’ of human existence. Within this highly traditional form, everything, including both language and life itself, has become a cleft ‘in-finitive’ or fragment, be it an adverbial of purpose or result, as it is often used in a sentence, something always to be avoided in a normal (or peaceful) situation, something that can never be completed during wartime.