Salsa, a collection of 46 poems by the Taiwanese poet Hsia Yü, is an incredible volume of verse by one of the most engaging and innovation poets writing in Chinese today. First published at the very end of the last century, the Salsa poems, which are now in their seventh edition, showcase Hsia Yü’s fascination with music, dance, and the visual and performance arts; and each in their own way exemplifies the sumptuous musicality and interpretative open-endedness that are the signature characteristics of this most cosmopolitan of Chinese-language poets. “The Ripest Rankest Juiciest Summer Ever,” for instance, which was composed in “Cezanne country” in Aix-en-Provence, can be read simultaneously as a “flash history” of post-impressionist art, a Proustian sketch of the deliciously decadent lifestyle the poet enjoyed during the two years she was married to a provençal, and as a parable of the decline of the French Left in the face of a triumphant consumer culture and what Guy Debord has aptly called “The Society of the Spectacle.” “Tied Up and Waiting” and “Psychic Seductions,” on the other hand, which were written a few years later, after the poet was divorced and down and out in Paris, tease out the suggestive parallels between the visceral nature of reading and the pleasures of the flesh. Other recurring themes in this collection are the eros of conversation, the virtues of foreign travel and of being taken out of oneself, and the exhilarating vertige of “falling” in various senses of the word. The poems in this excerpt merely hint at the riches to be found in this volume.