Saturday, January 18, 2014

Robins in snow

Of course, this was last winter. Now I am in California and actually have green grass in my front yard. I only knew these were robins when I enlarged the picture. They had come back a little early; the red breasts gave them away. It was a beautiful after-snow day above The Little Union Canal.

The last few days, I have been having a series of nutty, various and time-consuming, computer and update problems. At first my anxious soul screamed "VIRUS" but that seems not to be the case. Mostly, whenever I go through these things I learn a lot, but I kind of wish equipment and software played nicely together without all the hassles. Oh, well.

I am really enjoying the book, Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch, Harcourt, 2006. Hirsch reworked and rearranged his newspaper essays for this discursive anthology. Since the book is several years old, used copies are available and cheap. Get yourself one; dip in! In the final essay, FAREWELL, he uses Basho's verse:

another year gone--
hat in my hand,
sandals on my feet

which pleased me very much because of my interest in haiku!

In the same essay, he quotes Red Pine's version of Li Po's


Blue mountains to the north of the walls,
White river winding about them;
Here we must make separation
And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.
Mind like a floating white cloud,
Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances
Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance.
Our horses neigh to each other
as we are departing.

(pages 404-405)

Oh, these small, soft, beautiful ancient Chinese poems! We will have to do more of this!

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