Sunday, June 01, 2014

Just one duckling

You have to look carefully, down there in the lower right corner. He did have siblings, but they didn't show by the time I got my camera. This seems like another case for ancient Chinese poetry. And here, over thousands of years, and through the magic of printed language is Jie Xisi from The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry, Kindle location 6029.

A Portrait of Ducks

Spring grass is very fine yet flourishing.
In spring, baby ducks gradually hatch and are raised,
their velvet hair starting to show color.
They really know how to quack out their names!

Jie Xisi  (1274-1344)

And then there is this in my new Merwin book!


Nothing that I do is finished
so I keep returning to it
lured by the notion that I long
to see the whole of it at last
completed and estranged from me

but no the unfinished is what
I return to as it leads me on
I am made whole by what has just
escaped me as it always does
I am made of incompleteness
the words are not there in words

oh gossamer gossamer breath
moment daylight life untouchable
by no name with no beginning

what do we think we recognize

W. S. Merwin, The Moon Before Morning, Copper Canyon Press, 2014, page 92.

Notice how the gossamer thread of this poem gives up its meaning without the use of punctuation!
Sleep tight!

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