Friday, July 18, 2014


Driving east through Idaho, on the first day of our journey to Michigan, all day we traveled through the smoke and haze from fires burning all over the American and Canadian West. And long ago, Li Po wrote to another journeyer,


Autumn rains ending in this river town,
and wine gone, you lone sail soars away.

Setting out across billows and waves, your
family settles back for the journey home

past islands lavish with blossoms ablaze,
willow filigree crowding in over the banks

And after you've gone, nothing left to do.
I go back and sweep off the fishing pier.

Li Po from The Selected Poems of Li Po, translated by David Hinton. Kindle location 353.

I love the eight-line simplicity of this, and the sensible ending. I love that it has come down to us over centuries to be translated so many times. I also love the elegant simplicity of black and white photographs. This Quality Inn motel room in Rexburg, Idaho has three large ones (about 18x24inches) that are unsigned, so I don't know whose work they are. One is of a lone tree on an islet and its reflected image and two are arrangements of trunks (perhaps in the redwood forest) with the light slanting through. I resolve to work more with black and white images. Resolutions. . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment