Archives for posts with tag: Chinese poets

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IDEAL
by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

I did not know beforehand what would count for me as a new color. Its beauty is an analysis
of things I believe in or experience, but seems to alter events very little. The significance of a bird
flying out of grapes in a store relates to the beauty of the color of the translucency of grapes.
There is a space among some objects on a table that reminded her of a person, the way the bird reminded her,
a sense of the ideal of the space she would be able to see. Beauty can look like this around objects.
A plastic bag on a bush, moving slightly, makes an alcove, a glove or mist, holding the hill.
Time can look like this. The plane of yourself separates from the plane of spaces between objects,
an ordered succession a person apprehends, in order to be reminded.

PAINTING: “Sparrows Among the Grapes,” Chinese brush painting by Virginia Lloyd-Davies, joyfulbrush.com, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing, the daughter of a Chinese mother and an American father who was the son of Dutch immigrants. Her mother was a mathematician, and her maternal grandmother received a college education in prerevolutionary China. Her father was employed at the American Embassy in Chungking, and later pursued Far Eastern studies at Harvard University. Her family moved to the United States when she was a year old. She earned a BA from Reed College and an MFA from Columbia University. Berssenbrugge is the author of The Heat Bird (1983), winner of the American Book Award; Empathy (1989), winner of the PEN West Award; Sphericity (1993); Endocrinology (1997), a collaboration with the artist Kiki Smith; Four Year Old Girl (1998), winner of the Western States Book Award; Nest (2003); and I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems (2006). Berssenbrugge lives in New Mexico, where she has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and in New York City. In both locations, she has been influenced by and collaborated with local visual artists, including Kiki Smith and Richard Tuttle, her husband. Her latest collection is Hello, the Roses (New Directions, 2013), available at Amazon.com.

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SNOW RIVER
by Liu Zongyuan (Translated by Henry Hughes)

A thousand mountains without a bird
Ten thousand miles without seeing a soul
A boat and an old man in a straw raincoat,
alone, fishing in the icy river of melted snow.

Photo: Chris McLennan (detail), National Geographic photo of the day, 8/31/2010.

“Snow River” is found in The Art of Angling: Poems About Fishing, Edited by Henry Hughes. This beautiful — and highly recommended — book is available at Amazon.com.

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SNOW RIVER

by Liu Zongyuan (Translated by Henry Hughes)

A thousand mountains without a bird

Ten thousand miles without seeing a soul

A boat and an old man in a straw raincoat,

alone, fishing in the icy river of melted snow.

Photo: Chris McLennan (detail), National Geographic photo of the day, 8/31/2010.

“Snow River” is found in The Art of Angling: Poems About Fishing, Edited by Henry Hughes. This beautiful — and highly recommended — book is available at Amazon.com.