Thursday, May 22, 2008

Poetry Coming to Front Royal!

Well, I've finally hooked up with some artsy folks here in Front Royal and it looks like Jose (my ever faithful companion) and I will be reading on July 17 somewhere on Main Street. We're still working out the details. There is now a Third Thursday Art Walk in Front Royal and more shops are opening up. A new bar called the Lucky Star Bar is coming and a gourmet wine and cheese shop. Yeeha! We're just bursting with kultcha!

The reading in Lexington at Studio 11 was fantastic. Lexington is a beautiful town and Jeanne Larsen and Mattie Quesenberry Smith were so much fun to read with. But I really want to know how Mattie manages to write anything while home schooling her 10 kids--I mean, oh my gosh!

Here are 2 beautiful poems from Jeanne's latest book of translations from the Chinese --Willow, Wine, Mirror, Moon:

Poem is attributed (!) to Pei Yixian, dates unknown, Tang dynasty
(618-907 CE):

Winds lift and curl the level
sands. Sun slips
into their dusk. Signal
smoke. A distant guess--
nomads' flocks on the move.
called up, captured, gone sick
in the camps: some
heroes never come home.
I'll wear out my gaze on
barbarous skies. I'll
cry over clouds
on the northern front.

Once, love, you patrolled
the western tribes. Deployed,
you took war's force
to be no heavy thing.
Now you're gone.
You're one of the dead.
What point, this leaving
a woman like me, here
to hate the dull
half-light of another day's end?

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