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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What I Owe Du Fu

Only by reading
You in Chinese
Did I discover the
Path to poetry
Through direct struggle
Gleaning feeling first
Before puzzling out
Each character’s meaning

Whereas with
Auden or Eliot
It seemed to work in reverse
For outcome less certain
Or so much the worse
Slogging through
Evident meaning
In order to grasp
As at straws
For what may
Once have been felt

So poetry came
That much easier
Once I abandoned
My native tongue
Where glib understanding
No longer barred the way

And only by following
Your path did I discern
The grammar of my
Own Mother Tongue
Where meaning and feeling
Come together as one

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