Sunday, October 18, 2020

Facing Night: Poem in Sky Island Journal


A poem from the manuscript, Absence: Presence, 

was recently published in  

Sky Island Journal, Fall 2020 Issue.


Tu Fu/Du Fu


Absence: Presence is a collection of poems influenced by Classical Chinese poetry of the Tang Era (especially the work of Tu Fu, Li Po, and Han Shan ).


Li Po/Li Bai


I wrote the poem a couple of years ago, in October of 2018, after reading “Facing Night” by Tu Fu, in a translation by David Hinton.


Facing Night


In farmlands outside a lone city, our

River village sits among headlong waters

Deep mountains hurry brief winter light

Here. Tall trees calming bottomless wind,


Cranes glide in to misty shallows. Sharing

Our thatch roof, hens settle in. Tonight,

Lamplight scattered across koto and books.

All night long, I can see through my death.


Koto: The Japanese name for a plucked zither. The Chinese name is ‘guzheng,’ meaning ‘ancient zither.’


After reading the poem, I wandered outside: Mars above, rattle of dead stalks, stars…

The poem can be found at Sky Island Journal here.


BBC documentary on Du Fu




No comments:

Post a Comment