Sunday, April 29, 2007

 

Poem of the Day

THE CHINESE

having neither heaven nor hell
to live up to
did not dramatize themselves
did not paint large heroic nudes

this lack of operatics
this taste for unpresume
may have inclined them to their modesties
of subtle silence and short verse
also the pure please
of one sprig of peach
all day in a bare room

in their landscapes the last thing the eye
will find among the there-firsts
of water rock and sky
is the one brush stroke man
the courteously diffident
tactfully uninsistent
tiny I

this is well-balanced composition
this is stepping sensitively as deer do
this is as a god would see it
and true

—R.E. Sebenthall,
   Acquainted with a chance of bobcats

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