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Well. I am becoming decrepit, children. I have a phlegmy cough, a bad… - vaclav [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
vaclav

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[Jun. 26th, 2007|11:06 am]
vaclav
Well. I am becoming decrepit, children. I have a phlegmy cough, a bad attitude, and only one hand that works.

But. It's summer in new york. Hot, sticky, and concrete, my favorite season. In honor of the first day above 90 degrees, I present to you my favorite-ever Poetry In Motion poem. (It took me years to track it down--it wasn't anthologized, and it hasn't been frequently translated, apparently. To my knowledge it has only been published in one book, which was presented to me on the Occasion of my Birthday this year. )


Too Much Heat, Too Much Work

It’s the fourteenth of August, and I’m too hot
To endure food, or bed. Steam and the fear of scorpions
Keep me awake. I’m told the heat won't fade with Autumn.

Swarms of flies arrive. I’m roped into my clothes.
In another moment I’ll scream down the office
As the paper mountains rise higher on my desk.

O those real mountains to the south of here!
I gaze at the ravines kept cool by pines.
If I could walk on ice, with my feet bare!

Tu Fu (712-770)
Translated from the Chinese by Carolyn Kizer


That's where we're going, darlings. And, truly, I'm looking forward to it.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: herself_nyc
2007-06-26 05:05 pm (UTC)
That's gorgeous, thanks.
I didn't realize you were a NYer … we should meet up, if you're interested.
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[User Picture]From: oyceter
2007-06-26 06:17 pm (UTC)
Tu Fu! Oh, that's great. Now I want to try and find the original Chinese.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: boxmint
2007-06-26 07:46 pm (UTC)
OMG please do, and tell me what choices Kizer made in translation. I'd be so happy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)