James Wright, “As I Step Over a Puddle at the End of Winter…” / poem and audio

0819510181[1]James Wright, “As I Step Over a Puddle at the End of Winter, I Think of an Ancient Chinese Governor”

[An audio file of Wright reading his poem.]
 

         And how can I, born in evil days
         And fresh from failure, ask a kindness of Fate?
                — Written A.D. 819

Po Chu-i, balding old politician,
What’s the use?
I think of you,
Uneasily entering the gorges of the Yang-Tze,
When you were being towed up the rapids
Toward some political job or other
In the city of Chungshou.
You made it, I guess,
By dark.

But it is 1960, it is almost spring again,
And the tall rocks of Minneapolis
Build me my own black twilight
Of bamboo ropes and waters.
Where is Yuan Chen, the friend you loved?
Where is the sea, that once solved the whole loneliness
Of the Midwest?Where is Minneapolis? I can see nothing
But the great terrible oak tree darkening with winter.
Did you find the city of isolated men beyond mountains?
Or have you been holding the end of a frayed rope
For a thousand years?
 
 
 
 
 
 
~
 
 
 

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~ by samofthetenthousandthings on June 27, 2014.

One Response to “James Wright, “As I Step Over a Puddle at the End of Winter…” / poem and audio”

  1. I LOVE James Wright’s poetry!

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