Thursday, November 1, 2012

The paired butterflies are already yellow with August

A week ago it was between seventy and eighty degrees every day. People were saying we were having our second August, and sighing happily. I was missing fall, and also missing Maine and the real August.

The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter
After Li Po

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chōkan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever, and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?

At sixteen you departed
You went into far Ku-tō-en, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me.
I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Chō-fū-Sa.


TC said...

Though the world with its manmade weather has gone crazy, this remains a heartstoppingly great poem, and these are equally wonderful photos -- esp. the second, with that horizontal spill of golden radiance.

That Boston Terrier will remain loyal forever, and will always come out to meet you, knowing your heart is in the right place.

David Milliken said...

Alas, missing Maine can be a chronic state.

David Milliken,