T.S. Eliot’s epic poem “The Waste Land” famously begins:
April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingMemory and desire, stirringDull roots with spring rain.
THE RIVER-MERCHANT’S WIFE: A LETTER
by Ezra Pound 1915 (adapted from Rihaku or Li Po 701-762)
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 Chokan:
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-to-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 Cho-fu-Sa.
Frustrating that it was Pound who wrote these beautiful lines. Do you love a work of art by a creep? (Hint: you do if you like James and the Giant Peach or Matilda)
Happy National Poetry Month!!!
I plan to celebrate poetry this month, and am going to try to overlook the little detail above: that I don’t care for this year’s poster. Check out previous year’s posters here.
What do you think about this year’s poster? Does it make you want to go read a poem?
By the way: #amwriting