by Robert A.B. Sawyer
THE THREE GORGES OF THE YANGTZE RIVER
Dynasty after dynasty after dynasty
From Xia and Tang to the Maoist and Yuan
Poets have praised these rocks
And the fierce river that made them.
But poets are indolent and avoid hard work.
To them a river is a metaphor
Wrecked ships and drowned fishermen are metaphors.
The tears of wives and …Read More
writers who want to hone your chops for writing about and for the world, the Abroad Writers’ Conference is having a session in Sarawak, North Borneo, in June, in which anthropologist Gerrell Drawhorn, a veteran investigator of Borneo’s incredible biocultural diversity, and I will be taking you out into the rainforest and to meet the …Read More
translated with an afterword by Holly Woodward
Six Poems by Osip Mandelstam
Do not speak! Never, to no one, nothing—
There in the fire’s ashes, time is singing.
Dressed in a light shawl, you
came to me in the hall—
so swiftly no one knew,
nor heard the soft footfall.
The taunting form of your face
eluded my grasp in the cloud.
God, I called …Read More
by louis simpson
Once, some people were visiting Chekhov.
While they made remarks about his genius
the Master fidgeted. Finally
he said, ‘Do you like chocolates?’
They were astonished, and silent.
He repeated the question
whereupon one lady plucked up her courage
and murmured shyly, ‘Yes.’
‘Tell me,’ he said, leaning forward,
light glinting from his spectacles,
‘what kind? The light, sweet chocolate
or the dark, bitter …Read More