Thursday, January 21, 2010

Al Purdy

LU YU (AD 1125-1209)
On the day of Lu Yu's last sickness
a thin coffin was ready,
and two quilts to cover him,
and the gravediggers paid
their work done.
Then he started to write another poem
a short time before death,
about drinking wine again in the village -
He was working on the poem when they buried him,
so that half a line protruded from the earth
in wind and weather's hearing -
with sunlight touching the first young syllables,
the last ones flowering from a dark coffin:
"Marketplace the inn/drink more one"
the first three words above ground
the last ones wine in the Red Dust.
In the village of Shanyang
in Chekiang Province...

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