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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fast Day 186 Christmas December 25 2010 {Getting Ready To Go Out}

Getting Ready To Go Out on Christmas Eve

Reflect Christmas flowers,
fragrant mirror!
Embroider that head gold and silver
above her limpid eyes,
where boats of one bright lantern
drift sunsetwards…
checking nets and traps…
silently as thieves of water
tiptoe across the unbroken:
O, surface of reflecting water!


meditation of watching my wife prepare to go out xmas eve. Her mirror reflects the flowers of xmas and renders an embroidery of her head with precious gold and silver hair. Her eyes are deep eyes of the festal season, not the surface eyes of work and rushing...
we grab joy like water bugs skimming like thieves across the surface of the river!

Again, an attempt to emulate Chinese Lyric poetry: note how not the flowers but the mirror is fragrant; this is the sort of ambiguity which may occur when you just view characters in a very strictly limited array: mirror fragrant flowers Christmas  could be read either way, I think.  By forcing the adjective into a new context, it frees up the verse in translation.
Also we do not tiptoe across an unbroken surface of water; we tiptoe across the unbroken and then address the water, giving you an indication of where we are and what we are crossing.I can't blame the Chinese poets for this; it is my own conceit.


Ruth said...

Here's to you and your fragrant mirror, Montag! Merry Christmas, and many more reflective days to come.


Montag said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, and to your infinite world of beauty.