About the Author
Books

POETRY  
PROSE
ESSAYS
INTERVIEW
From the book Kliazma and Yauza
From the book The Wild Rose
From the book Tristan and Isolde
From the book Old Songs
From the book Gates. Windows. Arches
From the book Stanzas in the Manner of Alexander Pope
From the book Stellae and Inscriptions
From the book The Iambic Verses
The Chinese Travelogue  
From An Unfinished Book
From the book The Evening Song
From the book Elegies
From the book The Beginning of a Book
The Chinese Travelogue
(1986)

If you could dull its perspicuity, free it from chaos, limit its gleam,
liken it to a grain of dust, then it would seem to exist clearly.
Lao-Tse
5

Do you know
the dwarf pines, the weeping willows?
The untied boat
does not prod the bank for long,
and neither joy
of that which was
nor pity:
we’re all here today, but who knows about tomorrow?
Nor reason,
only spirits are without reproach,
modest, fearless and kind-hearted –
nothing will stop
the simple rapture
setting like the sun.
The untied boat
floats without a thought,
the broken branch
will grow again – but not under these skies.

Richard McKane

***

5

Do you know
the dwarf pines, the weeping willows?
An untied boat
doesn’t hug the bank for long –
and there’s no joy
in what’s past
nor sorrow:
we’re all here today, but who can speak
for tomorrow?
and no reason:
only the blameless spirits are
modest, fearless, and charitable –
simple rapture can’t be stopped,
simple rapture setting like the sun.
An untied boat
floats without a thought,
a broken bough
takes root, but not in this world.

Andrew Wachtel
1. I was surprised by...
2. The pond speaks...
3. They don’t fall, though they fall...
4. There, on the hill...
 5. Do you know...
6. I shall only see...
7. The boat flies...
8. The roofs are raised at the edges...
9. Unhappy...
10. Great is the artist who knows no debt...
11. With tenderness and depth...
12. Perhaps you are the precious ring of the spirit...
13. Will we really part...
14. Flute answers flute...
15. They say, they have gone on the white road...
16. You know that I love you so much...
17. When we decide to set out...
18. Let us praise our earth...
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