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
13

Will we really part,
part like everyone else?

Knowing something
about passion swifter than the end,
about the world smaller than a penny –
let they who need it take it –
knowing that
this shell has no pearls,
that there is not a single match, candle or lampion
only the fire of rapture,
knowing from where
sonorousness and luminescence come.
Will we really part, like simple ignoramuses?

No less than the willow growing by the waterside,
no less than the water
follows the magnet of the star,
than drunk Li Po looking
into the wine, yellow as the moon
and than a stone sinks to the bottom:
loving to be together...
Will we really part like simple misers
and boors.

Richard McKane

***

13

Must we, too, like all others,
really part?

Knowing something
about passion that’s quicker than finality,
knowing something
about the world that’s smaller than a penny –
let whoever needs take –
knowing that this shell has no pearl,
that there’s no match, candle, or lantern
other than the flash of rapture,
knowing whence come
sound and light –
must we, too, part, like simple fools?

Loving to be together
no less than willows love to grow by the water,
or than waters to follow a starʼs magnet,
or than the drunken Li Po to stare
at the yellow, moonlike, wine,
or than a stone to sink to the bottom –
must we, too, part, like simple misers and boors?

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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