To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wai-lim Yip, from "Dialogues," after Photos by Jonas Yip

[Click on image to enlarge.]

empty park
empty chair

small eddies in the pond
ringing through the sky
to the empyrean



dark leaves
dark leaves
push and press
ranges and ranges
of rock
houses push
and press more rock
houses push and
press a million
dark eyes
gazing all upward
toward the eiffel spire
the moving clouds

a shaft of sunlight
cuts the room
in halves
giving darkness
a body
and prepares a stage
for a bottle
and two bowls
to assume
their graceful


pounding rains

spectra crowds gone

untarnished aura
an anonymous witness
N.B. The source of these poems & photo-images – 13 of them presented as “dialogues” – is Paris: Dialogues + Meditations by Jonas Yip and Wai-lim Yip – published bilingually by Nanjing University Press in 2009 & available internationally through The full set of thirteen Dialogues is also posted at Jonas Yip’s "Paris: Dialogue" gallery: An exhibition, "Paris: Dialogue,” featuring photographs and poems excerpted from the book, is currently traveling through Taiwan and China, & will arrive in the United States in 2011 with a show at the San Diego Museum of Art.

Jonas Yip is an award-winning photographer & musician based in the Los Angeles area, while readers of Poems & Poetics will likely be familiar with Wai-lim Yip as the author of Pound’s Cathay and Chinese Poetry: Major Modes and Genres (University of California Press). A longtime resident of the United States, Wai-lim Yip has been active for over 45 years as a bicultural poet, translator, critic & theorist with special contribution to East-West comparative literature, aesthetics, & comparative poetics between China & America. In recent years he has been celebrated in China with exhibitions devoted to his archives & conferences devoted to his poetry, as well as publication of his Complete (Chinese) Works in nine thick volumes. Paris: Dialogues + Meditations is the best presentation so far of his original poetry in English.

1 comment:

Rockford said...

Just stopping by to say hello to poet bloggers and invite you to my ezine