Nadwah  for poetry in translation

Poetry is the journey of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance - Carl Sandburg..........Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject - John Keats .........Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge - William Wordsworth ..........Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand - Plato .........No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language - Samuel Taylor Coleridge .........One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves - W. H. Auden ...........Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash - Leonard Cohen .........There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know - William Cowper .........Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood -T. S. Eliot ..........Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason - Novalis...........He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life - George Sand .........A poem is never finished, only abandoned - Paul Valery ........A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland - Kahlil Gibran.............Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance - John Keats..........To be a poet is a condition, not a profession - Robert Frost........A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself - E. M. Forster.........Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo - Don Marquis...........Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things - T. S. Eliot ..........You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick. You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in - Dylan Thomas .........Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words - Paul Engle......... There is not a joy the world can give like that it takes away! Lord Byron
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Yan Li - China

Translated into English by Denis Mair - USA



Marvelous Encounter


(for World Poetry Day)



At springís first blush we walk in the riverside park

Because my forebears long ago discovered

Language is best for reciting when

It first droops from the wands of willows

Even rarer is this encounter with World Poetry Day

Though perhaps we cannot call this a red letter day

Spring sunlight has come with regally folded arms

Here and there we catch glimpses

Those patches of darkness with no time to hide

Are kneeling where the sunlight found them





After Turning Sixty


How many shoulders must a man lean upon

To write lines that have sufficient zing 

To stay in demand among many publishers?

To make this happen does it take

An excess of thirst for learning

Or a tendency to hatch big schemes?

I know that copying poems would be unseemly

But to copy good manners is quite acceptable

So I know that good conduct is worth copying

But that cannot be done for creative works

The problem after sixty is

Will I be able to copy from myself?

Can copying of conduct be the kind of copying

That will give rise to my own works?



Neighbor of the State


The hour has come to help this era

Put on a pair of high-heeled shoes

To give it a better view of days to come

But the State has scant knowledge of the future

It hardly even knows that there exists

Wealth that the State cannot give a name to

Yet I donít think breaking up the collective

Will usher in the civility of individuals

If we have nothing to be compared with

We have no way to know who we are

So black will always be a neighbor of white

And I must be a neighbor of the State



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