Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and Happy Poetry Friday!

The new year's first dream -
I see my village
and wake to a chilly tear

This and other works by Issa can be found in a lovely little biography of the great Chinese haiku poet, Cool Melons - Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa; Story and Haiku Translations by Matthew Gollub, Illustrations by Kazuko G. Stone.

Speaking of tears, here's another ancient Chinese poem that I love (it makes me cry)...

My loving mother, thread in hand,
Mended the coat I have on now,
Stitch by stitch, just before I left home,
Thinking that I might be gone a long time.
How can a blade of young grass
Ever repay the warmth of the spring sun?

Untitled poem by Meng Jia from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.)

And finally, speaking of mothers...

To Mother

by Louisa May Alcott

I hope that soon, dear mother,
you and I may be
In the quiet room my fancy
Has so often made for thee,-

The pleasant, sunny chamber,
The cushioned easy-chair,
The book laid for your reading,
The vase of flowers fair;

The desk beside the window
Where the sun shines warm and bright:
And there in ease and quiet
The promised book you write;

While I sit close beside you,
Content at last to see
That you can rest, dear mother,
And I can cherish thee.

Did anyone see the PBS Masterpiece Series about Louisa May Alcott last week? It was very good, based on a new biography about Alcott, but that's a post for another day!

The rest of the Poetry Friday Roundup is over at A Year of Reading.




G.R. LeBlanc said...

I love Issa, and loved reading Cool Melons Turn to Frogs with my son. It was such a wonderful book.

The second poem you shared was absolutely beautiful as well. That last sentence really tugs at the heartstrings, wow...

Diane Mayr said...

I saw the PBS program and was amazed at how wealthy Louisa became. I had always pictured her as being as poor as a church mouse, but, she was the J.K. Rowling of her day!