The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday, Comic Movies, Spy Museum

The Other Side of the River
By Xi Chuan
Translated by Lucas Klein

On the other side of the river
there is a flame
a flame
burning May
burning August

when the pagoda tree blooms, the professor with lentigo bows to her
when orange blossoms fall, an heir of graceful demeanor waves to her
and smiles

yet on the other side of the river she remains, still burning
like the underwater glistening of red coral
like a red straw hat blown away in the breeze

when I saw her yesterday she was totally still, looking to the sky
and today she lowers her head to watch the river
if it were overcast and raining, what would she do there on that side
of the river?
—her flame would not go out

a poet looks to her
a farmer looks to her
a Dialectical Materialist looks to her
she is on the other side of the river, burning
burning May
burning August


Tuesday was not particularly more exciting than Monday except that among my chores was laundry-folding, giving me an excuse to watch X-Men: First Class while I did that (hey, I'd only seen it once and The Wolverine had not arrived yet via Waterstones Owls). It was unseasonably warm, a gorgeous day to walk in the woods, and I had to pick up Adam from school since his bike has a flat tire so he couldn't ride it in the morning.

Since Agents of SHIELD was a rerun, we caught up on Once Upon a Time -- yay, a Regina-centric episode, though the idea of children as satisfaction currency for unfulfilled women -- you know, let's not even think about the plot. Then we watched Fantastic Four with dementordelta and it was pretty much as silly as we remembered, though Ioan Gruffudd and Chris Evans are always adorable. Some souvenirs from the International Spy Museum:

MBE medal given by George VI to Virginia Hall, American World War II spy who worked in London during World War II.

Academy Award given to John Ford for the documentary The Battle of Midway.

My family reflected in the mirror in the room with exhibits on literary espionage like during the Trojan War...

...and theories about whether Shakespeare could have known enough about court life to have written Shakespeare's plays.

One of George Washington's letters employing intelligence to determine troop movements during the American Revolution.

A postcard in Russian code along with its translation.

Newspapers from two big events of the past century that kept the FBI and CIA busy: World War II and Prohibition.

An Argo script autographed by Ben Affleck et al, and the medal awarded to Tony Mendez for his role in rescuing diplomats from Iran.

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