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The Little Review
Making No Compromises With the Public Taste
Poem for Tuesday and Washingtonian Goslings 
Tuesday, 7th May 2019 01:21 am

The Tune of The Wild Geese's Tomb
By Yuan Haowen

Among the earthly mortals, I ask: what is Love
That engages couples through life and death?
This flying pair, travelling from south to north,
Had old wings, which survived several summers and winters.
Staying paired is happy,
But to sever, bitter: a trap in itself where devoted lovers
Still long to be trapped. He must have had a thought:
For whom shall I trail a forlorn shadow flying over
Ten thousand miles of grey clouds
And mountains of night snow?
On this road by Fen River, the old pipes and drums
Are gone. Only bleak smoke and vast woods are left.
Vain to evoke the ancient ghosts. The Mountain Spirit
Also wails in vain. Heaven envies the geese,
Not believing they’ll return to dust like orioles
And swallows. There they’ll remain, for a thousand
Autumns, awaiting the poets of later generations
Who are coming, rhapsodizing and quaffing
Just for a view of the wild geese’s tomb.

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The story accompanying this poem on the web site explains that Yuan Haowen went to Bingzhou to attend an examination and met a hunter, who told him that after he had killed a wild goose, its partner flew above him wailing until it plunged to the ground, killing itself. Haowen he poet buried the pair of geese together beside the Fen River and wrote this poem to praise their devotion.

On Monday we had to wait all morning for the roofing company to find the right size pipe to replace the one they apparently cracked when installing the roof, but eventually they appeared with tall ladders, got up on the roof, and hopefully fixed the leak once and for all, though we won't be certain until we get another hard rainstorm. I spent all day in the house waiting for them to finish, then when Paul got home from a post-work late-afternoon dentist appointment, we went to the food store.

Somehow despite being stuck in the house all day I was sluggish and got little done, so although we watched Legends of Tomorrow, I am a bit confused about the whole hell/demonic possession storyline because I was trying to catch up on email. Then we watched the awesome new Discovery of Witches with the awesome Lindsay Duncan, followed by The Enemy Within, which is playing coy about whose side Erica is really on. From Washingtonian Lake the weekend before last, goslings and their parents:

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lrpenguin
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