Rhyming with Tzu-yu's 'At Mien-ch'ih, Recalling the Past'
By Su Tung-p'o
Translated by Burton Watson
Wanderings of a lifetime -- what do they resemble?
A winging swan that touches down on snow-soaked mud.
In the mud by chance he leaves the print of his webs,
but the swan flies away, who knows to east or west?
The old monk is dead now, become a new memorial tower;
on the crumbling wall, impossible to find our old inscriptions.
Do you recall that day, steep winding slopes,
road long, all of us tired, our lame donkeys braying?
Another from Poet's Choice in Sunday's Washington Post Book World, in which Robert Pinsky compares Charles Wright's poetry to "the traditional Chinese poetry Wright admires and often evokes" such as Watson's translation of the 11th-century poet Su Tung-p'o.
It was a bitterly cold day, so we figured that the National Zoo would likely be nearly deserted and we'd have the animals mostly to ourselves. We were right: it was too unpleasantly chilly to walk to the distant outdoor exhibits (and most of the animals were inside anyway), so we stuck to the older buildings, which are all in a row: the reptile, invertebrate, great ape and small mammal houses. The animals indoors were particularly active, perhaps because there weren't crowds annoying them, so we had a very nice afternoon.
The Atlantic tank, which has a wave machine, has these huge sea stars...
...as well as many colorful anemones.
There is also a tropical coral reef tank.
Here is the Pacific octopus, who gets his own tank.
This awesomeness is a Ctenophore, or comb jelly. They don't sting as jellyfish do and they refract light like their cousin the sea walnut.
And this is one of the many species of crab in the invertebrate house, from the blue crabs found in the Chesapeake Bay to the giant spiny crabs of the Pacific.
We thought about going afterward to see Tracy Grammer, who was performing at Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage which means that the concert is free for the price of Kennedy Center parking, but we are going out of town Monday and Tuesday and wanted to get home and get organized (well, and some of us wanted to watch the end of the New England game and the start of the Giants game). apaulled made fantastic peanut soup, something I was craving both from having been at Mount Vernon and in anticipation of going to Williamsburg, so we ate that and watched Northanger Abbey on PBS...my favorite of the Austen books, I must admit, given that Catherine is young and sheltered enough to justify her ditziness and there's more explicit criticism of the colonial foundation of the social strata than I ever noticed in the other novels (I never read Mansfield Park).
Happy Martin Luther King day. "I Have a Dream" is here if you'd like to read it.