Thursday, October 22, 2009
Here's YouTube I created to bring ancient poet Tu Fu to America.
We need his voice. Just decided to share this today.
The poem is:
Tu Fu Comes to America
Jobless for two years now, I go out,
leave my sleeping village at dawn
before the cries of birds.
The road to a career cut off
I make myself another path,
ship for America on a dark freighter
crowded with bodies and voices.
I cross the border from Canada
make my way south in the night.
With a sack and walking stick now
I tread the roads of West Virginia
back from the river towns,
down quiet hollows, up the foothills
where farms nest of rocky hills.
Once an hour a pick-up may pass.
Here time isn’t measured so.
People sit out on porches
call to neighbors to sit a while.
In me they see a stranger
till I ask them for a drink of water.
In my face they read a story
eyes meeting across porch steps.
“Come on in, outta the sun,”
they say and open their palms
so that I sit on chair or stoop
cool shade across my lap.
Dogs run about the fenceless yard,
spring water in a clear glass jar.
I’ve traded hope for acceptance,
find myself among new friends
in a land I was meant to know.
In the sounds of late afternoon
they wait for me to speak.
The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau