Monday, April 5, 2021

Hilton Head Island: an old post; a surprise; two Chinese poems

I don’t often get comments about year old journal entries.  The moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on.  I remembered that but not its source.  Omar Khayyam.   But a few days ago I received a comment from Byron about an entry from May of last year.  I thank him for causing me to go back and reread it.

Google Alerts emails me when my name appears online.  It is not perfect, but it is free, and yesterday it provided me with a surprise:  I’m Costa Rican.  I never knew.  I thought I was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, but I am shown on Page 1 of a site listing ‘Famous People Born in Costa Rica’.  In fact if you scroll down I appear there three times.  I may be the most famous person born in Costa Rica.  Now this appears on the Internet and we know that everything on the Internet is true, so it must be true.  I wonder what this does to my being the first American to sail alone around Cape Horn.  Well, Costa Rica is in the Americas.  I think I’m still good.

I continue to read Chinese poetry.  At present in CROSSING THE YELLOW RIVER, translations of 300 poems from the Chinese by Sam Hamill.

Two short ones I’ve recently enjoyed.

Watching a Lonely Wild Goose at Nightfall

There are few stars north of the Milky Way.

One wild goose calls, “Where am I going?”

If he’d known he lose his flock.

he would have begun his journey alone.

—-Hsiao Kang (503-551)


When the rich pass proudly by

on big, smooth horses

I feel foolish

riding my scrawny donkey.

I feel much better

when we overtake

a bundle of sticks

riding a bony man.

—Wang Fan-chih (590-660)

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