The River Merchant

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BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

The River Merchant

#1 Post by BobBradshaw » 30 Dec 2018, 23:22

v2:
The River Merchant


Sitting outside,
my dear wife visiting a sick friend
in Ku-to-yen, I will have to settle for the sight
of a waterfall in the distance
combing her gray hair in the dusk.
How I took my wife's voice for granted...
the days grow slower than moss without her.
Now there is only the river,
grumbling as another heron
studies its reflection.
Water swirls around a boulder,
moves on to the next one.
Bats stream from a cave somewhere,
as straggler bees one by one
turn towards home,
like horses from their meadow.
I am unbridled, able to wander
into any field,
but without a warm voice to return to
I have no urge to roam.
A family of monkeys chatters
in the trees. They are loud
as if they have been eating
fermented fruit. I raise
a wine cup, to share
in their good
fortune.


v1:
A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return


Sitting outside,
my dear wife visiting a sick friend,
I will have to settle for the sight
of a waterfall in the distance
combing her gray hair in the dusk.
How I took my wife's voice for granted...
Now there is only the river below,
grumbling as another heron
studies its reflection.
Water swirls around a boulder,
moves on to the next one.
Bats stream from a cave somewhere,
as straggler bees one by one
turn towards home,
like horses from their meadow.
I am unbridled, able to wander
into any field,
but without a warm voice to return to
I have no urge to roam.
A family of monkeys chatters
in the trees. They are loud
as if they have been eating
fermented fruit. I raise
a wine cup, to share
in their good
fortune.

meenas17
Posts: 520
Joined: 23 Mar 2014, 11:27

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#2 Post by meenas17 » 31 Dec 2018, 11:05

A very sweet poem.
The subtle expressions of longing runs through the poem.
The last line

I raise
a wine cup, to share
in their good
fortune.
is appealing.
meenas17

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#3 Post by BobBradshaw » 31 Dec 2018, 21:15

Thanks, Meena...

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1353
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#4 Post by FranktheFrank » 03 Jan 2019, 20:41

It is sweet, lots of detail, nature.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#5 Post by BobBradshaw » 05 Jan 2019, 21:25

Appreciate the comment, Frank

capricorn
Posts: 211
Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 23:23

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#6 Post by capricorn » 07 Jan 2019, 02:14

I love the details in this, Bob and there are many lines to like

I love the river grumbling ( but perhaps going about its business is a bit cliché? I don't know, I can't keep up with everything that's cliché these days) :roll:

Water swirls around one boulder,
moves on to the next one.
Bats stream from a cave somewhere,
as bees one by one

You seem to have used quite a few one's in these 4 lines. Perhaps delete the one at the end of L2 and/or last line 'as bees in succession turn towards home'


Love the ending - sharing the good fortune of the monkeys. Brilliant!

Eira

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1422
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#7 Post by Michael (MV) » 07 Jan 2019, 05:26

Esp like b/c I am able to relate to:

"I am unbridled, able to wander
into any field,
but without a warm voice to return to
I have no urge to travel."

^^ like your phrasing; yet workshop sharing
roam for "travel"

Bob, wonderful/comforting to read your poem this Epiphany Sunday evening - since someone close received the Miracle Lift, there is still a phantomness to my evenings, esp Sundays - and that was 5.5 years ago - yet now that she lives on light years before me, there is a closeness that could never be achieved & experienced before, while temporal.

I believe that is what happens, becomes possible when we are freed from the finite -

The Divine Exodus - Our Father's providence
for us all

every one


Michael, son-song of Virginia Ruth

I continue on
as her strong
torch song

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1353
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#8 Post by FranktheFrank » 08 Jan 2019, 02:24

Agree with Michael with his suggestion that
'roam' is far more interesting than 'travel'
and tells a story all on it own.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#9 Post by BobBradshaw » 08 Jan 2019, 22:14

Capricorn, Michael - thank you for your advice. I'll tweak my poem.
Frank - thanks for confirming....

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#10 Post by BobBradshaw » 11 Jan 2019, 21:49

thanks

Kenneth2816
Posts: 791
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#11 Post by Kenneth2816 » 14 Jan 2019, 06:36

This, one did not hit for me , Bob. You set your own standard by mastering a topic or theme, that you cannot top yourself

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#12 Post by BobBradshaw » 14 Jan 2019, 07:02

Hi Ken, I'm so glad to see you back. I hope you're healthy...I saw the hospital remark....anyway, great to see you writing again!

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#13 Post by BobBradshaw » 16 Jan 2019, 21:23

A couple people have suggested that I change the title, to take away the "A Chinese Poet" part...what do you think?

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1422
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#14 Post by Michael (MV) » 17 Jan 2019, 09:36

Hi Bob,

The subject doesn't necessarily need to be "a Chinese Poet."

Awaiting His Wife's Return

He Waits for Her Return


Ironically - and I meant to add this sooner - from the first time I read your poem here, I immediately associated a poem by American-Chinese poet, Li-Young Lee:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/ ... he-morning 


8)

Michael (MV) 
BobBradshaw wrote:
16 Jan 2019, 21:23
A couple people have suggested that I change the title, to take away the "A Chinese Poet" part...what do you think?
 
 
  

 
 
 
 

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1353
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: A Chinese Poet Awaits his Wife's Return

#15 Post by FranktheFrank » 17 Jan 2019, 19:58

A Poet Writing of his Wife's Return.

A Poet Awaiting his Wife's Return.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: The River Merchant

#16 Post by BobBradshaw » 17 Jan 2019, 21:33

I have changed the title and tweaked the poem. Someone mentioned Pound's poem "The River Merchant's Wife", one of my favorite poems. Anyway...let me know....thx

capricorn
Posts: 211
Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 23:23

Re: The River Merchant

#17 Post by capricorn » 17 Jan 2019, 22:59

I like the new title, Bob, Like the conciseness. I also like the revision - these lines

my dear wife visiting a sick friend
in Ku-to-yen,


the mention of where her sick friend lives seems to add depth to this stanza, somehow.


Eira

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1046
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: The River Merchant

#18 Post by BobBradshaw » 18 Jan 2019, 00:01

Frank, Eira - thank you for your input... appreciated

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1353
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: The River Merchant

#19 Post by FranktheFrank » 18 Jan 2019, 00:39

Yes, the river side village name sets the scene and place well.

meenas17
Posts: 520
Joined: 23 Mar 2014, 11:27

Re: The River Merchant

#20 Post by meenas17 » 19 Jan 2019, 21:04

Good title, Bob.
meenas17

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1353
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: The River Merchant

#21 Post by FranktheFrank » 30 Jan 2019, 17:45

I rather prefer: A family of monkeys chatter in the trees.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1353
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: The River Merchant

#22 Post by FranktheFrank » 30 Jan 2019, 17:46

I rather prefer: A family of monkeys chatter in the trees.

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