The New Nile

Saturday, 12 February 2011, 13:46 | Category : Uncategorized
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The New Nile Homage to the Egyptian Revolution When Egypt fed the world with corn, It sucked the breast-milk of the Nile; The Pharaoh’s power, the Roman guile Drank from that plenteous horn. The new Nile is a Nile of light, The world’s bright screens, the cellphone’s glow; The fertile information-flow Makes fires in the […]

Julia Budenz

Thursday, 16 December 2010, 12:33 | Category : Uncategorized
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Coming immediately after the death of my friend Julius Fraser, the death last week of Julia Budenz, another dear friend, is almost too much for me. Julia came across my horizon in the mid-1980s when I was co-editing The Kenyon Review. I sometimes think she was one of America’s greatest poets of the time. She […]

In Memoriam, J. T. Fraser

Monday, 22 November 2010, 8:50 | Category : Uncategorized
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Two days ago one of the great human beings of our time died quietly in Westport, Connecticut. For those who did not have the pleasure and the privilege of knowing Julius Fraser, perhaps you might imagine a sort of combination of Einstein, Yoda, Gandalf, Dr. Johnson, Socrates, the Old Testament God, and Groucho Marx. For […]

Gold Sprayed Macaroni

Tuesday, 17 August 2010, 12:25 | Category : Uncategorized
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If anyone needed any more proof that the official world of the visual arts is in real trouble, the reality show Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist should settle all doubts. The young artists themselves are quite talented, but their mentors on and off the show are wrecking their native gifts and indoctrinating them […]

The Power of Conversation

Tuesday, 29 June 2010, 10:09 | Category : Uncategorized
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My old friend Charles Cameron has become involved with a very interesting conversation with an erstwhile al-Qaeda leader that has been going on in the blogosphere. Al-Masri’s reply to Charles was very interesting. Here is what I said to Charles: This is an amazing correspondence. Bravo on being part of it. For me the most […]

China Photos

Tuesday, 15 June 2010, 10:44 | Category : Uncategorized
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Check out my China photos on Facebook.

Goodbye to China

Sunday, 6 June 2010, 21:41 | Category : Uncategorized
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The Traveler Packs His Tent of Words How quickly Yichang has become my home, How dear the places where I cooked and slept. But for us humans, all is to and from, And nothing can be saved and nothing kept. Just to sit down and eat we make a place That is the center of […]

And Another

Wednesday, 2 June 2010, 8:41 | Category : Uncategorized
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At the Source of the Yang Jia Shi River There’s been no moon since I came to Yichang. Mist and rain hid her white face from view. And so the ancient poets of the Tang Seemed to say: “This was not meant for you.” But now I’ve reached the place the Yang Jia Shi Bursts […]

Another poem from Yichang

Wednesday, 2 June 2010, 1:43 | Category : Uncategorized
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The Girls of China I see your conscience and your sheer clean hair, Your graceful carriage, pliant as a feather, How when a duty of the heart is there, You press determined little lips together; I see your stylishness, your quiet chic, As you walk arm in arm with a girl friend; I see the […]

The Dam and the Wall

Tuesday, 25 May 2010, 20:39 | Category : Uncategorized
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The Three Gorges Dam In one huge act of unremitting will, To thirty billion tons this wall says No. But Yes pours through the turbines of this mill, As strange thoughts through the Wall of long ago. (Thirty billion tons, around 30 cubic kilometers, is the amount of water impounded by the dam.)