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Monday, August 26, 2013

John Zheng's Most Clever Response to My Call to Read 105 words to celebrate Richard Wright's birthday, September 4, 2013

A nice suggestion or a call you made, and Wright will look over his shoulder to say thank you (see the last haiku pasted below. I am pasting below two sets of 105 words from Wright's haiku that are kind of biographical, which I will forward to my NEH participants for classroom teaching.
It is September,
The month in which I was born;
And I have no thoughts.
From a cotton field
To magnolia trees,
A bridge of swallows.
A steamboat’s whistle
Was blasted by the spring wind
To another town.
A slow autumn rain:
The sad eyes of my mother
Fill a lonely night.
Don’t they make you sad,
Those wild geese winging southward,
O lonely scarecrow?
From a tenement,
The blue jazz of a trumpet
Weaving autumn mists.
Black men with big brooms
Sweeping streets in falling snow,
Are absorbed by flakes.
In the post office,
A clerk sorting out letters
Hears spring rain falling.
105 words

A September fog
Mute upon the empty porch
Of an empty house.
Autumn moonlight is
Deepening the emptiness
Of a country road.
Is this tiny pond
The great big lake in which
I swam as a boy?
The sad sound of hymns
Flooding on to autumn fields
In hazy moonlight.
My decrepit barn
Sags full of self-consciousness
In this autumn sun.
An empty sickbed:
An indented white pillow
In weak winter sun.
Leaving the doctor,
The whole world looks different
This autumn morning.
Burning out its time,
And timing its own burning,
One lonely candle.
Did somebody call?
Looking over my shoulder:
Massive spring mountains.
105 words

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