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Yes, Yes To Isla Yallis - Poem by Desmond Kon Zhicheng Mingdé

make a poem a still life, filled in as a catamaran.

unrequited, what to cold storage for next week?
what cabinets to refloat, long looking like boats?

what armchair to carry out, morning breaks?

of expressionist poetics, cedar to york island?

[sic]





Author’s Note:

This poem appears here for the first time.

On 12 September 1851, in Journal 4: 79, Henry David Thoreau penned this anecdote: “I love to gaze at the low island in the Pond — at any island or inaccesible [sic] land. The isle at which you look always seems fairer than the main-land on which you stand.”

In Leroy S. Rouner's book, Celebrating Peace (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press,1990) , is an essay by Denise Levertov, titled “Poetic Vision and the Hope for Peace”. Posing the question “Is there a poetry of peace? ”, Levertov explains how during a panel discussion at Stanford University, she offered a “confused response” as the only poet on the panel to psychologist Virginia Satir’s comment that “poets should present to the world images of peace, not only of war”, that “everyone needed to be able to imagine peace if we were going to achieve it”. This essay articulates Levertov’s more gathered response, fragments of which are included here:

“Yes, though I have said we cannot write about peace because we’ve never experienced it, we do have glimpses of it, and we have them most intensely when they are brought into relief by chaos and violence surrounding them…. No; if there begins to be a poetry of peace, it is still, as it has long been, a poetry of struggle. Much of it is not by the famous, much of it is almost certainly still unpublished…. But as more and more poets know and acknowledge that we are indeed 'made of the ash of stars, ’ … their art, stirring the imagination of their readers, can have an oblique influence which cannot be measured…. If a poetry of peace is ever to be written, there must first be this stage we are just entering – the poetry of preparation for peace, a poetry of protest, of lament, of praise for the living earth; a poetry that demands justice, renounces violence, [and] reverences mystery….”


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Poems About Poetry

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