Chris Song read poems by e.e. cummings, Anna Akhmatova, and Gavin Ewart.
ANYONE LIVED IN A PRETTY HOW TOWN
by e.e. cummings
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.
Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then) they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO SAY GOOD-BYE
by Anna Akhmatova, tr. Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward
We don’t know how to say good-bye
We wander on, shoulder by shoulder.
Already the sun is going down.
You’re moody, I am your shadow.
Let’s step inside a church and watch
baptisms, marriages, masses for the dead.
Why are we different from the rest?
Outdoors again, each of us turns his head.
Or else, let’s sit in the graveyard
On the trampled snow, sighing to each other.
That stick in your hand is tracing mansions
In which we shall always be together.
THE LOVER WRITES A ONE-WORD POEM
by Gavin Ewart
Chris Song is a poet, translator, and editor. He has published four collections of poetry and many volumes of poetry in translation. He received an “Extraordinary Mention” at Italy’s UNESCO-recognised Nosside World Poetry Prize 2013 and the Young Artist Award at the 2017 Hong Kong Arts Development Awards. In 2018 he obtained a PhD in Translation Studies from Lingnan University. More recently he won the Haizi Poetry Award in 2019. Chris is Executive Director of International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong and Editor-in-Chief of Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine (聲韻詩刊). He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough. [Return to Table of Contents.]