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FROM CHINA

I thought:
The moon,
Shining upon the many steps of the palace before me,
Shines also upon the chequered rice-fields
Of my native land.
And my tears fell
Like white rice grains
At my feet.

AUTUMN

All day long I have watched the purple vine--leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.

EPHEMERA

Silver-green lanterns tossing among windy branches:
So an old man thinks
Of the loves of his youth.

DOCUMENT

The great painter, Hokusai,
In his old age,
Wrote these words:

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Document

“Profiting by a beautiful spring day,
In this year of tranquillity,
To warm myself in the sun,
I received a visit from my publisher
Who asked me to do something for him.
Then I reflected that one should not forget the glory of

arms,

Above all when one was living in peace;
And in spite of my age,
Which is more than seventy years,
I have found courage to draw those ancient heroes
Who have been the models of glory.”

THE EMPEROR’s GARDEN

Once, in the sultry heats of midsummer, An emperor caused the miniature mountains in his garden To be covered with white silk,

That so crowned

They might cool his eyes
With the sparkle of snow.

ONE OF THE “HUNDRED VIEws of FUJI,” BY HokusAI

Being thirsty,

I filled a cup with water,
And, behold!—Fuji-yama lay upon the water,
Like a dropped leaf |

DISILLUSION

A scholar, Weary of erecting the fragile towers of words, Went on a pilgrimage to Asama-Yama; And seeing the force of the fire Spouting from this mighty mountain, Hurled himself into its crater And perished.

PAPER FISHES

The paper carp,
At the end of its long bamboo pole,
Takes the wind into its mouth
And emits it at its tail.
So is man,
Forever swallowing the wind.

MEDITATION

A wise man, Watching the stars pass across the sky, Remarked: In the upper air the fireflies move more slowly.

THE CAMELLIA TREE OF MATSUE

At Matsue There was a Camellia Tree of great beauty

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The Camellia Tree of Matsue

Whose blossoms were white as honey wax
Splashed and streaked with the pink of fair coral.
At night
When the moon rose in the sky,
The Camellia Tree would leave its place
By the gateway,
And wander up and down the garden,
Trailing its roots behind it
Like a train of rustling silk.
The people in the house,
Hearing the scrape of them upon the gravel,
Looked out into the garden
And saw the tree,
With its flowers erect and peering,
Pressed against the shojij.
Many nights the tree walked about the garden,
Until the women and children
Became frightened,
And the Master of the house
Ordered that the tree be cut down.
But when the gardener brought his axe
And struck at the trunk of the tree,
There spouted forth a stream of dark blood;
And when the stump was torn up,
The hole quivered like an open wound.
Amy Lowell

EDITORIAL COMMENT
'HARD TIMEs INDEED A

N THE Contributors' Club of a recent Atlan, tic are some anonymous reflections upon Poets! Hard Times, reflections which sum up a fam| iliar point of view about poets and poetry with - o convenient compactness. A few excerpts will present the gist of the argument:

These are hard times for the honest minor poet: not because, as Mr. George Moore adventurously asserts, art is dead under the curse of universal locomotion, nor because the singer is denied a just hearing by the public. . . . The honest minor poet wakes up in these days to find himself a child in a world of energetic, serious maturity. Even the daily headlines bring home to him that no one needs his songs of hills and leaves and clouds, of elfin things and gypsy feet, even of love and death, touched as they are in his music with the kind, deceiving shimmer of dreams. . . . With the nations reeling like drunken regiments, . . . it is no wonder that the little singer finds himself beaten into humble silence. If he is honest, he knows that the world needs the burning insight and power of a prophet, or the simplicity of eternal childlike Truth. If he is not great enough in complexity to attain the one, nor great enough in simplicity for the other, he has nothing to say. His stars and brooks will stand the test only if somehow he can weave them into the vast troubled web of human experience. Pale pools, white birds, green fishes, blue gardens, are truly the playthings of an artistic moment; and “all the little emptiness of love' is like a rose blown down the wind, unless he can give it the substance of life more mightily than any sweet-chiming words alone can do. Poetry cannot dabble in strange forms, nor try to spice itself to vitality with new labels for old devices. Now, more than ever, poetry must speak for itself. It is because of this high necessity that the singer is cast back into silence. He is like a young person in a house of tumult and sorrow. He yearns to help, but he is dumb before the terrible or noble facts about him. If he utters himself, he is aware of in

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