Thursday, April 22, 2010

Poem for Thursday and Arboretum Color

The Green Mountains
By Li Po

You ask why I dwell among the green mountains,
and I smile, and am silent,
for even my soul remains quiet.
It lives in the other world
which no one owns,
as the water flows,
as the peach blossoms flow down the stream
and are gone into the unknown.


I wanted to post that poem for Earth Day but I couldn't find a single translation that I really liked; mine is a combination of David Hinton's, Arthur Cooper's, and Sam Hamill's. I've been told that Vikram Seth's are the best translations, and David Young's have been highly praised as well.

I got up very early to visit my ophthalmologist and see if I could finally straighten out my ongoing problem getting glasses through which I can actually see clearly. Instead of having me look through the big device at letters on the wall, he put those optometrists' glasses on me with lenses that can be swapped out and fiddled with them till I could read clearly off paper...apparently when I have magnification in my lenses, I actually need less correction for astigmatism or everything distorts around the margins. Again I waited nearly an hour to see the doctor, but since it was so early, I had time to go order my glasses (the lenses are always special order, it takes a week), then stopped at Greenberry for yogurt with toasted almonds before heading to Kohl's grand reopening sale, where I had great success -- a bathing suit that actually fits, shorts for under $10, skorts for under $12, comfy sandals for under $20 -- now I have enough clothes to get through the summer! Plus a local radio station was there giving out swag from movie studios, so I now have a Coraline lenticular cup and some other goodies.

My late afternoon wasn't terribly eventful -- Adam's friend had lost his key, so he came over and I had wacky conversations with all the boys about YouTube videos and memes of interest to teenagers at present, then Paul came home and made a vegetarian variation on bangers & mash with red wine sauce (I know St. George's Day isn't until Friday, but we're having dinner with my parents that night). We watched a library DVD of the Cosmic Voyage IMAX movie, which we saw in the theater at some point in the past, but it's always entertaining to hear Morgan Freeman describe the universe at its very smallest and very biggest, and there's some lovely aerial footage of Venice and the Netherlands. The Nationals actually beat the Rockies today, and the Orioles are currently beating the Mariners, and airports are opening in Europe, so I guess that all makes it a good day! Here are some more National Arboretum photos from last weekend, including the National Capitol Columns. Adam took the one of me.

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