It doesn’t matter how we arrive,
just that we do. Tolstoy wrote thirteen
drafts of the first chapter of War and
Peace. He kept circling what matters
like a hawk sensing something
And having gathered 42 poets
at Orchid Pavilion, Wang Xizhi
floated cups of wine downstream
and those who lifted the cups had to
compose a poem or drink the wine.
At the end of this day in 353 AD,
37 poems had been retrieved and
Wang wrote his Preface to the Poems
Composed at Orchid Pavilion right
there with his feet in the stream.
Years later, Emperor Taizong, who
achieved greatness by not responding
to criticism or praise, admired Wang’s
calligraphy so much that he had the
original Preface buried with him.
Though we may never see it coming,
we can be cracked open by the storm
or become wise like the axle of an
old wagon growing tarnished
season by season.
From The Half-Life of Angels: Three Books of Poems by Mark Nepo
- April 4th is the publication date for Mark’s new book, The Half-Life of Angels: Three Books of Poems
- APRIL 13: A free publication reading and conversation by Mark Nepo, to celebrate the publication of, The Half-Life of Angels: Three Books of Poems at the Kalamazoo College Library, Hicks Center 7-9PM
- MAY 5-7: Reading and Weekend Retreat, The Gift of Relationship, The Sophia Institute, Charleston, SC, or call 843-720-8528, (web link) — IN PERSON & ONLINE
- July 9, 16 & 23: You Don’t Have to Do It Along: The Net of Friendship, A 3-session virtual webinar guided by Mark Nepo 1-2:30pm ET/10-11:30am PT Details at Live.MarkNepo.com