Today's poem

Open a raden jewelry box. I can find Sarah Howe’s collection Loop of Jade as encyclopedia of poems.

- Random Memos -
(The paragraph (2) might be a hodgepodge. Sorry.)

(1) My favorite is the poem of the book title. Jade is a typical metaphor representing China. I imagine that jade is the color of the Kurobe River, Japan. The scenes in the poem are not set to Japan. Nevertheless, I think that my idea using the Kurobe River is valid, for the poem seems to be acts played in the jade river. In the freshwater, the contour of everything is trembling, often blurred, and a field of view is clear at some points of the river and opaque at others. There, visions in the poem can rise from the darkness of slow-moving whirlpools.

(2) The transition of forms corresponds to Howe’s recollection or conversation with her mother. This is breathtaking. Regarding three generations (Howe, her mother, and grandmother), fragments or strands of flashbacks are precisely knitted. Aesthetics of the flow of good ambiguities in nostalgia. Each form in the poem includes novelty. Between stanzas like prose-poems, there are ditties as Intermedio, indicating the ending of the previous act and the beginning of the next one. A description of her mother as sound helps the reader’s understanding and her mother’s speaking way ‘nasal hum’ (natural to Cantonese) echoes with low frequency as Basso continuo.

(3) In the third last part, the Anglo-Saxon style verse is an old story like telling ‘Once upon a time, …’. It is inventive with bipartite and tripartite lines. Caesura is a metrical interruption, capable of having various meanings or riddles. Alternatively, at caesura, light suddenly enters from an unexpected direction at some lines of the poem.

(4) In the last part, each triplet has a second line with a small number of syllables. The final line makes her reckon her fate. It seems that a small bud is left quietly in front of a door for her future.

(5) After reading the poem, a deep impression remains as if after seeing Bertolucci’s film.

Loop of Jade by Sarah Howe