Friday, January 9, 2009

a poet i teach

Lam Thi My Da

Washing Rice (2001)

My mother is washing rice in late morning
A gentle wind ruffles the shade of the palms
The yellow rice glistens in rippled water
The ripe grains and the unripe look the same
They are both the color of silk, the same color
But why does she keeping washing, washing so long?

How many unripe grains drift away from you, Mother?
How many ripe grains stay with you and talk?
When I go out tomorrow, full of life,
Will my lesson be your hand, washing rice?

Another work I plan to add to my list of short works to teach this Spring semester is the unforgetable Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane. If you've never read this little gem, you might want to check your pulse.

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