Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ha Jin's "Questions" of a "useless scarecrow" of a god

"Dragon" from the museum at RISD
Sunday, I stopped off at two parks, Madison Square and then Washington Square. Both stops I claimed bench space and read Wreckage by Ha Jin.

I could have finished the collection but found it so good, so interesting--I held off--did the old savor, as in I'm savoring these poems and don't want the collection to end.

Both narrative and historical, successfully imitative of a cultural voice (Ha Jin's country, true), Wreckage, by way of persona, relates an historical culture of Chinese emperors, with echoes in the present.

Mongol intrusion and coups, an everyday of history; stupidity of bureaucracies, another everyday; human folly. All play out.

Here, from the second-to-last section, Between Heaven and Earth, is "Questions."


                After lay Buddhist Aina

Lord of Heaven, how old are you?
Why have you no eye or ear
for our troubles?
Where's your forked grumble?

Those who kill, steal and bully others
bask in honor and security.
Those who follow your scriptures
are cold, starved, trampled.

Lord of Heaven, how can you govern
the earth like a fool
and let officials multiply
more than laborers and taxpayers?

Better if you were not there.
What a useless scarecrow you have
become, that rots in evil winds.
Why don't you topple down?
Ha Jin, Wreckage (Hanging Loose Press), 2001.

1 comment:

  1. Hello to everyone. Happy to be back here. And so after a little break, I'm back. Some I recognize, others not. But I recognize them. I like to keep the back on the blog a little sorry for the photo ... it should arrive soon on my profile ... Just takes a little patience. So yes ... I'm glad to be back. Although happy to be here.
    voyance gratuite par mail