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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dreams and Poetry

(Still Life with a Glass under Lamplight, linoleum print
by Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish artist)

Poems, it could be said, are a little like dreams, only you experience them when you are awake. Both are works of the imagination expressed through symbolism and figurative language.


It’s all ordinary experience,
All ordinary images.
By chance they emerge in a dream,
Turning out infinite patterns.

It’s all ordinary feelings,
All ordinary words.
By chance they encounter a poet,
Turning out infinite new verses.

Once intoxicated, one learns the strength of wine,
Once smitten, one learns the power of love:
You cannot write my poems
Just as I cannot dream your dreams.

~ Hu Shih (1891-1962), Chinese poet

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