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Poetry in America Season 2 Trailer

Season 2 of Poetry in America returns with eight new episodes that will air on public television stations nationwide and on the World Channel starting this April, National Poetry Month. Check your local listings for air times! Season 2 features works by Marilyn Chin, Elizabeth Bishop, Yusef Komunyakaa, Marianne Moore, Mark Doty, Stephen Sondheim, William Carlos Williams, and Walt Whitman.

Poetry in America is produced by Verse Video Education of Cambridge, MA, and presented by WGBH Boston. Below is a sneak peek at “Urban Love Poem,” the subject of our season premiere.

 

Interested in learning more? Poetry in America offers a wide range of courses, all dedicated to bringing poetry into classrooms and living rooms around the world.

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Read the Poem

Poetry in America Season 2 Trailer

“Urban Love Poem”

by Marilyn Chin

1)
Condominium, stiff bamboo,
refuses to bend in the wind,
squats in the sinking earth
like a thin-hipped dowager.
You arrange the amenities
and we pay the rent. So, please,
don’t fall as civilizations fall
in the comfort of night.

2)
Gingko, vomit-eater of the metropolis,
city’s oxygen, small men’s shadow,
your gentle bark can’t protect you now.
One pellicle, another, falls
on the land of your displacement.
Where is the Yellow Emperor who nurtured you?
Where is your birthplace,
the Yangtze, the Pearl?

3)
Hong Kong, San Francisco, San Jose,
the path through the “Golden Mountains”
is a three-tiered freeway. Look up:
it suspends where no prophet can touch.
A quick fix in your veins; a white rush in my mind—
you cry, “Mei Ling, Mei Ling, once
we could’ve had everything:
the talent, the courage, the wherewithal.”

4)
Oh, the small delectables of day:
persimmons from Chinatown,
a stroll through the Tenderloin
with the man I love.

My darling, please, don’t be sad.
I’ve parked my horse
in this gray, gray sunrise
to gather sweet crocuses and jonquils
for you.

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1)
Condominium, stiff bamboo,
refuses to bend in the wind,
squats in the sinking earth
like a thin-hipped dowager.
You arrange the amenities
and we pay the rent. So, please,
don’t fall as civilizations fall
in the comfort of night.

2)
Gingko, vomit-eater of the metropolis,
city’s oxygen, small men’s shadow,
your gentle bark can’t protect you now.
One pellicle, another, falls
on the land of your displacement.
Where is the Yellow Emperor who nurtured you?
Where is your birthplace,
the Yangtze, the Pearl?

3)
Hong Kong, San Francisco, San Jose,
the path through the “Golden Mountains”
is a three-tiered freeway. Look up:
it suspends where no prophet can touch.
A quick fix in your veins; a white rush in my mind—
you cry, “Mei Ling, Mei Ling, once
we could’ve had everything:
the talent, the courage, the wherewithal.”

4)
Oh, the small delectables of day:
persimmons from Chinatown,
a stroll through the Tenderloin
with the man I love.

My darling, please, don’t be sad.
I’ve parked my horse
in this gray, gray sunrise
to gather sweet crocuses and jonquils
for you.

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