Image-Text-Music, 9.14.14 — September: Merwin, Ma Lin, Prokofiev

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.59.43 AM

Painting on silk by Ma Lin (Song Dynasty painter, fl. ca. 1194-1264), “Waiting for Guests by Lamplight”


“To the Light of September,” by W.S. Merwin

When you are already here

you appear to be only

a name that tells of you

whether you are present or not


and for now it seems as though

you are still summer

still the high familiar

endless summer

yet with a glint

of bronze in the chill mornings

and the late yellow petals

of the mullein fluttering

on the stalks that lean

over their broken

shadows across the cracked ground


but they all know

that you have come

the seed heads of the sage

the whispering birds

with nowhere to hide you

to keep you for later



who fly with them


you who are neither

before nor after

you who arrive

with blue plums

that have fallen through the night


perfect in the dew


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