to the small poem and the quiet voice within

jackie langetieg | du fu writes to himself of ennui


My thatched cottage
is still fit for writing poems
and I still dream of finding
the lost Peach Blossom spring

–Du Fu–

Du Fu Writes to Himself of Ennui

by Jackie Langetieg

Du Fu you grow older and feel much less vital.
spending long days at rest in your house by the river,
watching the lilies float on the quiet pond.

You’ve regrets for things that slipped past when
you were young and able to follow your wine to finish.
Left alone now, you have time to reflect on opportunity.

Even today, there are things you can do, but you choose
to stay by the fire in pensive thought. Du Fu why
do you do nothing while you still breathe the fire of life?

Is it depression or lack of will? Or are they the same animal
hidden in different coats of fur? The hearthstone has dust on it
from lack of visitors or students of poems. Do you not miss

the salons of the past when young poets sat at your knee
to listen to your wisdom? Open your door to the present
and you will find your future knocking to come in.


  1. Robert M. Zoschke

    Poignant pondering piece of craftwork…ahem.

  2. Barbara Fitz Vroman

    Dear Jackie,

    I love your audacity to write to Du Fu, even to chide him.
    I see you coming into his cottage and swiping his hearthstone with your vigorous rag, dragging him out of his chair to cha cha with you, and spilling wine over the rim of his cup, I see him blink and burp and then throw back his head and laugh, loving your vitality, loving you. But I see another day when you come and rest your head on his shoulder, while you both quietly watch the lilies.

  3. donna balfe

    Jackie…you just get better and better and continue to speak to me in your poetry. Thank you for carrying on.

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