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- by Nancy, February 22, 2010
From time to time I like to share something wonderful that is non-food related on Jellypress, and A Book of Luminous Things is in that category. Nobel Prize winner and Professor Emeritus Czeslaw Milosz gathered poems from all over the world into this one volume, translated into English from various languages. One of my favorite poems in the book just happens to be about food and
when I mentioned it to Laura, she said, “Can you believe I have that book too?” One day I found it by serendipity on a shelf at a local bookstore, and was lost in its pages within minutes. If you love poetry, it’s a great gift, and an engaging tea or coffee break companion. So far, every poetry lover I have shown it to has been touched by it and moved to order one of their own. Here are a few lines for you from “The New Wife” by a Chinese poet of the ancient world, Wang Chien (768 - 830)
On the third day she went down to the kitchen,
Washed her hands, prepared the broth.
Still unaware of her new mother’s likings,
She asks his sister to taste.
Translated from the Chinese by J.P. Seaton
“One of the great writers of the twentieth century and one of its great witnesses thought, in the ninth decade of his life, that he ought somehow to make a philosophical reckoning with the world and an aesthetic summing up — a book perhaps, of sober prose at the end of this violent century; instead he decided to gather together poems, to give the world a book of luminous things.”
Robert Hass quoted on the back cover of A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz