Broken Sonnet

By John Yau b. 1950 John Yau
The world weeps. There are no tears
To be found. It is deemed a miracle.
The president appears on screens
In villages and towns, in cities in jungles
And jungles still affectionately called cities.
He appears on screens and reads a story.
Whose story is he reading and why?
What lessons are to be learned from this story
About a time that has not arrived, will not arrive, is here?
Time of fire and images of fire climbing toward the sun
Time of precious and semi-precious liquids
Time of a man and a woman doused in ink
Rolling across streams and down valleys
Trying to leave some string of words behind.

John Yau, “Broken Sonnet” from Paradiso Diaspora. Copyright © 2006 by John Yau. Reprinted by permission of Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA), LLC.

Source: Paradiso Diaspora (Penguin Books, 2006)

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Poet John Yau b. 1950

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Biography

Poet, art critic, and curator John Yau has published over 50 books of poetry, fiction, and art criticism. Born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1950 to Chinese emigrants, Yau attended Bard College and earned an MFA from Brooklyn College in 1978. His first book of poetry, Crossing Canal Street, was published in 1976. Since then, he has won acclaim for his poetry’s attentiveness to visual culture and linguistic surface. In poems that . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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