Thank you Patti !!

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Thank you for the reluctant goodbyes. When I feel adridt/off-kilter/uncertain, I come here to listen to your voice. It’s like church, if church were healing.

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Oh! How wonderful you are! Thank you for sharing this lovely video. I’m Karen from Ireland and just came across your work on Substack. Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do. I love reading and listening to people read too! And yours was especially moving. Lots of peace, love and light to you. God Bless!☘️✨☘️

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How many books do you take when you travel, Patti? I take at least 3 books because I like to keep my options open

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Thank you for the reading. Please thank Cairo for the cameo appearance.

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Sweet memory of Oscar night with mom. It's the little things that stay with us, isn't it? My mom introduced me to Hollywood musicals.

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Love the reading & the tee shirt!! I normally avoid clothing that 'advertise' but I love wearing my concert tees...&: People have the Power!!

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Thank you, Patti!! I didn't know this poem. I will read it again. XO

I have such good memories of Oscar night with my mom too. All the glamour. Fun to chat about the dresses and such.

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This was lovely. A poem l hadn’t heard before, l don’t know why but the absence of rice but so much rice paper resonates with me and l loved the laundry and T-shirt story, really made me chuckle.

Cairo was a beautiful interruption, l have a feeling she didn’t enjoy the poem so much or maybe it was time to eat………

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Thats great Patti - enjoy all your talks on here Susan

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Ohhh, I love you Patti! Your “digression made me smile ear to ear! Telling us about your laundry...

Oh the humanity 🫶🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼

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What I see here is you remaining a centre of peace against the chaotic sirens in the back ground. Mischief from Ciaro & beautiful lilting words spoken.

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This from a blog by Richard Drayton:

Things you want to think about


Derek Walcott translating Joseph Brodsky

The translated poem is a sacred thing. It is a crossroads where one person has chosen to listen, with all the resources of their mind and heart, to something which someone else has given all of their capacities for understanding, truthfulness, communication, and pleasurable play. At its best, it is the most beautiful kind of self-full selflessness: one’s gifts become the medium through someone else’s gifts are born again in another community of symbols. And how much more intense is this act of generous anansi web weaving, when it reaches in to a poem which itself is in a kind of translatory homage to the word aesthetics of another language community? The mediator is mediated, and mediated again, in one unbroken transcultural gift-giving ritual. That is why I love so much Derek Walcott’s 1977 translation of Joseph Brodsky’s *Letters from the Ming Dynasty* – the Caribbean (English) poet opening his gifts to the Russian poet who opens his gifts to the Tang dynasty Taoist poetic aesthetic, in order to chant down Babylon.

It is an urgently political poem, and the first steep of its meanings yields a brew which tastes only of loss and corruption. But its politics are ordered in poetic figures which insist on the present as the theatre of experience and of moral agency, and that the space of loss from one’s native home, the predicament of exile, measured in time (years) and distance (li), is a space where suffering opens up a hidden redemptive power, for the honesty of the gaze which discovers “this pull in one direction only/ has made

me something elongated, like a horse’s head” contains within it a rebalancing of the direction of that head, an implicit moment, in the physics sense of movement, towards the restoration of balance, which begins in daring to raise the moral voice, to chant down Babylon.

You got to love too the exquisite Walcott ear for sound play, just check out the breaking wave of ‘ess’-es and the percussive r-ss in that couplet that ends the first stanza:

“ is brushed onto scented rice paper given me by the Empress.

Lately there is no rice but the flow of rice paper is endless.”

It is endless indeed, brother Derek, and yet exquisitely contained, as in a Ming vase.

Letters from the Ming Dynasty


Soon it will be thirteen years since the nightingale

fluttered out of its cage and vanished. and, at nightfall,

the Emperor washes down his medicine with the blood

of another tailor, then, propped on silk pillows, turns on a jeweled bird

that lulls him with its level, identical song.

It’s this sort of anniversary, odd-numbered, wrong,

that we celebrate these days in our “Land-under-Heaven."

The special mirror that smooths wrinkles even

costs more every year. Our small garden is choked with weeds.

The sky, too, is pierced by spires like pins in the shoulder blades

of someone so sick that his back is all we’re allowed to see,

and whenever I talk about astronomy

to the Emperor’s son, he begins to joke…

This letter to you, Beloved, from your Wild Duck

is brushed onto scented rice paper given me by the Empress.

Lately there is no rice but the flow of rice paper is endless.


"A thousand-li-long road starts with the first step,” as

the proverb goes. Pity the road home does

not depend on that same step. It exceeds ten times

a thousand li, especially counting from zeros.

One thousand li, two thousand li–

a thousand means “Thou shalt not ever see

thy native place.” And the meaninglessness, like a plague,

leaps from words onto numbers, onto zeros especially.

Wind blows us westward like the yellow tares

from a dried pod, there where the Wall towers.

Against it man’s figure is ugly and stiff as a frightening hieroglyph,

as any illegible scripture at which one stares.

this pull in one direction only has made

me something elongated, like a horse’s head,

and all the body should do is spent by its shadow

rustling across the wild barley’s withered blade.Derek Walcott

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Haha, Cairo was trying to get your attention and as you remained focus on reading she then turned off Comments while trying to stop it all ;-)

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i love listening to you read. and your kitty cat too!

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Love to see your t-shirt! :) I looked up the poem and read it, as suggested. Still scratching my head but I did find this: He says about it somewhere, "I was trying to combine two things, Beckett and Mozart," maybe akin to two things he describes elsewhere as grief and reason.

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