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Annual Fall Retreat: Asian Poetry or How You Too Can Du Fu 6 October 2018

  • Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat 6581 West Hollow Road Naples, NY, 14512 United States (map)


Come and help us celebrate another wonderful year of poetry and creative community building!!! Once again we'll meet at the Gleason Lodge at the Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat. Fall foliage, comfortable chairs and a great fireplace await you.

This Year’s session will be lead by Just Poet Roy Hartwell Bent.

Break bread with some of the area's finest poets. Come work, relax, learn, and create in a beautiful fall setting.  Coffee and food provided in the a.m.. Please bring a dish-to-pass for lunch. Learn, write and make new friends! Bring paper and pencil, a laptop, whatever you use to write. Free wi-fi is available.

Through the work and lives of  LI BAI & DU FU (who you may know as LI PO & TU FU) and BASHO, we'll examine classical Chinese & Japanese poetic objectives and techniques, and how their influence permeates western poetry (including your own!). Both during the morning session, and in afternoon workshops, there will be many opportunities to try out their methods and ideas in your own writing.

Li Bai

Li Bai

9:00- 9:30 arrival. Coffee, tea bagels provided. Bottled water available all day.

9:30 to Noon Morning session: We’ll start with what is often called the moment Chinese poetry became important to modern English poetry, the publication of Ezra Pound’s Cathay. We’ll pay particular attention to the River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter. Then we’ll look at the life and works of Li Bai, Du Fu, and their influence on Japanese poetry through Basho. We’ll see examples of the intertwining of Chinese calligraphy, visual arts, gardens and government. We’ll stop several times during the morning for you to try out specific Chinese poetic techniques.

Noon -1 P.M. Pot Luck Lunch (plates, cups & flatware provided)

1:00 - 1:45 Form Discussion: the Chinese 5 and 7 character lines, and how they work in many modern forms (In Chinese Poetry, Modern starts in the 5th century) and in the traditional Japanese Haikai no Renga (vulgar writings), and its famous offshoot, the 5-7-5 Haiku.

1:45- 2:45 Time to write. You can write in the lodge where Roy will be available to discuss particular issues raised in the morning. Or walk around, looking at the setting in the Chinese sort of way learned in the morning session and the form discussion.

2:45 - 4:00 Gather in the great room for our Read Around, in which you can share your work from the day or something else you brought with you.

  • Reserve your place now

  • $15 Regular members $10 students

  • If you can, bring a dish to pass

  • Tickets available at any Just Poets event, or in the Store.

The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter


After Li Po/Li Bai/Rihaku

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chōkan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever, and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?

At sixteen you departed
You went into far Ku-tō-en, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me.
I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fu-Sa

Earlier Event: September 12
Open Mic: Colleen Powderly, Featured Reader
Later Event: October 10
October Open Mic: Karla Linn Merrifield