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Poem: At Least

Poem: At Least. By Ha Jin. Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. New York Times Magazine.

In a wry poem of direct counsel, Ha Jin dismisses obligatory mingling and networking. He’s talking to himself or to any of us, as the poem quietly advises and reasons. “A Distant Center,” Ha Jin’s profoundly appealing collection of poems written in Chinese, then translated by the author into English, contains so many breathtaking cleanses-of-spirit — begone bombast and posturing! Reading it is better than going to a spa. The title of this poem adds another encouraging nod to the topic. We may not know everything, but “at least” this.

“…Look, this skyful of stars,
which one of them
doesn’t shine or die alone?
Their light also comes
from a deep indifference.”

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