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  • Dr.Pragya Suman

Poetry Pot/Arc Magazine

To Yu Jian

By Ron Padgett

Though we speak different languages

We seem to understand each other.

All it takes is a long look in the eye,

a slight smile,

a gesture, and

we know.

We know to how to get along well

because we respect each other

and we assume a lot.

Someday I’d like to talk with you

for hours and hours,

to see what would happen.

You are a completely interesting person.

This simple but captivating poem is written by Ron Padgett. Here absence of language on an abstract cordial plane is framed in semantic dimensions. Abstract attraction or liking, reverses the kataphatic or positive aspect of language expressed through the speech. Here the poet has generated the energy due to the unexpressed language, speech, and communication doctrine. Silence is a negative aspect of language, and it is a storehouse of energy. Someone asked Gautama Buddha,” why should we talk little or be silent?”

In response, Buddha remained silent!

The Poet communicates through symbols and gestures, hoping communication will take place one day. This poem is exquisite as it conveys mute love in simple and lucid words where we see both negative and positive energy of words expressed in contrast.

Ron Padgett is not only a great poet but, like so many New York poets, is also a terrific translator. He translated great Chinese poet Yu Jian’s poems into a book called Flashcards, and he dedicated this poem to him.

Dr Pragya Suman

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