Song Lin’s poem, translated by Dong Li, “To Czesław Miłosz,” appears in Michigan Quarterly Review’s Fall 2019 issue. in the years after you left the world remains the same only planet earth becomes elusive tribulation like retribution falls on the dining table from the sky,
I am at the meeting point at the jetty by Mytilini Harbor just after 8 am. A lone slender bearded figure sits and smokes by the quai (he is H___ the barber, I learn later). Instead of approaching I retreat to dash off a sketch of the harbor mouth and a little coast guard tug against the rising terrain.
A pencil. A piece of wood encasing a graphite core that can draw in a thousand hues of grey and black. The memory of the first attempt at writing, the hardness of the wood between uncertain fingers, the exertion of small force on the paper and finally, carefully drawn marks of different thicknesses and angles. Joanna Concejo’s many works evoke this forgotten memory of our graphite past.