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T'ANG HORSE

by Richard J.P. O'Grady

"Acclaimed from youth our Han Kan stands alone,
Exhausting every feature of the horse.
Alas- he paints the flesh and not the bone;
Such splendid beasts, but winded soon of course!
"
Poet Tu Fu (mid. 8th Century)

To this day, we admire your horse
twelve hundred years ago;
such sturdy frame, thick, springy legs
and oh, so juicy haunch!

Who was Tu Fu, and who were you?
Did you grow up together?
How did paths cross? What triggered off
a grudged antipathy?

You and Tu Fu will never "die"
fuelled through eternity,
you with your art, but alas, Tu Fu
with waspish jealousy.