BALABAN: No, but I’d like to see it endure, along with the original notions that we have in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Whether it will or not looks a bit iffy now, doesn’t it?
WALPOLE: What about poetry?
BALABAN: I’ll reply to that with a Vietnamese poem I translated:
The waterfall plunges in mist.
Who can describe this desolate scene:the long white river sliding throughthe dark green shadows of the ancient canopy. . . a shepherd’s horn echoing in the valley,fish nets stretched to dry on sandy flats.
A bell is tolling, fading, fadingjust like love. Only poetry lasts.
A writer and teacher (retired), Joe Walpole has published nonfiction in various magazines. His most recent appearance inprint was in Agni, which published an excerpt from his memoir-in-progress, Breathe Only When Necessary. A graduate of bothPenn State University and the MFA program at Florida International University, Joe lives with his wife, his daughter, and hisdog in Sunrise, Florida.