Published on Academy of American Poets (

The Secrets of Poetry

Very long ago when the exquisite celadon bowl
that was the mikado's favorite cup got broken,
no one in Japan had the skill and courage
to mend it. So the pieces were taken back
to China with a plea to the emperor
that it be repaired. When the bowl returned, 
it was held together with heavy iron staples.
The letter with it said they could not make it
more perfect. Which turned out to be true.


From All of It Singing. Copyright © 2009 by Linda Gregg. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.


Linda Gregg

Born in 1942, Linda Gregg was the author of several collections of poetry, including All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2008), which received the 2009 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.

Date Published: 2009-01-01

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