A previous posting about a tea poem by Robert Finch focused on the accoutrements. This poem, a tour of a tea merchant’s shop, derives some of its verve and energy from an enumeration of types: Ling Ching, Chunmee, Pi Lo Chun, Bai Mu Dan pearls. The latter give the poem its arresting final image:
Bai Mu Dan pearls
from this Spring’s first-snow pickings,
fingertip-rolled round petals of jasmine
slowly unfurl, greening
his kettle of clear well water,
each sip unhinging
in that first, stilling cup of tea.
“Tea Merchant” in Red Lacquered Chopsticks by Betty Warrington-Kearsley.
And so for day 1951