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Sharing an Umbrella
William Marr

Sharing an umbrella
I suddenly realize the difference between us
Yet bending over to kiss you
gives me such joy
as you try to meet me
     on tiptoe

From Autumn Window (Arbor Hill Press,1996).
Used here with the author’s permission.



William Marr came to America from Taiwan in 1961. After receiving a master's degree in mechanical engineering and a PhD degree in nuclear engineering, he worked at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago for 27 years before retiring to devote his full time and energy to his true passions: poetry and art. A former president of the Illinois State Poetry Society, William has published 21 volumes of poetry (Autumn Window and Between Heaven and Earth are in English; the rest are in Chinese), two books of essays, and several books of poetry translations. His poems are included in over one hundred anthologies, ranging from high school and college literary textbooks to special collections, and have been translated into more than ten languages. In recent years, William has also pursued painting and sculpting. Learn more about him here.


Post New Comment:
William Marr:
Thanks for all the wonderful comments. Hopefully, the romantic scene under the umbrella can be created not only by two lovers, but by any individuals, groups, nations, and religions with differences as well. I used this poem to teach my sons about compromise when they were growing up, and they tell me that they remember this lesson to this day.
Posted 02/12/2014 07:05 PM
Remarkable. I can picture this scene.
Posted 02/11/2014 12:04 AM
Wilda Morris:
Romantic and and as concise as most of William's wonderful poems.
Posted 02/10/2014 03:59 PM
very sweet!
Posted 02/10/2014 09:52 AM
a most romantic painting!
Posted 02/10/2014 08:40 AM
Interesting contrasts: sharing and difference; bending and tiptoe. Resolved with joy. Like the image of the "T" formed by the umbrella and the two lovers.
Posted 02/10/2014 08:35 AM
Ralph Murre:
About perfect, William.
Posted 02/10/2014 08:30 AM
lovely. sweet.
Posted 02/10/2014 07:07 AM
I love the simplicity and brevity of this image!
Posted 02/10/2014 05:53 AM
Ross Kightly:
'Kissing in the Rain'... there's a title there somewhere... I love the simplicity and understated power of this poem - so much goes on beneath the surface but superficially it is a single moment. But perhaps every single instant is more than that. And if only my Mandarin or Cantonese were 1/200,000th as good as this English....
Posted 02/10/2014 04:08 AM

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