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Year of the Ox
William Marr



the dark
of the year of the rat
to a string of firecrackers
and lighting it

rouse the newcomer
the year of the ox
to raise its hooves
and lead us
into a bright new year

© by William Marr.
Used with the author’s permission.


William Marr came to America from Taiwan in 1961. After receiving his master's degree in mechanical engineering and his PhD degree in nuclear engineering, he worked in the area of energy research at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago for 27 years before retiring in 1996 to focus on his true passions — poetry and art. A former president of the Illinois State Poetry Society, William has published two books of essays, several books of poetry translations, and 23 volumes of poetry. His poetry has been translated into more than ten languages and appears in high school and college textbooks in Taiwan, China, England, and Germany. In 2018, William received the lifetime achievement award from the International Board of Examiners of Edizioni Universum and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marquis Who's Who Publications Board. In 2019, he received the 60th Literary Award from Taiwan's Chinese Literature and Art Association. William lives with his wife, Jane, in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Learn more about him here.



Post New Comment:
William Marr:
Thanks to all of you for your kind words and encouragement. Have a wonderful Year of the Ox!
Posted 07/23/2021 10:09 PM
Hope springs eternal!
Posted 02/17/2021 09:07 AM
I'm a rat - but happy to see the end of 2020! Thank you for your charming poem!
Posted 02/15/2021 08:34 PM
A Jenkin:
Beautifully stated, offering hope for a better new year. Thank you
Posted 02/14/2021 06:21 AM
A dose of bright light and joy! Good by to the rat.
Posted 02/12/2021 04:42 PM
Wilda Morris:
A fun welcome for the new year! Happy New Year, Bill. Keep writing your wonderful poetry.
Posted 02/12/2021 04:07 PM
Lori Levy:
Posted 02/12/2021 03:36 PM
michael escoubas:
I have always admired Mr. Marr's economy of language and powerful images . . . this poem is no exception!
Posted 02/12/2021 02:54 PM
Metaphoric and picturesque, well done, my new favorite poet
Posted 02/12/2021 01:44 PM
I have never been so happy to see an old year end! And what a way to send it off!
Posted 02/12/2021 01:23 PM
Jean Colonomos-1:
I'm with you!
Posted 02/12/2021 11:31 AM
Janet Leahy:
We are so ready for a "bright new year," thanks William.
Posted 02/12/2021 11:29 AM
Larry Schug:
I wish us all another orbit of our sun, no matter which critter you choose to follow.
Posted 02/12/2021 07:28 AM
Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Posted 02/12/2021 05:36 AM

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