Connoisseurs Of Ancient Beauty
The rarest and most valuable kind
of Chinese porcelain is known as Ju,
a word which those who truly are refined,
might care to know should be pronounced as Rue.
Glazed always with a lustrous green-tinged shade
of blue it sparkles faintly, rose embossed,
a color made from agate, not from jade––
forgotten the technique for this, quite lost.
More special is Ju ware to Chinese than
were cats in ancient Egypt; it is fairer
than odalisques who used to lie on a divan
in sultans’ harems, and it is far rarer.
The Chinese watch the vases as if they
were models on a runway, connoisseurs
of ancient beauty from a bygone day,
and everyone who is not praying purrs.