Sunday, April 6, 2014

Our Wonderful World: The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

The Eight Gratitudes

I hope you won't think I'm wasting
one of my eight
by choosing daffodils.
They hold hope
in their cup-and-saucer blooms.

If I choose
books -- 
the ones I bought yesterday,
plus the ones that line nearly every wall of every room --
can they also stand 
for the authors,
and my fellow readers,
and a quiet afternoon 
spent curled up on the couch reading?
Is that cheating?

How could I not
include chocolate?

Or my mug of hot tea 
first thing
in the morning?

When I close my eyes
and think of home,
I picture my mother, 
looking out the window above the kitchen sink,
calling me 
to come and see
the sunset.

Yes, that's worth three:
home, mom, sunsets.

Number eight is silence,
which was broken just now
by the train's whistle,
and earlier
by the robins and wrens 
singing in the dark.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

As I read about The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, trying to find a starting point for a poem, I came across these names for the pagoda: "Bao'ensi, or "Temple of Gratitude," and I learned that the base of the tower is octagonal. That's all I needed. My poem would be, "The Eight Gratitudes," which is a poem I could probably (should probably) write every day of my life with eight different gratitudes per day. After all, there's a growing body of research that shows an "Attitude of Gratitude" is actually good for your health.

The original tower, built to honor either the Emperor's parents or just his mother, was destroyed in the 19th Century, but was rebuilt in 2010.

Amy has been writing about her mentor poems in her process notes for her daily poems at The Poem Farm. I didn't have a particular poem in mind as I wrote, but I tried to imitate the conversational tone of Billy Collins' or George Bilgere's poetry.

Kevin's Notegraphy is here.

Be sure to visit Carol's Corner to read the fabulous abecedarian Carol wrote about The Great Wall of China yesterday.

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