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It’s a metaphor

June 23, 2011

This is my lastest piece of poetry employing the metaphor of Japanese penmanship in which one must write kanji (Japanese characters) in a certain stroke order while attempting to acheive proper balance and shape. This technique is written with brush and ink. It has become my hobby and I found many similarities between the art and my life.

習字 (Shuuji) – Penmanship

Like the words I read here everyday,
you are the kanji of my heart.
Every part of you is compartmentalized
on the paper in my memory.
I arrange your idiosyncrasies
and your features
in the proper order.
Up to down.
Left to right.

I recognize your shape.
I vaguely recall your meaning.
But pronunciation escapes my grasp.
Reproduction is beyond my ability.
I speak you daily
but my nuance is slightly off.
My innate instinct for expression is
six thousand eight hundred and four miles away.

In a town where I am unknown
in miscommunication,
I miss communication.

I look at your face and still see
all the lines of familiarity.
I brush them out.
In perfect balance
and stroke order.
Up to down.
Left to right.

I practice you
over and over,
moving in symmetry and precision.

You have been created to perfection.
Mounted and framed
behind transparent protection
as fragile as our hearts.
You will never change
within my memory
or behind glass.
Displayed for all to see
you garner the praise so deserving you.

I clean my brush.
I fold up my heart
containing all the scraps of
practice and conversation,
the mistakes and the memories.
No one knows the effort or the order
except for me.

Up to down
left to right.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2011 1:12 pm

    Lovely! Absolutely lovely!

    Would you mind if I used this poem in class? In the pre-university class I teach we read quite a lot of poetry, and this poem would be a very nice contribution.

  2. June 24, 2011 5:12 pm

    Oh wow, I am so flattered! Yes, please feel free to use my poem. I would just ask that you put my full name “Jennifer E. Schock” on the handout as well as the url to my blog.
    I’m quite honored that you found this worthwhile! Thanks so much for reading. 😀

  3. B. Keller permalink
    July 3, 2011 6:14 pm

    Wonderful poem. Definitely made me think on how something people can take little notice in can be such a large representation of one’s life. Love how levels of interpretation can change from person to person and action to action.

    Keep up the blogging and the vids.

  4. waitingforeliezer permalink
    July 7, 2011 9:45 pm

    It’s deep, neechan. I’ve been thinking on it for days, how learning to write those blasted characters feel so much like loving a difficult person.

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