Saturday, April 5, 2014

POEM #5- The Great Wall of China

Great Wall, image by  Saad Akhtar from New Delhi, India, found onWikimedia Commons  

I'm trying to participate in Mary Lee Hahn's month of poetry, "Our Wonderful World," but I'm finding it really tough, the poems just aren't coming very easily right now, and it's taking a ton of time. Today I went with an abecedarian. Not very happy with it, but this is the best I can do.

“Great Wall of China”

after approximately 2,000 years of
building and bloodshed by
countrymen, criminals, and cavalry, and
decrees by determined dynasties
earth dragon extends five thousand miles east to west,
fortification against fierce invaders
great wall zigs and zags over
hills, deserts, grasslands, and mountains
impervious to intruders
jewel of Asia, unmentioned
killed thousands, or maybe millions
loss of lives lessened by this
miracle of manpower
no machines used in construction
power provided by people
Qi’s greatest triumph
relentlessly repaired and renovated
strengthened by signal towers
touted by tourists and travelogues
unused parts in disrepair, even used as
village playgrounds, variously vandalized but
welcomed wanderers walk wall
extolling evidence of
zealous achievement.
(c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

Be sure to go to Mary Lee's blogs, Year of Reading or Poetrepository to read her poems. Also check Kevin's amazing poem, "Walls Won't Hold Us," here.


Mary Lee said...

An abecedarian was a BRILLIANT choice of form! If for no other reason than you had a built-in Q to use! And LOTS of Zs! I love these bits best: "earth dragon" and "miracle of manpower" and "variously vandalized."

Three cheers for another great poem!

Linda B said...

I agree, these are hard. I couldn't get anywhere with this, Carol, but you covered so much. I love those last lines! The poem is rather like a rant about the wall, at least to me. Somehow your words made me go fast, so I returned to read it again! Good voice!

Cathy said...

Love how deeply you have thought about this wall. I always think sadly about all of the lives lost, and never considered:

maybe millions
loss of lives lessened by this
miracle of manpower


Ramona said...

Carol, we are just winding up our study of ancient China. I can't wait to share this with my students after break.