Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "wooden ox and flowing horse"

This poem came out of the April 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by marina_bonomi, based on the inventions of Zhuge Liang.  Yes, this poem uses a Japanese form (haiku verses) to honor a Chinese scholar.  There are some pretty cool Asian poems about famous people -- philosophers, scholars, poets, war heroes, etc. -- and many of those are cross-cultural figures.

wooden ox and flowing horse

Zhuge Liang was
the greatest of inventors
in all of China

he created the
mantou, steamed buns with filling,
a northern staple

he laid out land mines
in the Hulugu Valley
and won the battle

he refined crossbows
to fire repeatedly,
farther and faster

when trapped in Pingyang
he sent up hot air balloons
and summoned relief

when he made the first
wooden ox and flowing horse
people were amazed

it carried the grain
so efficiently, so fast,

pleased with this success,
Zhuge Liang switched from war
to just inventing

he made many things:
personal transportation,
power sources, foods

everyone hailed him
a hero, and China took
a great leap forward

before long, his fame
spread out beyond the borders,
even to Japan

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fishbowl, history, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing

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