ysabetwordsmith: (Origami Mage)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] poetree
The Origami Mage series is historic fantasy that draws much of its inspiration from Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian cultures. The two main characters work their magic through traditional crafts, origami and kirigami. The first poem, "folded wings," introduced this type of magic for the Origami Mage and the second, "cutting and folding," introduced the rival character, the Kirigami Mage. The poem below, "unfolding wings," is the earliest in chronology; you can see an illustration of it by [personal profile] meeks. The series as a whole deals with the evolving relationship between the two women, and the plot takes a spiraling path common to Asian folklore; you can read more on my Serial Poetry page.  The icon on this post shows the Origami Mage as illustrated by Tod Wills.

Most of the poems in the Origami Mage series are written in Asian forms. A majority use haiku verses; some use tanka verses. Then there are a few with unique forms, such as "Bā Guà". I find that using ethnic forms strengthens the sense of local color when I write poetry that has a close connection with a particular culture.


unfolding wings

the blind beggar sits
on a sunny street corner
folding paper cranes

two wen will buy one
to take up to the temple
and leave with a prayer

a little girl stops
to watch the old man working
what seems like magic

she tugs mother's sleeve
the string is untied, coins freed
and given over

in her tiny hands
paper crane opens white wings
and bursts into flight

Date: 2011-10-15 11:35 pm (UTC)
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
Lovely, both words and sketch. I love the two other poems in the series you've linked to even more--something about the description of the origami mage folding her hands into her sleeves makes me smile, and the paraphrasing of the Buddhist sayings rings in tune.

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