4. Poetry Workshop

July 15, 1997

(3) Monday Morning

The third practice of the day was an imitation. Margo gave us a piece of poem written by a Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry, Lisel Mueller, entitled "Love Like Salt." We were supposed to write a poem using the technique of "juxtaposition," imitating Mueller. Before starting; however, we were told to fill in "the worksheet" for warming up. With the worksheet at hand, we were ready to sail on the sea of words. By this time of the workshop, participants were relaxing and even making jokes. We were feeling that we could say almost anything with given materials. We were not artists, it was clear; but what did it matter? The only important thing in the workshop was to "play with words!" It was a good feeling to get the freedom to "play." Even I, a non-native speaker of English, was allowed to join the party if temporarily. Swimming in the pool of words was so refreshing in summer time. Suddenly I remembered the daily interaction with my daughter at her bedside. I had always thought it one of the household chores for me to wake her up and drag her out of bed. From mother's point of view, she looked quite troublesome particularly in the morning of Monday; however, once I slipped in her mind in my imagination, I could feel how it is like to start a new week for a child. I was like that. I had just forgotten the child's emotion. While children are vivacious most of the time, they do not like to be controlled by adults and thus look lazy sometimes. The following poem was written in my own infantile resistance to the "small authority" :

Childhood Like Monday Morning

Bright as the first daylight
Blinding our sleepy eyes

Time to get up, start up and grow up
But let us linger a little longer in bed

TV says it's clear and partly cloudy
We know it will also pour and storm

"Don't be late" say all mothers
But for what in the world?
For school bus or the race to be an adult?

Fresh T-shirt, short pants and sneakers
A backpack full of books and lunch

Do we really have to go?
You call it Blue on a fine day, too

Newness and innocence
Are blank and terrible

What will wait for us?
Glory or failure?

Amusement Parks and museums are closed
Because we are confined in schools

Five more minutes in blanket will be great
Lamb's wool protects us from all the evils to come