Call to Poetry

Cave art is calling!
A bull rouses me from sleep—
Wake up to poetry!

Lao Tzu tosses me
an uncarved block— Polish it
and make your words shine!

Lu Chi advises
to keep still and silent
before your poem blossoms.

Rumi writes and whirls—
his joy of light dancing
from wheat to bread to you.

Dante shares with us
the bread of angels while
soaring up to the stars.

Basho sounds like a frog
croaking before plopping
into the pristine pond.

Goethe says only
children and birds know how
cherries and strawberries taste.

Blake opens the doors
of perception so we can
see the infinite.

Beethoven unveils
the hero within us—
Let the joy pour out!

Keats invites us to his
philosophical garden
to watch falling leaves.

Baudelaire's poet—
an albatross with giant wings
monarch of the clouds.

Emily whispers
to the bee and butterfly
who inspire her poems.

Rilke listens to
Apollo who teaches him—
You must change your life.

The call to poetry—
Conference of the Birds
calling us to return home.

     — Peter Y. Chou
          Mountain View, 2-7-2008

This poem was inspired by Elaine Scarry's lecture
"The Call to Poetry" at Stanford on Feb. 4, 2008

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (2-7-2008)