Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WHY TAI CHI? - a metaphor poem


Tai Chi is a deliberate dance,
both solitary and in tandem.

It is a chorus
sung with body instead of voice.

You are rooted
to the floor,
yet bending
in invisible wind.

Begun with a mind full,
you end mindful:


© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012

Poem #10, National Poetry Month 2012

Yesterday I got to Tai Chi class a little early, and so did a woman who was going to try the class for the very first time. She asked me to tell her what Tai Chi was like, and I found that the only way to really describe it was with metaphor.

I hope she'll keep coming back for a few years, because Tai Chi is NOT as I describe in my poem until you are deeper into the practice than the first few months of struggling to keep up while feeling very self-conscious.

Hmm...that's sounding like the growth of a writer, isn't it?

I've blogged a couple of times about Tai Chi, and last year I wrote a Tai Chi acrostic.

Cathy, at Merely Day By Day, is joining me in a poem a day this month. Other daily poem writers include Amy at The Poem Farm, Linda at TeacherDance, Donna at Mainely Write, Laura at Writing the World for Kids (daily haiku), Liz at Liz in Ink (daily haiku), Sara at Read Write Believe (daily haiku), Jone at Deo Writer (daily haiku)...and YOU?


  1. My sister-in-law is a Tai Chi teacher & tells me so much of what she has received through it. I love your poem, Mary Lee & am beginning to think I use too many words. You are the mistress of just the right word, I believe. Thank you for this today.

    1. I cut A LOT of words out of this poem before it felt quiet enough to be about Tai Chi.

      And about Tai Chi -- you should try it. But give it time to take hold of you.

  2. Beautiful poem! I especially love the lines,
    "It is a chorus
    sung with body instead of voice."

  3. self

    It takes a lot of disciplined cutting to get perfection like this!

  4. Mary Lee,
    Another lovely poem! The word choice in this poem, as in all of your work, makes the poem a lyrical delight. I'm amazed at the way you can take something ordinary and shine a new light on it to capture its hidden beauty. Today my favorite line was " both solitary and in tandem." There is something about their opposing meanings that is striking.


  5. Amazing how so many things in life are a metaphor to the process of writing, I am constantly amazed by this! Lovely poem, so glad you are challenging yourself with TAI CHI and this dance of poetry!


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