In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Bong Ja Ahn's Paper Boat


This Labor Day Weekend I was up in Vancouver, Canada for a book launch "Poet and the Paper Boat" by Korean poet Bong Ja Ahn.  The book is the second in her English-Korean Poetry Anthology.  This was a beautiful event held at a community center, upstairs in a corner room.  Large windows and balcony doors were open wide and the last winds of August danced gently around the room.  My poet friends, Carla and Betty, and I were there along with 30-40 others to support Bong Ja.  The guest of honor wore a traditional Korean gown, and the table of refreshments were a unique sampling of delicacies from her homeland.

While there, a friend invited me to read a poem at the yearly Tagore Festival in Richmond.  What a wonderful opportunity!  The afternoon was full of inspiration, rich conversation, and an exchange of artistic expression that filled up my soul!  So wonderful to be a poet in the company of poets.


Here is Bong Ja's signature poem from her new book:

Paper Boat

Yesterday
I folded and unfolded
a white paper boat.

Who is the noble born high up there
passing through the perfumed April air
Why the robins are busy signing at the early hour
And silvery sunrays ripple everywhere.

It's you
It's me
One followed by the other
Arrived on this side of mortal shore,

Where the yearnings flutter as high as they are deep,
Where Karma is yet to be unwound from tangled spool,
Where Breath of life is like jade, precious and
tearful.

Today again
My white paper boat
I fold, unfold and fold again.



Learn more about Bong Ja here:  http://worldpoetry.ca/?tag=bong-ja-ahn

 



1 comment:

  1. "Where Breath of life is like Jade..." so lovely. What a talented poet, Shannon. Thanks for sharing Bong Ja's work, and all the best on reading your poem at the Tagore Fest.

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