Monday, April 15, 2013

Emily Jiang - Painting with Sound

Painting with Sound
Emily Jiang

Picking at my guzheng,
I can feel

the crisp, clean
mountain air

breezing over
my unbound hair.

Strumming my guzheng
I can feel

the cold rush
of waterfall

filling my ears
with thunderous call.

©Emily Jiang. From Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose about Chinese Musical Instruments - Shen's Books, 2013. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

You can add to the list of things I love about poetry: I can learn from it AND when written well, as Emily Jiang demonstrates here, a poem's language and imagery can paint a picture of something the reader might not already know. Because I admit, I didn't know what a guzheng was... but in reading the poem, my lack of specific knowledge mattered not one whit: I got it.

A guzheng is one of the instruments featured in Emily's debut book, coming later this year, called Summoning the Phoenix. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak when I saw Emily in March, and the book is both beautiful and fun. You can see a preview of the art at illustrator April Chu's blog, far more than the gorgeous little snippet you see here. You really should go see it. Really.

Emily is also a composer and performer, and her upcoming book is a clear example of how our different passions can all mix together to create art. I'm always happy to get a reminder of that myself... and it's just one reason I'm so happy to have Emily Jiang here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, Stephen W. Cahill introduced us to Scatterpillars. Tomorrow... Laurel Snyder and Bluster! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

love this poem, and I got a sneak peek at the art as well, and it's a delicious combination! Thanks, Emily, and thanks Greg!

tanita✿davis said...

There's a lovely onomatopoetic song to words in other languages sometimes - what a neat - and very niche specific - poetry collection

Charles Waters said...

Short and to the point. Like a rhyming Valerie Worth. Love it!

Damon said...

This is gorgeous. Congratulations, Emily!! I can't wait to check out the book!!!!!