Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Way of Tea



Hello fellow Toads! I am pleased to be able to make my prompt debut today on my birthday. I figured my first prompt should do double duty; it should introduce me a bit as well as give a nudge to your muse. So I decided to riff off of something near and dear to me, Japanese tea ceremony. I’ve been fascinated with Japanese culture for much of my life, so when the opportunity presented itself to study tea ceremony in depth I jumped at it.

The founder of the big three schools of tea, Sen No Rikyu was a poet as well as a tea aficionado. He wrote 100 small poems about the practice of tea. Besides for being quite helpful to aspiring chajin (literally “tea people” – those who are serious in their studies of tea), I’ve found they can be quite inspiring outside the tearoom as well. Today I’ve chosen 7 of them to serve as your inspiration. Create a poem based on any one of these for today’s prompt.

  •  Once a flower’s season has passed, it should not be brought in from another location for display in the tearoom.
  •  In your temae (specific form of making tea) if you only concentrate on giving a strong performance, then this “strength” is likely to strike the guests as weakness or a lack of dignity, or else generates a mood of oppression.
  •  If you make tea for people returning from a flower viewing, displaying a painting of flowers or birds, or a flower arrangement in the tearoom is inappropriate.
  • When you serve tea to your guests, you should simply serve tea from your heart, and think about nothing more.
  •  The best way to remember how to make good koicha is to simply make it frequently. Experience is the key.
  • The questions of how to begin and what to think are matters for one’s own heart to resolve. Of oneself, for oneself – you must be your own teacher.
  • See with your eyes! Listen with your ears! And if you wish to smell the fragrance, press for an explanation of every unresolved matter until your understanding is complete.



As per usual, this ought to be a new poem you’ve written. And remember to show your fellow toads some love! At the beginning of tea lessons, there’s a part where all the students encourage each other to do their best; let’s remember to cheer each other’s poetic endeavors on by visiting and commenting on their work. 


17 comments:

Magaly Guerrero said...

First, Happy Birthday, dearest Rommy! How does it feel to finally turn 28 *cough*?

Just so you know, I was sipping tea while I wrote today's poem. ;-D

Sanaa Rizvi said...


Hey everyone,

Hope you guys are having an amazing day so far, sharing my poem "Sakuracha."
Wishing you a most joyous birthday Rommy :D this one's for you!


Lots of love,
Sanaa

brudberg said...

Loved the thought of tea-ceremony.. there is something so hidden and secretive in tea that I wanted to set in words as a ghazal.

Adam Everhard said...

Happy birthday! Thank you for the education. :-)

Kerry O'Connor said...

Happy birthday, Rommy! This is an auspicious day in South Africa -Freedom Day commemorating the first post-apartheid election.

Mama Zen said...

Happy Birthday, Rommy!

Marilyn Cavicchia said...

Hey, happy birthday! I enjoyed this prompt, which I combined with a couple of others ...

De said...

Loved this prompt, Rommy. Sorry 'bout the (5) on my link. I was a busy girl over at dVerse today, and forgot to change it. ;)

Linda C. Folks said...

I love the Japanese tea ceremony,,,my contribution is not Japanese but it is about ceremony,,

Hannah said...

Thank you for the challenge, Rommy...so nice to meet you and learn more about this intriguing practice!

Susie Clevenger said...

Happy Birthday Rommy!! This is a great challenge. I actually wrote two. I missed posting a poem on the 23rd so now I am caught up with the challenge of 30 poems in 30 days!

grapeling said...

happy birthday Rommy - sorry for the darker turn of the post. Will return to comment at a later date... ~

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Welcome and Happy Birthday, Rommy!

This was a bit of a challenge for a coffee-drinker. But I found a way. :-)

angieinspired said...

This was fun Rommy. Hope your special day was just the same

satyapriya said...

Oh, a chastisement in poetry challenge form! Quit thinking, writing, remembering that loser!

Outlawyer said...

Super cool prompt, Rommy--it ended up taking a different direction for me, after I started with tea! But then read it more carefully and thought some more. Happy Birthday. k.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Really thought I had left a comment here, but clearly not. Hope you enjoyed the very happiest birthday Rommy. Loved the idea of this prompt.