Monday, May 23, 2016

A Poetic Experiment

The following is a poem by Koon Woon. We are doing a small experiment in "empathy." 

If you are a poet or familiar with poetry, you may have a stronger reaction or a different reaction than someone who is not a poet or a poetry connoisseur. Please write your own reaction to this poem and email it to Koon Woon at Just a short paragraph would do as to how you reacted.

Then, let a friend who is not a poet read this poem, and ask for his/her reaction. It is preferable that you do not ask an English major or a Literature major but someone who majored in another field. 

Thank you for your participation. It is of course voluntary.

Here is the poem:

The eye of the needle

She said you can see the world through
The eye of the needle,
Writing as she with her index finger
On my spine.
She said the whorl on your
Back indicates
You have great strength,
Like an ox,
And she patiently plucked
Hair from my forehead,
This will make you generous.

Grandmother your aged hands were
If I only knew the number
Of Chickens
You have plucked
Gently naked,
Undressing them for the next life.

And you rubbed
Your grandchildren’s foreheads
To gentle sleep with those
Tender tendrils of garden petals
You rubbed between finger tips
Loved they were and abunded

I forgive the time you hacked
To pieces my dog and scooped it
Steaming onto my plate.
I didn’t have enough meat.

You are not here now
And I am strong
You wrote a whorl on my back.


You can make a comment here or

Please email your reactions to
Koon Woon
2012 18th Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98144

Revisions: 1981 - 2015

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