You fools who ask what god is
should ask what life is instead.
Find a port where lemon trees bloom.
Ask about places to drink in the port.
Ask about the drinkers.
Ask about the lemon trees.
Ask and ask until nothing’s left to ask.
© Ko Un
translated from the Korean by Suji Kwock Kim and Sunja Kim Kwock
from Poetry, November 2014
1. Select a material object from your daily environment and ask yourself at least 20 questions about it.
2. Speculate on how many people came into contact with the object before it reached your possession. (Even if it’s something you grew or produced yourself, where did the seed or raw materials come from?)
3. Write a poem in praise of the object, and the people and processes it has passed through. Include some praise of yourself in relationship to the object.
4. Send me what you write! I’d love to share it!