Xi’an–dVerse Poetics

Terracotta Army

Image via Wikipedia

Today at dVerse Poetics Pub, the lovely and talented Claudia Shoenfeld invites us to visit a city that is a part of our story or imagination and to try to create a poetic sense of that city’s atmosphere. I’ve traveled back a number of years to Xi’an, China, which I visited in 1998. The city is home of the renowned Terra Cotta Warriors rediscovered by a farmer in the 1970’s. Constructed to protect the tomb of a Chinese Emperor, the warriors are the site of an amazing archeological dig. The earth of Xi’an is red terra-cotta and its fine red dust coats the environment and everyone in it. Other key interests in Xi’an include a huge open air market where animals are slaughtered at the time of purchase and shops of artisans who work in jade.


when I return
to Xi’an
dusted in powder
the color of blood
red death
of warriors

with fine
bristled brush
will I remove
secrets hidden
for ages
protecting kings
in their mounded

when I return
to Xi’an
with sharp-pointed
stylus will I etch
millennia of stories
in green jade
carving the
history of a nation
in bas-relief

flowing with
blood of
fowl, of human
sweat and tears,
taste scents
of ocean

lay down
upon the earth
to hear
the sigh of ages
cradle clay
within my

Stop by the pub and enjoy a world tour presented for your enjoyment by an array of seasoned and up-coming poets: http://dversepoets.com


30 thoughts on “Xi’an–dVerse Poetics

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    The poem captures the mystery there. I’ve never been, but I do remember when the first major article came out on that find along with wonderful photographs in National Geographic. Somehow it engages the imagination immediately. Unforgettable …

    Thanks for another very fine poem, Victoria.


  2. kshawnedgar says:

    Blood of fowl! Maybe these men in tomb, packed in rows, were meant as a prediction.


  3. David says:

    Victoria, this is definitely one of the best poems of yours that I have read. The first stanza is an especially powerful evocation of the city’s two most unique features: the red terra cotta dust and the terra cotta warriors. Splendid poem!


  4. Debbie Dawnslight says:

    I have tasted the scents…
    ~ thank you for taking me there.


  5. leah says:

    Wow, I was reading and looking for more to read.


  6. Bravo, Victoria!

    Ocean fruits is something my senses can really bite into.

    I could tell you were flowing on a roll with this one, from start to finish and I loved it!!



  7. Simply wonderful. I too visited the site you depicted here and you wonderful words do its beauty,color, and history perfect justice and evoked memories I savored with longing.


  8. You went to an exotic place with this prompt! Cool poem – fascinating about the red dust & blood in the marketplace.


  9. jenneandrews says:

    An exquisite poem, delicately and profoundly wrought! I’m at http://parolavivace.blogspot.com — thx, j


  10. tashtoo says:

    Loved the response I got from the color of the earth, (PEI is known for its red “dirt”, andI love traveling down her orange and dusty back roads) and then the image of the cool, jade. The back story and photo are both wonderful as well, making this a favorite “city” for me this evening. Beautiful and fascinating share.


  11. becca givens says:

    Beautifully written, Victoria, with such vivid imagery … I am ready to book reservations! Enjoyable read! Thank you for sharing.


  12. Sharmishtha says:

    fantastic journey to a place full of memories.


  13. hedgewitch says:

    This is dramatically presented, and the sense of place is very strong, even though alien and exotic, foreign in all ways, yet made oddly familiar by your own presence in the poem as an actor as well as observer. I like the way your narrative, like the brush you mention, removes the extraneous and reveals what lies beneath. Excellent piece, Victoria. Those are amazing pictures, as well.


  14. Umaa says:

    Interesting piece.I got to know more about this place Xian with just few words 🙂


  15. claudia says:

    awesome victoria..would love to see these terra cotta warriors but you already made me feel them..also love the market scene…scary for us as we’re so not used to it..but def. a great experience


  16. mish says:

    You’ve painted such a vivid picture … it allows the reader to see , hear and feel the artistic beauty that is found at this site .


  17. David King says:

    It’s a place I long to visit. So far I have only second hand images to go on, but your poem has created for me images and sensations I had so far not enjoyed. Thank you for the poem, there are so many good things in it, I don’t think I can tell you just how good I think it is.


  18. Steve says:

    Lovely poem Victoria – I’ve always wanted to visit the terra cotta army and feel the need much stronger now – you set the, somewhat barbaric, scene beautifully beforehand – I’m off to have a read of the rest of your writing 🙂


  19. http://henryclemmons.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/prague-stary-zidovsky-hrbitov/ictoria, your writes always leave me smiling. A very entertaining, original, educational, making me go to Google, read:) Nice job, VERY nice.


  20. beautiful Victoria..

    Someone is Special


  21. The wonders of this piece and the subject it involves is fantastic. The ingenuity of humanity is a marvel at times and your piece accentuates that to its fullest. Wonderful work!


  22. Aida Bode says:

    Ah, this was like going to the Met for me! Totally loved it, Victoria 🙂


  23. Victoria, this was beautifully written. I could see all methods of art being laid out before you like surgical instruments. Vivid, evocative, and healing.

    Thank you. Amy


  24. when I return
    to Xi’an
    with sharp-pointed
    stylus will I etch
    millennia of stories
    in green jade
    carving the
    history of a nation
    in bas-relief

    So vividly drawn and marvelous photographs, thank you for bringing China into my office.


  25. siggiofmaine says:

    I’ve seen several tv specials on this discovery…never tire of watching…how amazing…thanks for the stirring of an interesting topic … great write.

    ☮ ♥. Siggi in Downeast Maine


  26. Heaven says:

    a city seeped with history and ancient wise words… lovely description of this city ~


  27. Inspiration says:

    Very nice poem today. I really enjoyed reading it. Please read and share my poem “The Inspiration” also.

    Thanks again for writing this.


  28. souldipper says:

    Oh my, Victoria. I remember reading about this, but then forgot all about it. What a project. Your poem puts me right there.


  29. brian says:

    wow victoria, this is gorgeous…would love to see them…the carving history in green jade with a stylus and laying prostrate to hear the sigh and fold of the clay…mmm…love those touches…


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