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Wake Asia Wake - Part One - 3

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Below is the poem entitled Wake Asia Wake - Part One - 3 which was written by poet T Wignesan. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Wake Asia Wake - Part One - 3

No wisdom more canny than the folksome pantun’s peasant proverbials
            Wake! Monde Malais! Wake and note no Sultan whirls as a Sufi
             Nor  no Sage of Singapore pouting platitudes can make you wake 
                                                        Wake! Malay! Wake!
And settle your differences with neighbours over the bamboo fences
            for as long as you chain produce Kalashnikovs and cartridges
            others far-off will pride themselves on their need to divide et impera
                                                       Wake! China! O! Wake!
Give your less mighty neighbours not so much the helping hand
            as the glory of an example of standing upright free on equal feet
            you who had over the ages exported suzerain panaceas and no conquests
                                                        Wake! O! China! Wake!
Remember again Asoka the masterful Mauryas  the golden era of the artful Guptas
            Kalidasa’s Shakuntala Tulsi Das  Pannini’s grammar Bharatha’s Natya Sastra
            The Tolkappiyam  the Cilappatikaram Manimekalai Ramayana Maha Bharatha
                                                          Wake! India! Wake!
Remember Lao Tse! Master Kung! and the all-doubt dispelling future perfect Yijing!
           Remember the finest mind-embroidered silk flowing down the ages
           in Wu’s Monkey  skeins of thought calligraphed in the Buddhist mean!
                                                            Wake! O! China! Wake!
All is not full-figures  all not burgeoning percentage growth
            if glory can be reduced to mere Middle Kingdom might!
            then bound feet will drag on  face-down in seven kowtows
                                           Wake! O! Mighty China! Wake!     
And set your legions marching not to win wars or quell rebellions
            but to unclog your drains canals marshes and rivers
            let your lifeblood circulate nourished in lifegiving oxygen
                                                     Wake! O! Asia! Wake!
Whose art the better glints down the ages   the gilded Samurai swords
            or those of Bashô and Issa in the carved rocky sands of the combed garden
            or those of Lady Murasaki in Genji Monogatari and Chikamatsu
                                              Wake! Sleepless Rising Sun! Wake!

(Continued in Part One - 4)

Copyright © T Wignesan

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  1. Date: 6/14/2012 8:36:00 AM
    In this part, I enjoyed most the reference to Lao Tse, and the Yijing, of course. Hugs, catie :)