The bowl we wheeled, fired, and glazed
when broken, became the metaphor for us;
a shining heaviness on my lap,
unfit for water or fruit

fusing again, what rejoins
is no longer flawed, but deeper;
our story, refired to epic
by gold veins running through
a clay that melds with grace inside heat

that everyday us
becoming something precious
only after breaking.



About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Kintsugi

  1. Oh, my, that is beautiful ~ the poem, the glaze, the fusion.

    • Thank you,.Polly. Believe it or not, this was inspired by a FACEBOOK post, ROFL. I had no idea what I was going to write about, until I saw the picture and the description. Glad you liked. Have to thank David Trudel for sharing the picture, or I would still be scratching my head, wondering what to write about πŸ˜‰

  2. claudia says:

    this is really a wonderful image susan…great metaphor…and just love that they repair it with such dignity – makes it even more special than it was before… fantastic image for relationships or life in general…oh…it breaks so often, doesn’t it…mine has gold & silver mending lines all over the place..smiles

  3. Just love this, Susan. I enjoy working in clay so much and you’ve captured that whole “feel.” And the message is powerful.

    • Thanks so much, Victoria. It really was one of those “instant” poems–not the add water and stir kind, but the kind where you say what the hell am I going to write about, and out of the blue a friend sends you a picture of the very thing you need to translate.

  4. aprille says:

    How wonderful to turn a disaster into a triumph. makes me want to smash a pot or two πŸ™‚
    and an equally wonderful presentation in words and thought.
    A pleasure to come across.

  5. Aria says:

    I loved this, the combining of symbol and deeper meaning.

  6. brian miller says:

    ah the broken vessel…what a metaphor…or loaded metaphor that one is….and the refiring and repair of it as well…this is life in many ways…the precious after breaking…absolutely love that…

  7. Alice Keys says:

    Another lovely poem. Thank you. The bowl is exactly like one I gave away last summer when I was downsizing and de-materializing. I like the image of remaking an old thing with new beauty. This is good thought for today.

  8. Fantastic metaphor – the broken bowl, more precious after breaking and being re-fused. Wonderfully written!

  9. davidtrudel says:

    The image immediately brought to mind the Leonard Cohen song Anthem, and these lines in particular:

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in

    I am thrilled that you created such a beautiful poem from something I felt compelled to repost.

  10. Tony says:

    I love the metaphor that broken things can be made even more precious tha they previously were – but it takes both a lot of work and a lot of heat!

  11. Miriam E. says:

    just beautiful, Susan

  12. wolfsrosebud says:

    do like the bowl and what it represents

  13. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    I really do appreciate the idea -and the aesthetic concept- behind this poem.

    I have a thought: what if you tried this piece as an action poem; a poem about process? The actual remaking of the bowl, in detail, is the process of emotional repair.

    I do like what you have done here already, I am just intrigued by the idea that your poem is actually tied up in the actual bowl-making itself, if that makes sense.

    • Oh! I so get where you are going with this. Holding the pieces, mixing the binding agent, sprinkling and refiring… Oh, that changes the whole piece from something shiny and pretty into something more… More of whatever it is I reach for when I am writing. Thank you, and I will do that!

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        The crafting process. . . that is what I see embedded in this piece. I would love to see what you could do with that.

        • Yes–the prompt was to describe a thing… You suggest making that thing (or in this case, re-making), and I love where that could lead. Wonderful suggestion! More hands-on poetry. Oh, now I like the sound of that phrase…

  14. Dick Jones says:

    An eloquent and graceful rendition of the Hemingway truth that ‘the world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places’.

  15. Oh wow…this is perfect! So true… great poetry πŸ™‚

  16. I like the use of the bowl as the metaphor of us ~ Good one Susan ~

  17. beautiful words & a lesson. love it

  18. nico says:

    “That everyday us.” Great poem, I like these poems using objects as metaphors. Not always easy to pull off, but you managed to do it with flair!

  19. Laurie Kolp says:

    Such strong images and the closing stanza WOWed me.

  20. boomiebol says:

    Love it and I am shouting lol… Flows beautifully

    • Thanks, Boomie! I think I am going to research this and make a companion poem to this one–instead of describing the piece, I am going to do the process too–Jeremy had a great idea–so you will be seeing this again in a different form πŸ˜‰

  21. I enjoyed this a lot– the imagery, the poem, and the concept. And I always enjoy learning something new– Kintsugi– thanks for the knowledge πŸ™‚ ~ peace, Jason

  22. ruleofstupid says:

    Loved what you did with this – and agree – something once broken can become more precious.

  23. A great message supported with strong image I like the hope of repair and future usefulness. I enjoyed much!

  24. kaykuala says:

    That’s a great find, Susan! Ironically enough some things got to be valuable and appreciated more when broken and repaired!


  25. mobius faith says:

    Love this one Susan.

  26. Kelvin S.M. says:

    …very interesting Susan… funny, i initially have thought of writing a piece incorporating some japanese aspects & languages when i saw the topic today… i always think great images could be formed & better expressed in Japanese theme… But went on by writing a nature themed poem with an unexpected twist… Smiles…

  27. Beautiful. Pottery in poetry always inspires me.

  28. matteospinettipoet says:

    A very beautiful poetry, the poet often takes inspiration from the simplest things. This poem shows not only as a simple earthenware broken to reveal a truth. But poetry can also see how the mind of a poet merges with the surroundings.

  29. lucychili says:

    i keep the broken pieces of favourite things in the garden, maybe one day i can mosaic them into something new.

  30. Blue Flute says:

    As William Carlos Williams might say,

    so much depends
    your broken

    glazed and

    to hold your story

  31. nelle says:

    Ooh, I like this one. We are creatures who make our way in exploration through trial and error. Where our true test comes is whether we take away a lesson or leave it to experience again until we get it right. I think of this after reading your words, picturing each of us just like that dish. We have our cracks and our fault lines, but wisdom can flow along those spaces and weld them together.

  32. Lindy Lee says:

    Breaking improves the human spirit, at least sometime; clever metaphor…

  33. GinAndTulips says:

    So beautiful. Brought a smile to my face.

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