The Ahh-ness of Things

cracked background image with text: “The Ahh-ness of Things” A poem about “mono no aware,” the wistful beauty of impermanence. patreon.com/rachelswirsky

This December, I’m sharing a patron-exclusive new poem on my Patreon.

The Ahh-ness of Things” is about the emotion mono no aware, a Japanese term for–well–the ahh-ness of things. More specifically, it means something like “the wistful beauty of the ephemeral.” I first encountered the world via Ken Liu’s brilliant story, “Mono no aware” which I cannot recommend highly enough.

This poem is part of a slowly developing series of what I call “Google Word” poems. To write these poems, I choose a term–so far, it’s mostly been emotions–and then google it. I pull words from the google search pages and use them to assemble a poem. Anything on the google search page itself–including advertisements or blog titles–is up for grabs, but I can’t click through

Since I started writing these poems, the google searches have changed a lot. Initially, there were a lot more weird message board comments and weird blog entries. More recently, the searches have become dominated by listicles and advertisement. Probably because “mono no aware” isn’t an English term, the listicle virus hasn’t yet spread that far, so it was a lot easier and faster  to find interesting material. 

My patrons are also receiving “The Ahh-ness of Things” as an illustrated poem.

Thanks to all my patrons. All of my Patreon content–including a substantial, patron-exclusive offering once a month of something like an original essay, poem or short story–is available to all my patrons, no matter how much or little they contribute. Every contribution is greatly appreciated and makes a big difference to supporting my writing career!

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