The term “empathy” refers to the change of perceptions in response to the encounter with some being. One may take it for granted, but the poem does not take the concept of empathy so lightly. The poem views empathy as a magical power. In fact, the poet cannot make a poem solely by oneself. People met, words heard, scenes seen, and even passing winds shake the poet’s heart to induce a change. The poet only truly becomes a poet because he is a responsive, empathetic person.
This poem shows well what empathy is. The poet gazes upon a few dried fruits and shabby leaves. He encounters them with only his eyes; he neither lays his hands on them nor tries to own them. Yet the poet empathizes with beings outside his or her own existence to the point of becoming a fruit himself, and worn-out leaves becomes the poet.
Thinking that the dried fruits seemingly struggling to hold on to the branch is like the poet, and likening the threadbare leaves shaken by winds with our lives, the poet becomes more knowledgeable of himself or herself as the poet understands them. See, this is how a human being and the leaf respond to each other. Why is this empathy like magic? While the poet sees him or her in other beings and vice versa, the poet grows. The poet’s mind rises above and stretches beyond. Look at the end line of the poem; the poet has come to love his or her lowly life. If your heart has resonated as you read the poem, that “quivering” feeling is the “empathy.”