MY SECOND POETRY BOOK: CLOUDSCAPE AND LANDSCAPE: POETIC ECHOES
The book title, CLOUDSCAPE AND LANDSCAPE, is a visual poem from photographs
taken by a colleague. The dark ominous sky narrated is symbolism of
Malaysian political landscape, where corruption at all levels is rampant. In
HAUNTED HOUSE, political ghosts and religious jins, ruled this once beautiful
country. Disappointed, many talented Malaysians immigrate to other
countries, when hope for good governance and non-racialism vanishes year
by year. CRY, is another poem reflecting such sentiments. GOING APART
refers to the notorious Sedition Act. VISION 2020 echoes a failed national
aspiration. Despite all the gloom, the narrator could see the distant light,
and the expressed wish to share his ardent hope with all his readers.
In a digital age with e-books, the narrator thinks physical book still has its
own seduction, hence the indecorous title, FOREPLAY. Rest of the poems
are his musing on a wide range of life issues, such as on family, relate, grand
parenting, death and dying, and translations of classical Chinese poems into
English, and his poems translated into Chinese by Madam Liu May Ling,
Toronto. The narrator and Madam Liu have never met, and it is poetry that
brings them together, despite the language hurdle, in the context that the
narrator is not Chinese educated and the other not well versed in English.
In a multi or bi-lingual society, this is done to encourage reading of literature
in other languages. The poems I have translated are Xi poems, lyrical and
tonal. However, the phonic system of Tang and Song Dynasties are different
from modern (post 1958) Han Yu Pin Yin; truncated five or seven character
Chinese words are not easy to translate, or even to understand. I take liberty
to translate them with end rhyme, to render reading easier.
The book is divided into five chapters for easy reference, as it lacks an index.
Due to various shortcomings, I have included my web address for positive
exchanges and criticism under the name of wonky wizard.
Cloudscape and Landscape is finally printed. I spent much less money in self publication and obtain 500 copies, and price is decided by me. It sells at Rm 20 (US 6) per copy; affordable to anyone who wish to read Malaysian poetry in English. There are about 110 pages, with an impressive book cover. I donated 100 copies to Tzu Chi Charity Foundation to be used as a contributing fund for Nepal Relief. All the proceeds will go to charity. I also pledge Rm 5 for each copy sold. A generous soul has purchased 40 copies, to be given to volunteers in another medical/dental team to Laos. On another occasion, another 40 copies were sold to local residents. I hope to sell another 100 copies, and the balance of books will be given to schools, universities, teachers and libraries who need them.