Poetry Speaks: Jason S Polley’s Selection

On Shakespeare, Proust, Loss, and Longingby Jason S Polley The equally sonorous and reflective opening two lines of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 30”, “When to the sessions of sweet silent thought, / I summon up remembrance of things past,” cannot help but conjure Marcel Proust’s inimitable seven-volume novel À la recherche du temps perdu, a title that…

Poetry Speaks: John Wakefield’s Selection

This is an anti-war, anti-group-identity song that I listened to more times than I can count during my junior high and high school years growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is by the British band Pink Floyd from their album The Dark Side of the Moon. The lyrics are by Roger Waters. 1.         The first…

Poetry Speaks: Sarah Lee’s Selection

What connections do we, in 21st century Hong Kong, have with a poem written by an American more than 50 years ago? An animation by the Poetry Foundation of Muriel Rukeyser’s “I Lived in the First Century of World Wars” (1968) illustrates this ingeniously by putting side by side images from 1968 and 2018, enabling…

Poetry Speaks: Emily Chow-Quesada’s Selection

The feeling of loneliness might be straightforward for some, but it can also be paradoxical. The pandemic and social distancing has kept a lot of people confined to their homes. Some find themselves literally alone while others are crowded in tiny flats with their parents, siblings, children, partners, and pets. Those are the people you…

Poetry Speaks: Lian-Hee Wee’s Selection

Tang Yin (1470-1524), commonly known as Tong Pak Fu in Hong Kong, was a Ming Dynasty poet. Contrary to the popular belief that he was an affluent philanderer, his talents and arrogance in his youth brought him only a miserable life, reducing him to selling pornographic paintings at brothels to make ends meet. His poems, calligraphy and…

“The Poet’s Obligations Toward Freedom” by Lian-Hee Wee

• What do I understand to be freedom in the context of politics? I am an anarchist. It took me much longer than it should have to realise that. My feelings and thoughts and values had always been what Noam Chomsky would describe as “socialist libertarian”. My understanding of that term in a nutshell is a…

“A Creative Exegesis of Liberality and Marriage in Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale” by Zarah Tong

The HP Series showcases excerpts from excellent Honours Projects by students from the Department of English Language and Literature. [Read all entries here.] Supervisor: Professor Stuart Christie An excerpt 63———Before I start, allow me to explain: 64—–I love to share, silent not to remain. 65—–Experience of love, I don’t have much, 66—–The previous I guess…

Pride of Place: Stuart Christie

Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] . . Pride —for Genevieve (upon the occasion of her birthday) . All…

Pride of Place: Gladys Lam

Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] . A place of calm— I used to share my secrets to the…

Pride of Place: Nicole Lai

Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] Some of us work hard inside it For different reasons Some of us…

Pride of Place: Jeff Chow

Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] Hong Kong: Station Finally, we are marching in democratic spirit, to have our…

Pride of Place: Cheng Tim Tim

Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] Tap In, Tap Out It was the blue wall on the Black Cloth…

“Sylvia and Chester, I’m in” by Nicole Lai

I want to follow you two But I’m not so sure Is this my cure? I will make no cry So no one would ask why Read Sylvia’s Listen to Chester’s Then you can feel How much we wanted to heal And how much we wanted to kill My heart aches Or suffocates I don’t…

Announcement: Members of the ENG Department Join the Cha Writing Workshop Series

Three teaching staff from the Department of English, Tammy Lai-Ming Ho (Assistant Professor), Jason S Polley (Associate Professor) and Lian-Hee Wee (Professor) have joined the Cha Writing Workshop Series as mentors to run workshops for local schoolchildren and economically disadvantaged groups in the city. The series is supported by the English Departments at The Chinese University of…

“The Web” by Justin Yeung

No one can get out of this There were many before me No matter a her or him There’s nothing that sets them free You can run but you can’t hide Turn to your Gods, old and new Why be afraid, my dearest? It hurts a bit, the first time I closed my eyes to…

Announcement: Poetry and Fiction Writing Opportunities for ENG Students

Hong Kong Baptist University’s English Poetry Contest (Unpublished Work) 2017, co-organised by the Department of English, the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing, and the International Writers Workshop (IWW), is now accepting entries. All students who submit poems will have the opportunity to join a workshop with two IWW visiting writers. Please read the guidelines…

Pet Sounds: Holy Yoong

Pet Sounds: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a piece of music or song. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] Artwork by Jerek Puczei Faye Wong’s “Oi Mui” (曖昧) ‘To try to write love is to confront the…

Pet Sounds: Cheng Tim Tim

Pet Sounds: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a piece of music or song. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] (Y)ears – after Joe Brainard’s “I Remember” I remember the incessant minimal waltz of exit A’s escalator in…

Pet Sounds: Jeff Chow

Pet Sounds: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a piece of music or song. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.] Photograph: Jeff Chow Forgotten Song in Spanish She turns on the radio, listens to it from the balcony,…

“Red Butterfly” by Victoria Ip

. Son of the tailor to old Hollywood heartthrobs Every performance of yours was The most precisely made suit Like the rouge lipstick Fleur meticulously put on   Starched collars protected your suggestive voice All buttons fastened like your best-kept secrets The bow-tie was your red butterfly Unashamed of her beauty She gently landed on…

“A Secret About a Secret About a Secret” by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Jo Shapcott’s poem “Myself Photographed” begins with an affirmative statement: “So this is me.” This line draws our attention to the subject of the photograph, although it does so with a slightly wry, or perhaps uncertain, tone provided by the word “So.” The next line, “In the field after we got lost,” continues this tone,…

“Red Leaves for Diane” by Victoria Ip

  For every single memory Has become a part of me —George Michael, “Jesus to a Child” The online poetry collection Red Leaves is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Diane—the reason why I started writing when I was 19 and haven’t stopped since. There are 14 poems in total, one for each year since I became…

“The Edge of Vast Shores” by Jason Eng Hun Lee

But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world. —Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach” Standing at the edge of vast shores I hear ancestor spirits invoke their unbidden siren call so the sea bursts as they command…

“All Those Moments” by Mignon Chiu

“Clack!”—my pen falls from the table of the lecture chair; I’ve dozed off with my hair— sometimes red, sometimes blue—on my face; here and there I find friends, laughter, footprints, knowledge greeting me from time to time; it is not rare to see people exposing their toes to feel the breeze and the freeze with the…

“Mu Dan and Ambiguity” by Candy Wang

Mu Dan’s (1918-1977) poems, while incorporating elements and sentiments of classical Chinese poetry, also exhibit characteristics of Western modernist aesthetics and thoughts. For example, his poetry was influenced by William Empson (1906-1984), and this influence partially ushered Mu Dan’s shift towards Modernism. Perhaps the most significant impact of Empson on Mu Dan’s poetry was the…

“Father and Son” by Stuart Christie

Brian Kershisnik’s “Father and Son Dancing” I. Father Help me carry the aluminium siding, son. I lean a little too far this way. But for your careful arm, I might fall over. It wasn’t Mao’s fault I helped those tigers fly over the mountain. Brave, kind, and foolish Americans—they couldn’t even read a character! I…

“An Old Anecdote” by Isabella Dong

It is an old anecdote That the kitten and the Lady Cat Go to the southern hill. The prevailing song of the sea Fuses every ephemeral being. Up the hill there is a tree: Daylight swims in its vermillion flame— Other blossoms not yet awoken. But eucalypti hastily dip Fresh leaflets In new green quick…

“The Song of Green Snake” by Isabella Dong

I seek you everywhere On the land once torn by war, The city overwhelmed By the flood you summoned People’s grief cried aloud When you threatened The wicked, bald hypocrite To let go of your husband. On the Broken Bridge You and I tempted fate. I sneaked into town by moonlight, Consumed by agony. The…