2 poems based on Chinese characters

Angeline Yap


ben ("book")

the first stroke learnt,
made hand held in hand,

here, the last stroke added,
moving us from wood to learning.


yi (one)

one stroke
simple in singularity --

fluid, the ink speaks
through the flowing reed

the hand hovers,
having marked more than paper.

First published in Fulcrum -- an annual of poetry and aesthetics (USA), No. 1, "A Map of English-language Poetry," 2002

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean Literature Angeline Yap

Last modified: 10 July 2003