Buffet of Asian Literature - Makan! Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] A Headstrong Boy in ‘This Same Sky’

poetry friday

Myra here.

It’s that time of the week again when we feed our souls with verse and luminous lines. I am glad to be joining the Poetry Friday community again this week hosted in Carol’s Corner. Do visit her round-up post for more poetic goodness.


For the past several weeks, I have been feeding my spirit with verse from Naomi Shihab Nye’s collection here – This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World.


Since we are on a Festival of Asian Literature theme, I found this lovely poem from China that I wish to share with all of you. I have taken photos of the pages (it’s quite a long poem) and as per usual I edited it using an iPhone app.

Your experience of the poem might be a bit segmented as I didn’t want to crowd the image with too many text. I do wish though that it moves you the same way that it made me clutch at my heart, as I dream of a piece of sky and lovers standing together in stillness. I also love how the poem ended with a sharp thud back at reality with “This pining’s pointless,” and a tearing of the pages, the “fingers and pain,” and the hunting for butterflies. This poem fills my heart: A Headstrong Boy by Gu Cheng.




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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

6 comments on “[Poetry Friday] A Headstrong Boy in ‘This Same Sky’

  1. “I’d like to draw dawn, the smile dew sees” is so beautiful, Myra. I have this anthology, but don’t remember the poem-will find it! The ending is heartbreaking, isn’t it?


  2. Those last three stanzas…oh my. Just lovely and haunting.


  3. Oh my, I see what you mean, Myra. I’m clutching my heart as I write this. Crayons… wow.


  4. maryleehahn

    This is just to say that I have been here and read your words, but surgery on both thumbs last Tuesday prevents me from typing a personalized comment. Forgive me — copy/paste is the best I can do this week! 🙂


  5. After all the lists of beautiful things he identifies with, that last stanza is a heart-wrench. Oh to give him a box of 64 Crayolas, a ream of chaste white paper, along with boatlads of hope.


  6. Wow, the imagery in this just blew me away. So imaginative and RIGHT. I don’t have this anthology but I will soon. Thank you for letting us know about it!


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