Poems: Sun and Rain/The Flowery Country/Grains of Sand

Poems: Sun and Rain/The Flowery Country/Grains of Sand

by Tan Kheng Yeang

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Overview

By the author of Diverse Modes and Reduced Reflections, this volume consists of three anthologies spanning a range of poetic styles.
Sun and Rain follows the style and philosophy of the great Romantic poets, extolling the wonders and terrors of nature and the exploring the depths of human emotion. The author paints vivid and moving pictures that are swept along by the lyrical meter and rhyme of traditional verse.
The Flowery Country is an exploration of the currents of history that shaped the venerable Chinese culture. However, unlike traditional history, which is dry and dispassionate, this work resonates with emotion, ideas and imagination. Written in a new literary style developed by the author called "amorphous verse", which does not differ from prose in terms of style but retains the lyricism of poetry in terms of language, the Flowery Country propels the reader through the colourful sweep of emperors, dynasties, love and war, leaving him to ponder the vicissitude of human nature.
Grains of Sand is a study of human nature and the creations of humankind expressed in verse. The horrors of war, the tenderness of love, the joy of cherished memories are juxtaposed with small, keenly observed gems of everyday life and objects, which, like a photograph, are forever caught in time by the pen of the poet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426992681
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 07/19/2012
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)

Read an Excerpt

POEMS

Sun and Rain/The Flowery Country/Grains of Sand
By Tan Kheng Yeang

Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2012 Tan Kheng Yeang
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4269-9268-1


Chapter One

    In the Rain


    Reeling in wildest dance,
      The fresh rain flashes down,
        Fleet in its subtle sweep;
    I have been caught by chance
      Along this road, which sleep
    Has wreathed in a ripe trance
      Erewhile, but now is grown
        A place where runnels creep.

    What songs its bright drops weave,
      So exquisitely sweet;
        The numerous tunes and tones
    In swift succession cleave
      The air with passionate moans;
    From forth all corners heave
      Canorous sounds, which greet
        My ear like lulling drones.

    It bathes me as I go,
      Till I am blithely cold—
        Luxurious joy I feel,
    Which makes my bosom glow!
      Great waves of happiness steal
    Through all my being now;
      What blossomy thrills enfold
        My mind, which seems to reel!

    My feverish heart allays
      Its passions with their stings:
        A balmy rapture fills,
    My frame with genial rays,
      And bliss so richly trills
    On me that all the days
      Of care are flown, and flings
        My mind off all its ills.

    From my long pent-up pain
      I feel a full relief
        I scarcely can define:
    In all my heart and brain
      A rippling joy is mine,
    Hearing the rolling rain,
      Which flows with eloquent grief
        In a perennial line.

    Afresh all things begin
      Beneath the magical brush
        Of the cloud-fallen rain,
    Which makes the landscape win
      An odorous life again;
    All objects seem to spin
      With rapture, as they flush
        With water they retain.

    Shrilly I hear it sound
      The secret of its life:
        How, wandering through the air,
    Burrowing into the ground,
      Or steaming to its lair
    Near heaven, peace around
      It never smiles, but strife
        Must it forever bear.

    Type of the deep unrest,
      Which permeates Nature's soul,
        I throb in sympathy
    With it—I, in whose breast
      Is like a victory
    Of tumult—fiery pest;
      Beneath its rhythmic roll
        Praise of it girdles me.


    A Peal of Thunder

    The flashing gold of lightning floats and thrills
      Through the tempestuous air thick showers fall,
      Weaving grand subtle songs swift winds enthral
    The earth, which their unceasing music fills,
    Dark clouds on high enwrap the distant hills,
      The sky appears a desolate, grey wall,
      The garrulous cries of rocking thunder call
    The place to passionate life—it fumes and shrills;
    The air is trembling with a sudden peal
      Of thunder, which the clouds appear to fling
      Out of their caves, and which shoots a sharp ring
    So strongly that it makes my spirit reel
    With wild, ineffable joy! I seem to feel
      The scene around unveil its heart and sing!


    To a Storm

    Though you sing of the rocking gloom of the trees,
      Which wave their leaves in tune to your song;
      And the flaunting sun, which all day long
    Has shone, now swooning in swift degrees;
    And dizzy desponding of the seas
      Of clouds which float—a desolate throng;

    And of grief, which, flowing from your core
      And diffused along your wandering wings,
      Engirdles the scenery and flings
    Its feverish tones at the foaming floor
    Of the sky, like one who never more
      Will taste joy from Hope's celestial springs;

    Yet to me more dulcetly you sound
      Than the tremulous murmuring of the rills,
      Or the music, which the sea distils
    From its radiant waves, as they flow and bound,
    Or the tinkling runnels, which surround
      The inspiring morning from blissful bills;

    For can your bitter notes not be sweet
      To me, whose mind is as sad as your own?
      A chaotic eddy of tumult, sown
    With torturing thoughts! Despair's stern seat!
    But now it glows with ethereal heat,
      As into me your spirit has flown.

    Within me the deep distress that burns
      Is vigorous and intensely keen;
      Caustic weariness comes between
    My spirit and rapturous peace, for which yearns
    My heart; and it always—alas!—returns
      As freshly as if it had not been;

    For my soul is deeply weary of things
      And loves to browse on measureless gloom,
      Bearing within it a crushing doom
    Of misery—that is why it clings
    To your groaning song, which happily flings
      Some harmony into its clamorous room.

    Though grief is hard to endure and its glow,
      Not ephemeral—hard to be effaced—
      Yet a spirit, stern as yours, may be braced
    To embower it easily, and not allow
    Itself to be quenched by this weight of woe,
      This frightful fardel it has encased.

    Then blow still more furious, wafting here
      All the shrill melodies, which arise
      From your flexuous motion; how fleetly flies
    Your liquid stream! Oh that you would rear
    A song severer still, and could wear
      A visible presence, austere as your sighs.

    Oh august proclaimer of Nature's grief!
      Chanting there in your furious pain
      And dragging despair and gloom in your train!
    Oh example of Nature's passion! Chief
    Of the sad! You who bring my troubles relief!
      How my spirit is kindled by your strain!

    As you roll along in your sinuous course,
      Your wings apparel the earth and breed
      Sympathy in the scene; as you speed,
    Heaven is sombre and deplores
    That the clouds are darkened to their cores:
      But oh! How my soul you can fill and feed!


    The Crowd

    What a numerous throng has assembled here
      To jostle—vociferate—laugh!
      The illumined field is rough
    With a crowd so colossal it is clear
    S ome attraction gigantic enough
    Must have lured them to drop together so near!

    The place is ringing with voices that flow
      Around, a bewildering din;
      What glorious wonder can win
    Over this wavering multitude, so
      Dizzy with rapture, in
    Such ebullient joy? A public show!

    All the days of this multitude jostle and flame
      With perennial, staggering strife,
      Which rattles and thunders through life,
    As they ceaselessly hunt their ignoble aim—
      To render their time more rife
    With what futile pleasures they can claim.

    Their ardent wishes do not concern
      The lofty, exquisite things
      To which simplicity brings
    Such rapture as they can never learn.
      What fatiguing fever clings
    To their souls and makes their bosoms burn.

    All day they fidget with sedulous gain.
      When the dark apparels the sky,
      They commence to yearn and sigh
    For the various shows that may lull their pain.
      Then the night glides trippingly by
    In delirious joys so sterile and vain.

    Ruffling with trifles, which wrap in a spell
      Their spirits from dawn till night,
      Their faces are never bright
    With the glow of rapture drunk from the well
      Of Nature, whose hallowed light
    May not in unfeeling regions dwell.

    But engulfed in a worrying discontent
      They hunger for any joy,
      Dazzled by every toy,
    However delusive, as twigs are bent
      By all breezes. Thus they destroy
    Their vapid minds, grown restless and rent.

    To happy solitude never incline
      Their spirits, girdled with care;
      Neither do they repair
    To wandering rills that warble and shine;
      Nor can they sublimely wear
    Pure bliss at Contemplation's shrine.

    But hard and lonely, they run to swell
      The nearest tumultuous crowd,
      Exulting blithely in loud
    And rancorous fruitlessness. Thus they quell
      Their hearts in a sordid shroud
    Of follies, in which they so fondly dwell.

    They tread through the vacuous ways of the world
      From their birth to their final end,
      Flaunting in swarms; they spend
    Their fluttering lives in frenzy, whirled
      In fury, as bottles bend
    And wallow wherever the waves are curled.

    What heat envelops the stifling air!
      How disgusting is this place,
      Which gentle joy does not grace
    With her flowery peace and ethereal fare—
      Sweet Nature's inspiring face
    And enamouring works that can banish care.

    What serenity veils the moonlit sky,
      With some stars unfolding their sheen!
      Then survey this clamorous scene,
    With its glare and glitter and the people who eye
      The show with a staring mien,
    And those distractedly hurrying by.

    Better by far to erase from the mind
      These sights and emerge from the roar
      Into the night's kind core,
    Where the ardent heart may freely unbind
      Its lofty feelings and soar
    To embrace fresh peace with joy entwined.


    Ode to Nature

    Arise and shower around your elfish gifts,
      Subtle and fresh to the exultant gaze.
    Oh, Nature! Source of loving awe that lifts
      The soul, darter of the celestial rays
        Of noble wisdom, genuine knowledge, spring
      Of all ambrosial joys that flush our days;
        You, who beneath Time's arch, sublimely wing
    Your eagle flight, about which shines and lies
      Eternally a great, exuberant ring
    Of glory, brimmed with sternness—oh, arise!

    Arise in pearly bloom and interwreathe
      Your fulgent spirit with my soul, serene
    Before your hallowed being, for I breathe
      Unceasing love of you, on whom I lean
        For inspiration. So affably you shine,
      So glowingly, that I have been led to wean
        The natural fear to worship at your shrine;
    Oh honey-sweet, ineffable joy to feel
      Your fairy soul so harmoniously entwines
    Itself around me to uphold and heal.

    From fragrant, pure recesses you distil
      An ever-fresh sublimity around,
    Filling the mind with its flame, until
      It seems to shed all traces of the ground
        And float its fluent way through airy space.
      I feel my spirit soften and grow bound
        To yours, while I survey your lovely face,
    Which manifold, tremendous charms suffuse
        With palpitating, most persuasive grace,
    And varied, captivating, shining hues.

    Oh, with what measureless wonder I behold
      You roll forth glories, like a sumptuous dream!
    With what transcendent joy I see unfold
      Your golden harmony, lucent as a stream
        Of running water; a grand purity thrills
      From your whole frame, which ceases not to beam
        Forth splashing splendours that bright beauty fills
    With her celestial light—marvellous whole!
        Immense, eternal as you are, in our wills
    Command us to adore you with heart and soul.

    Stupendous mystery! Wreathed in a coil
      Of fathomless marvels, which flash forth and swing
    Through ages their tumultuous flame, you boil
      A wilderness of secrets. From you spring
        Beauty and hue and music—whence they shoot?
      We know not, but in vain we try to wring
        For labyrinthine secrets: what the root
    Of your vast being? What the colossal laws
      That rule your scheme? What elements constitute
    Your splendid system, which draws forth our applause?

    Fresh beauty flushes through your soul and shines
      From your veins, like the golden glow of noon.
    Along your face its lambent flame reclines
      So chaste and simple that the senses swoon
        With fervour. It contains your essence, breathes
      Into you all your value, and lies strewn
        Over your scenes, as gleaming rain enwreathes
    Expanses of green grass. What treasures burn
        Into your pure realm—with what a group it seethes
    Of beauties, which meet us at every turn.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from POEMS by Tan Kheng Yeang Copyright © 2012 by Tan Kheng Yeang. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

SUN AND RAIN....................1
In the Rain....................3
A Peal of Thunder....................5
To a Storm....................6
The Crowd....................8
Ode to Nature....................11
Peace....................22
To Fire....................25
On Weariness....................27
Doubt....................29
Beneath a Tree....................32
To the Sky....................33
The Nocturnal Wanderer....................34
The Butterfly....................46
To a Glow Worm....................47
The Distant Prospect....................49
Curious....................52
In a Town....................54
Despair....................59
To the Moon....................60
Rapture....................63
The Roll of Time....................64
The Floating Cloud....................66
On a Bridge....................67
THE FLOWERY COUNTRY....................69
Introductory Note on Amorphous Verse....................71
The Flowery Country....................72
GRAINS OF SAND....................89
In a Ship....................91
The Eternal Nation....................92
The Boatwoman....................94
Ode to the Sea....................95
Blake Pier....................97
From Li Po....................98
The Hut....................99
The Typhoon....................100
The Hawker....................101
The Bride....................102
The Street Sleeper....................103
The Invader....................104
Balm for Misery....................105
Never Absent....................106
On a Peak....................107
Through a Truck Window....................108
Whole Night Through....................109
Victory Will Be Ours....................110
The Frivolous Woman....................111
In the Village of Loping, Yunnan....................112
Idealism....................114
The Bliss of Sleep....................115
A Gift....................116
Alumni Reunion....................117
L'Envoi....................118
Alma Mater....................119
Sweet Ideal....................120
A Photo....................121
Love Perennial....................122
In a Cinema....................123
Lovely Is the Fragrant Rose....................124
Another Name....................125
Sixty Miles Away....................126
'Tis Easy....................127
The Cowherd and the Weaving Girl....................128
How I Love You....................129
Lucky Day....................130
Prelude....................131
Away....................132
Initials....................133
Welcome Home....................134
The Day We First Met....................135
Wedding Day....................136
Wedding Anniversary....................137
Tanjong Bungah....................138
In a Rubber Plantation....................140
The Road....................141
Reinforced Concrete....................143

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