A prolific writer and critic, originally from England but Canadian since the 1970s, is now back in Canada. He lived in Hong Kong 1963-1967 and returned in 1990 until he retired in 2001. Hong Kong Poems, co-authored with Laurence Wong, was published in 1997 (reprinted 1999) to be followed by other poems on Hong Kong in his two Rendez-Vous volumes (2003 and 2011).
His poems in this video celebrate both nature and culture, depicting often a university campus of pond, cliff and sea that nurtures knowledge. The lines “Fish, fluid as mercury, / slink through thought’s shallow pool” (“In the Forum”) show the seamless blending. And a yearning for love invigorates all.
The poet, inspired by different cultural forces, not just English and Chinese but also French and Japanese, writes in a language that is graceful and also sinuous, lyrical and at times dramatic. The grittiness in “Four Treasures” is particularly remarkable, for the poet writes that in fighting against adversity, a poet has the spirit and determination to “write in blood with a bit of bone.”
|Love at Dusk||1997|
|At Chinese University||1997|
|Love Letter to a Woman in Paris||1997|
|In the Forum at The Chinese University of Hong Kong||2003|
|Excerpt from the scenariode on Sir Run Run Shaw, “Star of a Hundred Years”||2011|
|A Secret Place||2013 (date of composition)|