Denis Mair

A Verse On Education (Meng Lang)

Poem by Denis Mair

by Meng Lang
(translated by Denis Mair)


School children in a rickety room are silent
An old blackboard stands before them
To provide their lifetime view into the distance- -

The blackness of the blackboard
Grabs hold of their entire purity

The new teacher is you
The first lesson may well go right into the future
And so, children rub with all their energy
The black of the blackboard- -can it be made blacker?

This happens for one reason, for the sake
Of a little more light, just a little more
But a crack in the roof lets through
All the gloom of this world and the sky

You have not shown up
The classroom itself begins to speak
Reluctant to prophesize itself as a pile of ruins!

School children in the rickety room are silent
Silence opens a window on their youthful viscera

Topic(s) of this poem: childhood , learning

Form: Free Verse

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Meng Lang was active in Shanghai and nationwide unofficial poetry scene since the mid-1980s. Beginning in 1995 he lived in Boston for a few years, then married the Taiwanese poet Tu Chia-chi and lived with her in Hong Kong. Now he and his wife live in Hualian, Taiwan. He is one of the few Mainland Chinese poets who have relocated to Taiwan.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Poem Edited: Saturday, September 15, 2018