3 Reviews on Chao's Poems

2014-12-17 09:15:51  巢圣Chao  所属诗集  阅读1225 】


Le Matin et Le Soir

Qiaoyun Lin

I have learned French for almost one year and a half, and delighted to find two French poems in the collection of poems named Out of Chaos by my teacher, Chao. I’m so interested in these two-- Le Matin and Le Soir.

In the first place, I would like to talk about Le Matin( The Morning). Here comes the poem in French:

Un enfant à vélo
Suit la pente
Comme un rêve.
Une tasse tombe
De la main d’un homme
Qui se tient sur son balcon.
Un cri retentit
Celui d’un vieillard

Tout s’est réveillé

From this poem, there are three scenes of life. The first three lines talk about a child, who rides a bicycle, sliding down the slope and it is like a dream. Children, full of innocence and happiness, always can find lots of ways to amuse themselves. In this poem, the poet uses a child to begin with which makes the morning look more energetic. I can imagine the smile on the child’s face when he rides a bicycle floating down the slope even though the poet never mentions that.“Comme un rêve” which means “like a dream”in English expresses an idea that children live a colorful life and they like dreaming and always believe what they dream because their thoughts are never polluted by society, which makes them innocent and pure.

The second story is from line 4 to line 6, a cup slips from a man’s hand who is standing on the balcony. This is a story about a man, maybe at middle age, and a cup slips from his hand, which will break the silence in the morning. However, the sound of the broken cup is extremely small. It occurs to me that this man must be thinking something on the balcony when a day begins, maybe about his work, his lover or his children and he is so concentrated on his mind that the cup drops. Or maybe he is just amazed by the beautiful scenery of the sunrise. I think there exist many possible guesses about this man.

The last story, from line 7 to line 8, mentions an old man which is more intense. An old man’s cry echoes everywhere. Why the poet combines the old man with a cry? In my opinion, by this means, we can feel the old man is still energetic in spite of the old age, and the morning ought to be the new beginning of everything. Even if you are old, you can still keep young when a day starts with memorable moments.

The last two lines mean that “now, everything wakes up”. When the day begins in the early morning, the street becomes busy and exciting and that’s the real life around us.

I like the morning, because it makes me new and good. The description of a child, a man and an old man, proves that morning is worthy to cherish.

Next, I want to say about another poem Le Soir( The Evening). The poem is as follows.

Sous une lampe
Un enfant crie.
Moi aussi,
Pour consoler
Sa solitude.

Il commence a rire.
Moi aussi,
Pour amuser
Ma solitude.

If translated into English, the first stanza’s meaning could be that under a lamp, a child cries and in order to comfort his solitude, I cry too. The word“solitude” has some connection with “the evening” because people are easy to feel lonely when the night falls. When the child cries, “I” cry too. Then if two people cry together, maybe the other part would not feel solitary anymore. Thus, “I” have some love for this child because “I ” do care about his feeling.

The second stanza of the poem Le Soir focuses on laughing together. When the child laughs, “I” laugh too so as to comfort my solitude. This part describes a scenario that two people share happiness together which will drive the loneliness away. It is the warmth that exists between the child and “I”. The picture of this poem is so tender, lovely and unforgettable.
I learn from this poem that the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy. In the poem, “I” cry because the child cries and “I” laugh because the child laughs. Their solitude is comforted by the companion of each other.

Finally, I just want to say I really love these two French poems, Le Matin (The Morning) and Le Soir (The Evening), the beginning and the end of a day, the solitude and the companionship of life between old and young.

Book Review on CHAO's Out of Chaos

Yin Lin

After I read the book borrowed from the library, I was surprised that these poems are so interesting as well as profound, arousing much deeper thinking and giving me much enlightenment. I will select two of them to give a detailed analysis. Since all of the opinions come from my independent thinking, I am not sure whether they are fit with the original intentions of the poet. Therefore, if there is any mistake which is not in accordance with the poet, I sincerely make an apology here and now.

The first poem I like is the “Hands”. Here is the text:

This pair of hands
From the stand-point of birds
Should flap like wings
From the stand-point of fish
Should direct like fins
From the stand-point of animals
Should walk like feet

This pair of hands
From the stand-point of humans
Should kill things
Like birds fish animals
And even man himself

Firstly, I want to paraphrase the poem according to my own understandings. From the birds’ point of view, this pair of hands looks like a pair of wings which flap freely. From the angle of fish, this pair of hands likes a pair of fins which direct their orientations when swimming. While other animals consider that this pair of hands should be used as their feet, on which they are able to go wherever they like. When it turns to humans, they treat them as nothing more than hands, which should be used to kill things such as birds, fish and other animals mentioned above, including humans themselves.

Then, I would like to analyze the theme. As far as I am concerned, the main theme of this poem is the dark side of human heart and their misuse of their advantages. Birds, fish and other animals make use of their “hands” (wings, fins and feet respectively) for pure aims—flying, swimming and walking. However, human beings use their hands for vicious purpose—to kill, not only animals but also human-beings themselves as criminals. Hands are useful tools, which will bring convenience and help fulfill lots of desires and goals by using correctly with a kind heart. On the other hand, they will be the poison, hurting others weaker and finally the one uses them when they are utilized wrongly with a malicious heart and a sense of superiority. Therefore, human beings should reflect on themselves, thinking carefully how to cherish and use the advantages bestowed by Nature properly and moderately and maintain a merciful, modest and kind heart.

Last but not least, I want to combine it with our real life. As the science and technology developing more and more quickly, human-beings become more and more cocky and feel overconfident of their ability. The advanced science and technology can be connected with the “hands”. This sense of superiority will easily bring disaster to human-beings themselves because they don’t respect nature or obey the natural law. Therefore, this poem enlightens me to always stay humble and obedient to Nature no matter how great our capabilities are.

The second poem I like is “A Hunter”. Here is the text:

A hunter says
Come and go
Are they all the same
Who cares to know?

I shoot
They fall
I come
They go
Or they die
We can never
Watch each other

Also firstly, I want to paraphrase the fantastic poem based on my own comprehension. A hunter compares the days to birds, for the reason that they share the similarity of keeping coming and going. Are the days keeping coming and going like the birds the same and merely repeating all the time? The hunter doesn’t care about it at all. When the hunter shoots, the animals will fall down, or because of being shot, or because of avoiding the shoot. When the hunter approaches them, they run away or they will die. The hunter and the animals can never be compatible with each other. As a hunter he doesn’t allow the animals to live long. As the animals they treat the hunter as enemy who is trying to kill them.

Then I will elaborate my understanding of the theme. I quite appreciate this poem for its connotation and its great philosophy of life. At the first part, days are being compared to the birds. I like this analogy for its visualization and accuracy. The days keep coming and going fast and repeatedly, like the birds keep flying through the sky swiftly and routinely. Here I can sense the sentimental feeling of the elapse of time. From the surface, the hunter doesn’t care whether the birds are the same or not. But if we dig out deeply, what the hunter really doesn’t care is that whether the days lapsing are the same or not. In the second part, the reason for the hunter’s open-mindedness is indicated. Here “they” refer to the animals ostensibly, but from my perspective, it refers to the days actually. In my opinion, “fall” means “compromising and giving in” and “shoot” here means “making good use of”, so “I shoot, they fall” indicates that as long as the hunter spends his time on what he enjoys, they days which are insipid and lapsing fast will be defeated by his positive action of doing what he likes. Similarly, “come” means facing it bravely and “go”, “die” also means surrender. Thus “I come, they go, or they die” implies that the hunter conquers the boring, continuously passing days through facing them courageously instead of escaping them cowardly. In the third part, “we” seem to refer to the hunter and the animals superficially, but I think actually it refers to the hunter and the days. As I mentioned at the beginning, they are incompatible. The days cannot watch the hunter living long because it is the days’ function to wear down human-beings’ life. The hunter cannot watch the days living long since the days are so dull and lapsing uncontrollably, the hunter must face it bravely and take positive measures to confront the time. One point I want to add is that the poet transformed the third person “hunter” in the first part into the first person “I” and “we” in the second and third part, which shows the poet’s best wish for himself—make use of the commonplace days which lapse easily.

Lastly, I also want to share my enlightenment from this poem. I always feel that the time is always not enough for me, especially after I entered college. So I make a great effort to make every day of my life colorful and different so as to produce the illusion that I don’t waste the lapsing days and make the mediocre days wonderful. However, after reading this poem, I realize that being stubborn to make every day different will be very tired and meaningless. Sometimes we really need the quality of open-mindedness—don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. The elapse of time is unavoidable to every one. Therefore what we only need to do is to face it and spend it on the things we enjoy and consider worthwhile. That’s one of the recipes for happiness. With this modification of attitude, I discover that I become calmer to focus on the things I like—study and dance. I am confident that I will not be confused by the easily lapsing and repetitive days since being buried by the things I enjoy, I even cannot notice that the days pass fast and repeat constantly.

Except for these two poems, there are many others I am fond of, such as “Hospital” for its ingenious use of “patients” and “patience”; “Question Marks”, from which I can see the poet’s extraordinarily high level of thinking by treating the problems (question marks) as “nothing”, “light” and “flight”; “The Child And I”, which shows the child’s extremely fantastic imagination; “Pain”, which makes me feel that the fire is burning within my body; and “A City Girl’s Wish”, which exactly is the voice from the bottom of my heart.
After reading this book, I really feel that I fall in love with poems. Within limited words, the poems leave a broad space for the readers to imagine and interpret. The profound and insightful meanings are usually expressed by simple words. I think I will adopt reading poems as one of my habits to shape my life.

On Life

By Athena Chu

Life is a mirror that reflects human nature. Through the skilful hands of its midwives, poets, it has given birth to poetry. And it is life that hides in the essence of poetry. Bearing resemblances to its mother, poetry is sometimes gay, sometimes melancholy and sometimes dramatic. No matter how, you can always feel the flavour of life in its poetic child. During the labour, the jobs of the midwife are somehow challenging. He or she must be sensitive enough to sense the impulses of both the mother and the to-be-born child, and to observe extremely carefully the changeable condition of both the mother and the fragile infant, so as to ensure the undertaking to be a successful one. When savouring Chao’s poems, which is simple in word, but full of implications, I can sense his sensitivity and delicacy, very subtle but real, presenting his exquisite craftsmanship as a poet.


The moment I was born
I smelt blood
So dared not cry
The silence
Startled my exhausted Mama
Who thought
I must have been born
Mute or dead

The silence is still here
And well preserved
I never dared tell Mama
That the moment I was born
I thought
She was dead

Birth is the beginning of life. It is a ritual of exile for every human from their protective harbour inside their mother and an outset of an unknown journey, upon which, a baby begins to smell the earthly flavours of life and touch the strings of human emotions. In this poem, the infant was described daring not to cry because of the odour of blood. From my perspective, it is the original fear of human that the poet is portraying, which in fact, roots deeply in the human nature in their whole life. Birth is usually regarded as an emblem of hope and continuity of the human race. However, Chao offers us a different interpretation. In this poem, birth is intertwined with it opposite side, death, which is shocking but thought-provoking. The image of blood bridges the two extreme parts of human life. Human is born with blood, which makes it a sign of birth. And it is also related to something dreadful, being an omen of dead.
It is true that the moment we open our eyes as an infant, we undoubtedly set out for the destination of death. Death is actually, at the very beginning of the life journey, alongside with birth. Then, it indirectly presents a question before all the readers -- if human beings are born to die, what is the meaning of living? This is a rather philosophical question whose answers probably differ from person to person. And it is the difference that makes life various and meaningful.


a transparent glass
placed on the table
by the morning window

at the sight of it
I am thirsty

Comparing life to a transparent glass which is waterless, to me, implies the emptiness and meaninglessness of human life. Nevertheless, the glass is placed at a special time in a day -- morning -- which, in most of the cultures, gives rise to hope. The above mentioned interpretations of the two images sound contradictory. Even more dramatically, seeing the empty glass, the speaker feel thirsty -- a feeling shows the speaker’s eagerness and attempt to have water, which does not even exist. The theme of this poem seems rather complicated. The contradicted images chosen by the poet depict a picture of a person being blindly in pursuit of something in vain. If the poet wants to tell us that life, with a disguise of hope, is essentially hollow, and any pursuit in life would be without any value, human beings’ attempt to achieve anything in life would be ridiculous indeed. But there is also another possible interpretation. Despite the fact that the speaker knows well that the glass is empty, he still feels like drinking water. It probably indicates man’s boldness and his spirit of never yielding to impossibility -- the sparkling part of human nature, in which, however, a tragic sense also finds its way into the hearts of readers.
Poetry is the child of life. But once it was born, with the help of poets, it has grown up independently and would be of different appearances in different people’s minds. Therefore, if a poet, fulfills his or her duty of writing down poems inspired by whatever is true about life, he or she could be considered successful.
The above mentioned two poems of Chao are both healthy children of life. Reading these two poems, as a reader, I have tasted different flavours of life, which has led me into the realm of thought and imagination. This is what poetry is supposed to be -- reflection of life and human nature as well as enlightenment for human beings.


新华字典查询提示 提示:不明白的汉字去 新华字典搜索下。  

  •   鉴赏、评论: