my review of Helen Wing’s Peoms

The first time that I was surprised and enthralled by poetry was in the early 80’s when I read the so-called `misty poems’, the modern free verse coined up by the young generation of poets in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. Before that, the only modern style poems (as opposed to the classic Chinese) were the poems – more like slogans with rhymes – singing the praise of Chairman Mao and the Party. Through the mist of those new poems, I saw a world of rich imagination, vivid symbols, feelings and emotions that had never been explored before. And they were private as the poetry should be – a place to explore personal truth. I was in the late teens, lovelorn. I fell in love with those `misty poems’ and its melancholy mood. With plenty time at my hands, I started to write my own lyrics, copying the `misty poems’.

After I grew up, I realized how difficult it is to write a good poem. So I stopped. And then life got busy, poems slowly disappeared from my life.

Helen Wing’s Archangel again brought me the sensual delights of poetry. Here I once again saw the rich images: `unfettered honeyed oozing fingers’ `the moon is a yawning polar bear’. Compared to the `misty poems’ of the 80’s, Helen’s poems are more private, daring and revealing and much darker. I, as a reader, had the voyeuristic pleasure as the poet indulged herself in the form of a love letter.

Thank you Helen for bringing the poetry back to my life. I spent $1.99 and you gave me the `golden-winged reward’. I’d be happy to recommend to anyone.

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