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Wu An / 吴岸

Wu An / 吴岸

Nationality: Malasia
Email: wuanklk@hotmail.com


Wu An / 吴岸

Wu An(b. 1937, alias Khoo Lip Kee / 丘立基)was born in Kuching, Sarawak, is one of Malaysia's best-known poets in Chinese writing.His strongly autobiographical verses blend old pastoral forms with themes drawn from the raw density of Borneo's landscape.He first poetry was written in 1953 at Chinese-language junior school age active in social activities. His first collection of poems Poems on the Shield was published in 1962 in Hong Kong,catapulted him to fame. In 1966 he was imprisoned for 10 years due to take part in the struggle for Sarawak’s independence. His second book A Tribute to he Tapang Tree was published in 1982 in Kuala Lumpur. His other collections include I Have Yet to Sleep, The Traveller, Durian, Life File, Twilight, Beautiful Kuching, The Floating Wood and Travelling Northward. Some book reviewers have commended that he combines modern themes with vignette-style of older poets.

He is the president of Chinese Writers’ Association and committee member of Pen Club of Southeast Asia Chinese Poetry Writers. He was awarded Literature Prize by Sarawak Government in 1966 and Chinese Literature Award of Malaysia in 2000. In 2009, he received Golden Award for Contemporary Chinese Poetry by International Chinese Poets’ Club, the first winner of oversea Chinese poet.

e-mail: wuanklk@hotmail.com





We had been tiny stars

Which, one evening,

With the light of innocence still on our faces,

Had leapt away from Mother's arms,

To journey through the Universe.


You chose to travel the dark path

In search of a faraway light, while

I groped through cold mist and clouds

Seeking warmth from a fulfilled dream.

We passed many a star and cloud

And only when we sailed into the thickest swarm of stars,

We lost track of each other.


As the light years flew past,

The stars disintegrated one by one.

Incredibly so far apart,

In that vast expanse,

Could we hope to meet again?


Last night the wind blew across the land of Sakura*,

Somewhere in that endless stretch of clear sky,

Our paths finally chanced to cross.

You took in my sinewed appearance,

And I gazed upon your battered form;

In my arms,

You shared the warmth of my heart.

I marvelled at your glittering form,

That appeared no less bright

Through the waterfall of cascading teardrops.


 * The Land of Sakura (Cherry Blossom) refers to Japan.





When I reached the river bank,

The night had become deep.

I unburdened my rucksack

To rest a while.


From far away ocean waves growled,

And the sea wind rolled the. coconut palms.

But where was the moonlight

To gild the river with gold?


Damp and dirty,

I leaned against a rotten coconut stump.

In the dim light,

I fell asleep.


My companion softly awakened me,

The noise of oars striking water could be heard.

I rose with a start,

Night dew had covered my body,

Chilling me to the bone.





A gentle zephyr danced

To a cadence of liquid notes

That glided down the slopes;

Those fairy chimes from the mountain

Were dripping, like drops from a fountain of molten jade.

Into the innermost chambers of your heart.


The skinny Kadazan youth

Swung high his baton with one swift stroke,

Immediately, the leisurely flowing strains

Became a cascading waterfall of melody,

That swelled, soared and reverberated

To the remotest corners of Likas Bay;*

Soon to be joined in its glorious exaltation

By a descant of crystal-clear echoes……


*Likas Bay is a beautiful bay in Kota Kinabalu.


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