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Blue Melancholy of Hong Kong
By William He

A veil of purple vapour flows,
In fancy's misty gleam,
The sea spectral camp is seen.
The street light eyes are hollow,
Yet hook one's soul with a single glance.
A parlour of numb nerves ever.
The lattice pavilions rise and fall,
In the cloudy and tense air,
With the strange and mystic scroll.
The Central gigantic shapes and shadows swing.
Playing on a cracked saxophone,
A scotch waters the sorrow down.
Fluttering secret dreams on the sonata wings.
A ribbon of hard sound reverberates,
Despair tugs on spiritual strings.

Ferris Wheel's heart beats vibrantly.
Time slipping as if the world never stops.
Walking through the city of gray sponges,
The preserved butterflies torn.
With many historic tattoos and engravings,
The vigils are musing the obscure,
On the psyche and skin body.
Some having lost their way,
With forlorn and reluctant wheeze.
The heart is weary or alone,
Unforgettable thorns hanging from their memory,
Breathing forth a strain of sadness now.
Borne along by wind and tide,
Sometimes leaving them scarred then.
As if some puppets-player,
Twitching the threads with sardonic tone,
Marionettes try to move and jump.

六丑 香港的蓝色忧郁



About this poem

Through vivid and haunting imagery, the poem captures the sense of longing, disorientation, and emotional turmoil experienced by the inhabitants of Hong Kong. It offers a complex and multifaceted exploration of urban life, reflecting the beauty, desolation, and enigmatic nature of the city.

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Written on April 24, 2022

Submitted by chinamcc8 on December 11, 2023

1:21 min read

William He

William Yu He graduated from two of the most prestigious law schools in China respectively, also studied in Heidelberg, Cambridge and Harvard. He has already published dozens of Chinese classical poems and lyrics. The Incumbent President of China quoted his classic poem in 2017. The President of Harvard University recognized his achievements in June, 2021. more…

All William He poems | William He Books

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Discuss the poem "Blue Melancholy of Hong Kong" with the community...

  • Soulwriter
    Haunting indeed...
    The words themselves are packed and stifling.
    It's really well done.
    Thank you!
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • talygarza
    I like poems dealing with big cities and melancholy, I think this is an specific view of a city with material and common elements that are presents in urban environments.
    LikeReply 21 month ago
  • harshasingh9389
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • luisestable1
    What is amazing about this good poem is the number of imageries that it brings to the mind. The lines must be read wit care to capture the language of the verses.
    Good read!
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • Symmetry60
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • karlcfolkes
    As someone having grown up and educated in a British colonial Caribbean setting, this poem is seemingly oh so familiar, painting an unstated yet underlying scenery of European hegemonic ruling that, although eerily ‘native’ to the inhabitants, remains sadly an indignity to the island citizen who in so many ways has the sense of being a stranger in his own homeland, still burdened by colonial chains that frame his collective conscience and yearning for liberation. 
    LikeReply 22 months ago
  • AIDA
    I am absolutely blown away by the raw power and profound poetic vision of your piece, 'Blue Melancholy of Hong Kong'. Your evocative imagery and emotive language convey a strong sense of place, emotion, and atmosphere that truly captivates your reader, transporting them to the vibrant yet melancholic streets of Hong Kong.

    Your artful use of metaphor and simile conveys a deep understanding of complex emotion and creates a gratifying, multidimensional reading experience. Further, it is commendable how you seamlessly blended English and Chinese in this poem, enhancing its overall flavor.

    The rhythm and flow of the words have an almost hypnotic quality, and your unique perspective shines through. I truly appreciate your creativity and your phrasing's musicality!

    As for improvement, I suggest experimenting with adding more personal anecdotes or narratives to offer the reader more concrete instances to connect with. It could provide a counterbalance to the ethereal imagery and abstract references, thereby offering another level for readers to engage with your work.

    Also, although your extensive vocabulary infuses your poem with depth, some words and phrases might confuse less-experienced poetry readers. Simplifying some complex phrases might make your work more accessible.

    Nevertheless, 'Blue Melancholy of Hong Kong' is a exquisite composition that gives voice to the city in a unique, poignant manner; it is truly a breath of fresh air in contemporary poetry. Keep writing and continue to enchant us with your words!
    LikeReply2 months ago


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