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Rate this poem:4.6 / 19 votes
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...

  • Abbykesington
    You have painted such a grave picture of the " city of grave sponges." I love the juxtaposition of the sad and seemingly happy but obscure memories of the inhabitants of the city
    LikeReply15 hours ago
  • nwafor_a
    Great use of words, diction. You took me away on a journey.
    LikeReply 25 days ago
  • JdeLorenzo08
    Great piece !
    LikeReply10 days ago
  • louish.23015
    You shared with this community an excellent poem that pulled me into your world of blues. Nice job expressing vision of the surrounding.
    LikeReply 127 days ago
  • one.ournewecho
    An awe-inspiring glimpse into a far away land I hope to visit soon. Thank you for sharing your gift.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • crucifiedinhim2
    Interesting peek into a different culture, and we'll written
    LikeReply 11 month ago
    William, I love the imagery and word choice. It also flows as read. Great poem. (I do question it being categorized as a lyric poem though as I don't see author/person as a subject in the work itself , rather the author is an observer. Does not diminish the poem one bit though!) 
    LikeReply 11 month ago
  • PriscillaKing
    What Adognut said. I've never been in Hong Kong and doubt I'd like it (I don't like New York) but these images are striking...the Ferris wheel, the preserved butterflies, "historic tattoos"...! 
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • adognut
    This makes me wonder about a place I haven’t thought about and its history. Beautiful images, melancholy.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • susan.brumel
    Great piece. I wish I could read it in its original language. Thank you for sharing.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • Joshy1987
    Great job
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • Kixy
    Hauntingly beautiful. I could read this a thousand times and never tired of it.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • labuolu
    A great piece of writing
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • nicole.musango
    Very interesting,love how it's been compiled
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • amandak.45897
    Wonderful use of words, very talented.
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • chainzhunter
    Very well written piece! I particularly enjoy the imagery employed to create the sorrowful feelings. As one who is lost in my own concrete jungle, I can very easily identify with this poem!
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • oliviaritota
    Very well constructed!
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • pkmason1954
    Visually too complex. But certainly meloncholic.
    LikeReply 12 months ago
  • Soulwriter
    Haunting indeed...
    The words themselves are packed and stifling.
    It's really well done.
    Thank you!
    LikeReply4 months 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 24 months ago
  • harshasingh9389
    LikeReply4 months 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!
    LikeReply4 months ago
  • Symmetry60
    LikeReply5 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 25 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!
    LikeReply 15 months ago


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