Featured Poem

Lost Poem

Your wrote a poem once, your hand
unsteady, about being too late.
The image I have of it is a plant
wilting on a sill. You sent the poem
after our first meeting in years.
I slipped it into a book, refusing the pain
of remembering and forgetting.
Now the poem is lost, a lost scroll
on the dead sea, and I am the one
who is too late, every poem I write
a call after you, hobbling after
the lost prodigal father.
I would barter these poems
for your lost poem, the plain words
that I can’t get right.

by Boey Kim Cheng, from After the Fire: New and Selected Poems, Firstfruits Publications

Reprinted with the author’s permission

Boey is judged to be both “a Singaporean and international poet” in a review of his latest book of poems Clear Brightness.


About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.

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