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I/我as a Human: a Bilinguacultural Poem


1/ Denotations


The first person singular pronoun, or this very

Writing subject in English is I , an only-letter

Word, standing straight like a pole, always

Capitalized, but in Chinese, it is written with

Lucky seven strokes as 我 , with at least 108

Variations, all of which can be the object case

At the same time.

                                Originally, it’s formed from

The character 找, meaning ‘pursuing’, with one

Stroke added on the top, which may well stand for

Anything you would like to have, such as money

Power, fame, sex, food, or nothing if you prove

Yourself to be a Buddhist practitioner inside out


2/ Connotations


Since I am a direct descendant of Homo Erectus, let me

Stand straight as a human/人, rather than kneel down


When two humans walk side by side, why to coerce one

Into obeying the other like a slave fated to follow/从?


Since three humans can live together, do we really need

A leader or ruler on top of us all as a group/众?


Given all the freedom I was born with, why

Just why cage me within walls like a prisoner/囚?


Yuan Changming hails with Allen Yuan from Credits include 12 Pushcart nominations & chapbooks (most recently All my Crows) and appearances in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline & Poetry Daily, among 1929 others. Yuan both served on the jury and was nominated for Canada's National Magazine (poetry category). 

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