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In Response To:

"I Ask My Mother to Sing"

  I chose this poem for discussion that I seemed to have the same sentiment with the speaker who had the strong feeling about his homeland. There is a different between he and I that he even had stepped on his really native homeland that contained the people with the same blood and same roots of him. At the beginning of the poem, it was just a neutral atmosphere that you could not know what is the problem with the singing of the grandmother and the mother of the speaker. But it changed from neutral to sadness and sorrow. I guess they were singing the song of their homeland with their native language. The song they were singing reminded them the time when THEY were in China. And it is clearly to know his father was pass. The phrase "his accordion and sway like a boat." seemed to say that his father would separate forever with them just like the boat swinging in the center of the sea and could never reach a bank (a place for him to settle down).
  The second stanza, I thought, talked about the background of the speaker's family. They were Chinese but they were not living in China now and the speaker even had not known what the China was like. The "rain" might represent the political commotion of China at that time and that made the speaker's family move from China to Indonesia. The "picnickers" might be the person in China at that time who escaped out to all directions from the China. And there is a regret of speaker that he never had been a places in China (Peking, Summer Palace, the Stone Boat or the Kuen Ming Lake) even many foreigners might have traveled not only one time at there, his native homeland.
  Just thought that it was very beautiful that the scene of the picture of waterlilies at the first time I read it. But I sudden had a thought that the waterlilies were like the eyes of the "Mother and Daughter" while discussing with the others. The tear drops filled up and then spilled from the eyes just like the waterlilies. It might also represented the state of the speaker's family that it seemed never to have a quiet and MOVED forever.
  The last two sentences showed how heart were broken of them. And the song went on with the cry might mean they were forever Chinese even the pain was added on them continuously. The song might be the ancient folk song of China or the "Offspring of the dragon". I also proud of being a Chinese.
  It is quite good to appreciate the poem both in Chinese and English. The sentences are short but filled up with emotion and meanings. You may talk a lot just for a single word in the poem. It is very meaningful for using some words in the poem. And the English poem is one of the reason why I like English though I read it very painfully. And I want to introduce a poem to you if you do not care and you can watch it.

---The English Language    
Some words have different meanings, You spin a top, go for a spin,
and yet they' re spelt the same.     or spin a yarn may be-
A cricket is an insect,         yet every spin's a different spin,
to play it íV it's a game.        as you can plainly see.
On every hand, in every land,      Now here's a most peculiar thing,
it's thoroughly agreed,        'twas told me as a joke-
the English language to explain,   A dumb man wouldn't speak a word,
is very hard indeed.        yet seized a wheel and spoke.  

Some people say that you' re a dear,    A door may often be ajar,
yet dear is far from cheap.      but give the door a slam,
A jumper is a thing you wear,      and then your nerves receive a jar-
yet a jumper has to leap.      and then there's jars of jam.  
It's very clear, it's very queer,    You've heard, of course, of traffic jams,  
and pray who is to blame      and jams you give your thumbs.  
for different meanings to some words    And adders, too, one is a snake,
pronounced and spelt the same?    the other adds up sums.
A little journey is a trip,      A policeman is a copper,
a trip is when you fall.        it's a nickname ( impolite ! )
It doesn't mean you have to dance     yet a copper in the kitchen
whene'er you hold a ball.      is an article you light.
Now here's a thing that puzzles me:    On every hand, in every land,
musicians of good taste      it' s thoroughly agreed-
will very often form a band-      the English language to explain  
I've one around my waist!      is very hard indeed !
                                           Harry Hemsley

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