Grace Ow

Singapore

Since I was young, I was a voracious reader and had a deep love of words and the way they could be used to convey meaning. I hope that my words and my stories would have a positive impact on others.

Message to Readers

How does the metaphor of the four seasons convey the story of youth and friendships?

The Lunch Table

February 10, 2017

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1
"生命
随年月流去 随白发老去
随着你离去 快乐渺无音讯
随往事淡去 随梦境睡去
随麻痹的心逐渐远去
我好想你 好想你 却不露痕迹"

- 《我好想你》,苏打绿

"As life flows by with the passing of time,
It ages with the greying of hair on one's head,
While happiness is silent in your absence;
As memories fade away over time,
And the heart descends into paralysis,
Though I do not show it, oh how I miss you"

                                     - I Miss You, Sodagreen


I. Spring
The lunch table is a hiding place for me
I sit down and bend over my food
Facing the lush green trees 
Whose silence seemed to echo through the space
Hoping no one will notice my loneliness
That was how I met you 
You made the table a place of friendship,
Instead of a sign with all my social awkwardness written all over it


II. Summer
Like bees to flowering trees,
Our lunch table has captured the interest of many
They come and join our daily meals,
Suddenly the space is filled with laughter and noise
It is a different kind of tranquility that seems to fill me
Despite the lack of peace around
The sunlight illuminating us in warm golden light
Our eyes full of carefree laughter
It seemed as if time seemed to stop in that moment

III. Autumn
A cool breeze blows past the lunch table,
Leaving our windswept hair ruffled
Gone are the days of boisterous camaraderie
We are quieter now, pulling our coats around ourselves
Speaking in murmurs
Many of us are leaving, migrating to other places
Seeking refuge in other havens
I sit a little behind the lunch table looking at them all,
A picture perfect portrait of friendship and youth
As picturesque as a sunset viewed from afar

IV. Winter
Now I am all alone again at the lunch table 
Some days it has seemed as if nothing has changed
But I no longer feel the empty spaces around me
Do not see the lunch table as a sign of embarrassment
Sometimes I close my eyes, and the past comes back to me
I see their laughter, I see the ghostly smiles on their faces
Even in the bitter winter wind I experience the change of the seasons
Taste the unspoken words in the back of my throat singing out,
Oh how I miss you








 
On my inspiration:
This poem was inspired partially by me watching my friends hang out at our usual lunch table, and the notion of how our fast our lives slip by with time just hit me, and I immediately thought of this Chinese song Oh I Miss You by the Taiwanese band Sodagreen, which deals with what happens as life goes by and we grow older and people we care about leave. 

In my opinion, the beauty of Chinese is that it can express so much in a few characters that English can only match up to in long sentences. Therefore, my translation of the original Chinese lyric was not to perfectly match it word for word, but rather to convey the essence of the emotion and meaning behind the words.

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  • February 10, 2017 - 7:03am (Now Viewing)

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