“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Contest: Spring Festival Zodiac Poems 春节属相双语诗

By Canaan Morse, published

This absurd little floater is actually a year old, born when a Facebook status "Happy Year!" tickled my four-year-old gooberish sense of humor and inspired a poem even worse than this one. Somehow, it all came groaning back to me two nights ago, and strange motivation turned it into more than a poem--a contest!

The Entry: One poem of any reasonable length.

The Requirements: Poem must be macaronic (dual-language...isn't my vocabulary impressive? Of course it is). It must include all twelve character signs of the Chinese Zodiac, and those characters must interact with the English in such a way that the two become fundamentally connected to each other; for example, the poem below inserts characters into English words and sentences in such a way that an English speaker could reasonably guess at the pronunciation of the characters from the English sounds they substitute (Yes, yes, I know; this is just a game). Yet mine is only one method; I'm sure there are much cleverer ways of making said connection, and they are welcome!

The Deadline: February 14th, First Day of the New Year! Duh.

The Prize: A beer at the Bookworm (or four Tsingdaos at 平民 restaurant of your choice) bought by yours truly. If nobody enters, I'll just buy myself a case of Yanjing and drink in my apartment...so, par for the course.

All poems to be judged utterly subjectively and by vote. My entry, which shouldn't be hard to beat, totally counts.


Hu's in China

Come and give a round of applause for 庚寅年,
whom we saw coming. We know he is,
though not what he brings;
besides a new jacket and s for the baby,
expenses, a newsprinted war
between Muslim and , and Oba
still blowing on the trumpet of pe
‘til he’s blue.

The Times and Time tell me that this year,
nothing is certain; but I’m not .
The places we’ve been
are small indication of where we’ll .
Hell, some say that sus will reappear,
though I don’t think so.
I only know
that I'm not getting any ger, I’ve lost
some of what I was taking a
and will lose more soon. So tell me,
is this the year for things that are old—
or merely for that which was once ?

Wishing everyone a Xinnian kuaile, jixiang ruyi, Canaan


# 1.   

This sounds a lot of fun. But can the deadline be pushed a bit later? If I did not remember wrong, the 15th of January in Chinese calender 正月十五 would be the perfect time for poem gathering, and that is also a tradition in the old times. Maybe we can do some Lamp Quiz as well.

joy, February 14, 2010, 11:38a.m.


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