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Star with a thousand moons by Andrew Parkin (PhD 1969)

26 October 2011

Andrew's latest book contains an ode written in the form of a film scenario because it is about Chinese cinema and Shaw Studios. This is followed by a suite of lyrics about Chinese gourds engraved with scenes from literature and legend.

Star With a Thousand Moons is a major collection of new poems by Andrew Parkin. It contains “Star of a Hundred Years,” a poem of homage to Sir Run Run Shaw, one of the fathers of Chinese movies. The poem marries the ancient Greek ode to the modern film scenario format to create a poetic genre Andrew calls the scenariode. “Star of a Hundred Years” celebrates at once Sir Run Run, now over one hundred years old, as well as the art of film. It also recalls the often tragic history of China in the twentieth century. A Hindi translation by the poet Anuraag has already been published in India and a Chinese translation is promised.

A Collection of Gourds is a collection of lyrics reaching back further into the Chinese past of Taoist legend, the world of the wars of princes and the loves of wives and concubines. Figures from China’s imaginative life are engraved on small dry gourds, about the size of billiard balls. The poems hint at the fragmentary lives and voices of such figures, including that of the engraver and of the poet. himself, who both live in the modern world which might yet be ruled by the forces symbolized in the Eight Immortals of Taoist legend. These lyrics were suggested to Andrew by his and his wife’s collection of engraved gourds. Each gourd contains seeds that rattle just as images and ideas rattle around in the mind.