The Quotable

Egg* Poems: An English Languacultural History of China

1/ Ancient China


They used to drink tea

Wear silk

Eat from china

Think in terms of zen

And practice Confucianism 


Only – is it true?


2/ Semi-Colonial China


Wearing cheongsam

These poor coolies arrived here

On sampans 

Always ready to kowtow

To a tycoon

Who lived in Shangri-La 

Eating dim sum

Drinking oolong 

Playing mahjong 

Gambling in a casino every day

Though reluctant to give cumshaw


3/ Mandarin China


Led by dao

A yin

Running dog

Wearing qipao

Is fighting against a yang 

Paper tiger

With wushu 

After getting brainwashed

Through maotai

Like a taikongnaut

At a fengshui spot

Dominated by qi 




*A word (or person) with a Chinese origin living in the West is often called an ‘egg,’ which is white-skinned, but yellow-hearted.



Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Allen Qing Yuan, holds a PhD in English, teaches independently and edits Poetry Pacific in Vancouver.  Yuan’s poetry appears in 629 literary publications across 24 countries, including Asia Literary ReviewBarrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, LiNQ, London Magazine, Poetry Kanto, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Salzburg, SAND and Taj Mahal Review.

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