This poem was written in Chinese by Hou Wei. It was a shortlisted entry in the 2015 Singapore Migrant Worker Poetry Competition.
1. “Yi Wei” refers to the 32 nd year of each 60-year cycle in the traditional Chinese
calendrical system. Here. It corresponds to the year 2015.
2. “Nanyang”, literally “south seas”, is a term traditionally used to refer to Southeast
3. “The Island of Stars” ( 星洲 ) is a term traditionally used to refer to Singapore.
4. The “Divine Land” ( 神州 ) is a term traditionally used to refer to China.
Hou Wei was born in Nanchang, Jiangxi in China. He came to Singapore in 2011 and works in a logistics company. He writes in his spare time and favours classical Chinese poetry, especially 8-line poems. His favourite writers include Li Bai, Du Fu, and Bai Juyi. He also loves The Three Kingdoms and The Three Hundred Tang Poems.