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Cathy Song - Magic Island
Transcript of Cathy Song - Magic Island
A collar of water
surrounds the park peninsula
Voices are lost
in waves of wind
that catches a kite
and keeps it there
in the air above the trees.
If the day has one color,
it is this:
the blue immersion of horizons,
the sea taking the sky like a swimmer.
The picnicers have come
to rest their bicycles
in the sprawling shade.
By: Ash Pabst
Cathy Song - Magic Island
Cathy was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1955. Her parents were Chinese and Korean. Cathy left the island and perused her writing career at Wellesley College in 1977 and Boston University in 1981. Cathy graduated with a Bachelors degree in Wellesly College and a Masters degree in Boston University, both degree was for writing. After graduating both colleges, she returned to Hawaii and continued to write.
Cathy was very vocal when she wrote. By vocal, I mean she would write poems that were true about life. In 1983 Cathy published her first collection which is called
. Picture Bride was a success considering it won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. After that success she published three other volumes of her poetry,
Squares of Light
The Land of Bliss
Under each tree, a stillness
of small pleasures:
a boy, half in sunlight,
naps with his dog;
a woman of forty
squints up from her book
to bite into an apple.
It is a day an immigrant
and his family might remember,
the husband taking off his shirt
to sit like an indian
before the hot grill.
He would not in his own language
call it work, to cook
the sticks of marinated meat
for his son circling a yarn
of joy around the chosen tree.
A bit of luck has made him generous.
At this moment in his life,
with the sun sifting through
the leaves in panes of light,
he can easily say he loves his wife.
She lifts an infant
onto her left shoulder
as if the child
were a treasured sack of rice.
He cannot see her happines,
hidden in a thicket of blanket
and shining hair.
On the grass beside their straw mat,
a black umbrella,
blooming like an ancient flower,
betrays their recent arrival.
Suspicious of so much sunshine,
they keep expecting rain.
first stanza - 'Voices are lost in the waves of wind' - when people go to the beach and they get to really think about something meaningful, they don't hear anything and they forget everything that is around them.
second stanza - 'The picnicers have come to rest their bicycles in the sprawling shade.' - the people who go to picnic rested their bikes in the shade.
third stanza - 'Under each tree, a stillness of small pleasures' - this basically sums up these lines because they as they go on they talk about a boy napping with his dog and a woman reading her book so when they say small pleasures, they mean people are doing what they like to go and they are relaxing and being care free.
fourth stanza - 'It is a day an immigrant and his family might remember...' - this stanza is basically saying that an immigrant and his family are going to remember finally relaxing and letting all their worries go and just focusing on having a good time at the beach all together.
fifth stanza - 'He would not in his own language call it work, to cook...' - people in this world always say spanish people'immigrants are only good for work but they look at it as fun because they love cooking.
sixth stanza - 'At this moment in his life, with the sun sifting through the leaves in panes of light, he can easily say he loves his wife.' - this stanza is saying that he can finally be happy and okay with everything instead of constantly worrying.
seventh stanza - 'Suspicious of so much sunsine, they keep expecting rain.' - this line of the poem is talking about how these immigrants are having the time of their life and finally not getting caught but since its been such a long time without being caught they are getting worried.