Wang Gungwu, Head, East Asia Institute, National University of Singapore

To Tigerland

The lallangs leer at the breed of mosquitoes,

The parangs rust in their sheaths.

There the wood-smoke has turned to dust,

There the children make their wreaths.


Seek a solid beginning;

The past scares only the meek.

Squint at the seeming sane,

The world has a rugged tint.

Pretty rants and resolutions are the coward's bane.


Don't you see?

The rainbow brings the sun.

The lane-trees are green and the jungles don't carry a gun.

There music slows the flying birds;

There the Hajis sermon their herds.



Reproduced with the kind permission of Wang Gungwu.

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singapore Literature Overview

Last Modified: 25 July, 2002