Bonne Nuit

Midnight Poems


No poetry lovers will read Luk Wing Yu’s Good Night Good Night as innocently as I did. It is because it is this work by her that has led me to the world of poetry.  The title of this poem collection caught my interest when I was at Yue Yue Bookstore (閲樂書店) in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei, so I picked it up. Only then did I know that the poet is originally from Hong Kong. That is how I began to read her poems slowly and carefully without any expectations. Her poems come across as contradictory, and I think this was particularly obvious during the period when she was penning Good Night Good Night. In recent years, it would seem everyone is longing to be “cured”. If you are looking for lines that are very light and gentle, then I would advise you against reading her poetry.

她的文字雖然能給你安慰,但是你要先有為傷口消毒那樣、先被刺痛的準備,才可以讓它好起來,就像是〈野花的箭〉:「我們親手種的野花/ 凋謝下來的箭/ 剪爛我永恆給你的一個愛字/或者是/直接剪爛我」。作者就像是一個在愛情裡虔誠的信徒,因為相信,所以敏感、脆弱——同時也就能夠帶來破壞與傷害。你能從她的文字裡找到「死」啊、「殺」啊或者「墮落」等表達破碎的字句,她總是赤裸地把悲傷和痛都攤開來,讓讀她的人先誠實面對自己的掙扎,再好好處理自己。像鳳凰的古老傳說,浴火就能重生。

Even though her words can give you comfort, you need to prepare yourself for being stung painfully, just as you need to first disinfect your wound in order for it to recover. For example, in The Arrows of Wildflowers,

  The wildflowers that we planted with our own hands
  wilted and fell as arrows
  that cut open the word “love” that I gave you for eternity,
  or perhaps,
  they directly cut open me.

The poet is like a devotional believer in love. Since she believes in it, she is sensitive and fragile — at the same time, she is capable of causing damage and harm. In her poetry lines, you can find words and phrases that express damage, such as “death”, “kill” or “decay”. She always lays bare sorrow and pain so that her readers can honestly face up to their own struggles in order to pull themselves together. Like in the old legend of phoenix, it bursts into flame and is reborn afterwards.


However, these sorrowful and unbearable moments have not driven us to the point of despair. Night is by nature a time for peace and quiet. Saying good night before going to bed fills one with comfort and tenderness. The title of this poetry collection, “Goodnight Goodnight“, carries in itself a hint of hope. No one says that everything will be alright when you wake up the next morning, but who knows?