What To Escape From?
Autumn is a harvest season of joy and peace. But the first stanza of the poem strikes me with an unusual autumn image: the ripe fruits escaped to the top of the skyscrapers, which is perplexing albeit resonating the poem title "Climax". Then, what did the ripe fruits escape from? Have they succeeded? What will they do after seeing the blue sky at the top of the skyscrapers?
The second stanza starts with a similar line, accentuating the arrival of the season, with a subtle difference from the first line of the first stanza by adding some adverbs omitted to better portray those dreadful and scurry fruits and conversely restoring the season’s peace. The poem ends abruptly after this line “我敲响了键盘" without any hints provided but leaving room for imagination.
The poem "Climax”, written in everyday language, contrasts the fleeing fruits and the calm “me” when autumn arrives to build up a set of intriguing and surrealistic imagery. As mentioned above, the different moods in the two lines about the arrival of autumn create different rhythms: desperate and dread in the fleeing and settling to write. A ripe fruit destined to be eaten or rot to death tries to escape from its fate. Seeing the blue sky high above might alleviate it out of fear momentarily but does not provide a permanent exit out of the hopeless plight. The soothing mood in the second stanza implies the joy and peace from writing to enrich and rejuvenate our spirits. Maybe, when the harvest season arrives, we are forced to face the eternal struggle in humanity - fear for the fragility of our physical existence and the longing for persistence of our spirituality – then flight or fight?
A ripe fruit is always a symbol associated with primitiveness. Back to the days when human beings evolved into Homo sapiens, they went hunting and gathering fruits for survival. The juxtaposition of ripe fruits and high-rise buildings brings out the contrast between primitiveness and modernity, which is also continued in this line “我敲响了键盘”. A keyboard, a modern tool, is explicitly associated with an ancient drum through the word, “敲响”, typing on a keyboard as beating a drum in a ritual.
A drum, presumably the oldest musical instruments made by human, first appeared in the Mesopotamian civilization around 6000 BC. Since then, it has embodied universal life force energy that connects everything and everyone and often used in religious rituals or ceremonies.
In the novel “Lost Love”, how a shaman of the San Bushmen, the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, conducts a curing ritual and establishes connection to the other world is evocatively written.
A great poem is “within chaos there is order”, where the complexity interwoven by time, space, memories, emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, etc., is unfolded layer by layer through our analytical reading and thinking - a journey to nourish our soul.
when autumn comes
fruits have escaped from the high branches
to the top of the skyscrapers
when autumn comes
i start to drum aloud on a keyboard