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Poem Cards Beat Waiting Blues

by Weixi Zeng http://www.panoramio.com/photo/77500283Taipei is not that great for cycling. It is rarely possible to travel even a single mile without finding your route blocked by a big, wide, busy road. In consequence, when resident in the city around the turn of the millenium, I came up with the ‘poem card solution’ to banished the frustration of waiting for a green light.
At most junctions, when you encounter a red light there will be a counting-down-the-time indicator to inform you how long you have to wait to proceed onward. On average that time will be forty seconds. What better constructive way to pass that time than to whip out a poem card for perusal?
明月几时有 "How long has the bright moon existed?" 把酒问青天 grasping my drink I ask the blue sky 不知天上宫阙 今夕是何年

Amongst those several poems I managed to memorise whilst waiting at traffic lights in Taipei, one of my favourites was composed during the reign of William the Conqueror by a genius named Su Shi, a man hailed as the pre-eminent personality of the eleventh century

Some years later I was delighted to find this poem put to music and presented by the excellent Chinese songstress Faye Wong 王菲

Click on her portrait to listen