Singapore River by local poet, Lee Tzu Pheng

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singapore riverThe operation was massive;

designed to give new life

to the old lady.

We have clearned out

Her arteries, removed

detritus and slit,

created a by-pass

for the old blood.

Now you can hardly tell

her history.


We have become

so health-conscious

the heart

can sometimes be troublesome.

Lee Tzu Pheng (Dr) (b. 13 May 1946, Singapore -) is considered one of Singapore’s most distinguished poets. A retired university lecturer, she is an award-winning poet who has published in anthologies and journals internationally. All her three volumes of poetry, Prospect of a Drowning (1980), Against the Next Wave (1988) and The Brink of an Amen (1991), have won the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) Award – From


7 thoughts on “Singapore River by local poet, Lee Tzu Pheng

    Lovely thoughts. have a blessed day.jalal

      Sydney Fong responded:
      August 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you, Jalal! 🙂

        Caroline said:
        March 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        I just want to ask what does the last stanza means? I’m a little bit confused

        Sydney Fong responded:
        March 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

        “We have become
        so health-conscious
        the heart
        can sometimes be troublesome.”
        This means that the Singapore River has become a very clean and ‘healthy’ river but once over-enthusiastic on cleaniness, it might leads you to another issue.
        This is very philosophy!
        I took quite sometimes to understand too!
        Thank you for sharing the same interest with me!
        Have a good day! 🙂

    rabirius said:
    August 1, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Brilliant picture.

    Travel Top 10 said:
    November 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    The poem made me nostalgic. I guess you really can never take away the past in a present, no matter how beautiful today has become. Perhaps, applicable to Singapore. We’ll all have to get back to day one somehow to appreciate what we have right now.

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