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Kam Louie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028412

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028412.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Louise Ho and the Local Turn: The Place of English Poetry in Hong Kong

Louise Ho and the Local Turn: The Place of English Poetry in Hong Kong

Chapter:
(p.74) (p.75) 5 Louise Ho and the Local Turn: The Place of English Poetry in Hong Kong
Source:
Hong Kong Culture
Author(s):
Kam Louie
Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888028412.003.0006

This chapter is about the intersection between history and the local in the English poetry of Louise Ho. The “Home to Hong Kong” poem is not a poem of intellectual complexity or emotional intensity. Its language is neither original nor beautiful. What it does is to tell a lively story about a Chinese cosmopolitanism, apparently available to Hong Kong people, although still, in the 1980s when the poem was written, not much more than a dream to most mainland Chinese. It builds a cumulative structure that resembles that of a joke. The act of invitation narrated in its main verb is one that places the inviter in the position of host—at home, wherever the invitation is actually issued. It is a cosmopolitan illocution. Here is a life of international friendship, of eclectic taste, of frictionless mobility between scholarly, spiritual and commercial centres, old world and new, West and East.

Keywords:   English poetry, Louise Ho, Home to Hong Kong, China, cosmopolitanism, act of invitation, history

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