fruit treeAs part of my course on world literatures in English, I recently asked students to compose a piece of imaginative writing that might reflect or problematise the way in which we had been talking in class about diaspora and the diasporic experience. My hope was that this task would encourage students to think creatively rather than (just) critically about this kind of literature.

Over the next few days I will be posting some of the poems and short pieces of prose that the students presented – and I invite you to leave comments or questions for the authors. Over all, I think you will agree that the students did a wonderful job of thinking creatively about this difficult concept:

“Merely a Fruit”
by Joyce Cheng (25 March, 2014)

A fruit, a tree, a forest.

The ancient roots
digging deep into the soil.

Gripping tight.

The hovering birds
picking on ripened fruits,
Away to alien lands.

The time has come.
The fruit has ripened.

Plucked and lifted,
to a sky so high,
the forest seems tiny.

from the land
it once called home.

Dropped upon a solid ground.
A land so strange and new.

Day by day and
night by night.
Struggled, nurtured.

Fragile roots reaching down,
gripping soil underneath.

These roots will one day be ancient,
living on the same water it once tasted.

is a tree,
bearing fruits.