This Mortal World by Leonard Ng front cover
This Mortal World by Leonard Ng back cover

This Mortal World

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by Leonard Ng

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• This Mortal World was shortlisted for the 2012 Singapore Literature Prize.

Gods, animals, and men walk together in the landscape of these poems, sometimes aware of each other, sometimes not. A man and a hawk lean over a railing looking out at the world below; a rainstorm rejuvenates a carload of teachers; a congratulatory message from the stars arrives years after a relationship has ended. A jealous fox spirit causes trouble in England; a dying bat takes off on the last flight of its life. Together these poems present a cosmophany, showing forth the world in all its transience and beauty.

About the Author

Leonard Ng was born in Singapore in 1979. He studied Sociology and English Literature at the National University of Singapore, graduating at length with First Class Honours. His work has appeared in a variety of places, including Ceriph, the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, the anthology Love Gathers All, and his own site, He is also a translator of classical poetry into English; his translated work includes The Song of Songs, the Laozi Daodejing, and The Complete Poems of Yu Xuanji. His second collection of poems is Changes and Chances, published by Ethos Books in 2014.


"In This Mortal World, Leonard Ng creates a cosmos in which different realities meet, and the perception of beauty as something fragile and easily destroyed is never far away. This is a watercolour world: delicate brushstrokes and layers of metaphor depict animals, friends, seasons, cityscapes (especially in Ng's native Singapore), travel, love and loss."
- Cha: An Asian Literary Journal

• • •

ISBN: 978–981–08–9311–8
Published: 2011
Dimension: 120mm x 200mm
Extent: 84
Finish: Paperback



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