“Cohn: Long arm of Sri Lanka’s Toronto envoy” (Chen-ou Liu)



Kipling claimed
East is East and West is West
never the twain shall meet
marching westward
the earth is round





“Cohn: Long arm of Sri Lanka’s Toronto envoy” (The Toronto Star)


Poem by Chen-ou Liu (see poet biographies). Read more by this poet.




  1. Chris White

    Chen-ou -

    firstly I find the Kipling reference a great tool to link the poem to a broader historical / cultural realm. Secondly, I absolutely love the two line resolution “marching westward / the earth is round” – a statement which is as powerful as it is simple. Fantatic.

  2. Chen-ou Liu

    Chris, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and for your encouraging comment.


  3. Terry

    I found that article tough going. But it is plain to see that politics and politicians (which at this stage I think everyone knows is another way of saying ‘greed and corruption’) has overtaken the importance of the people and even the issues which have become nothing more than pawns as some little big shot flexes his political muscle.
    Another twain that should but never do meet are politics and common sense.

    Thankfully the wit and creativity of Chen-ou’s verse was there to pick me up:)

  4. Chen-ou Liu

    “Another twain that should but never do meet are politics and common sense.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more!

    Terry, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I enjoy reading it.


  5. Laryalee

    Chen-ou, I also found it hard to absorb the information in the article, but overall, for some reason your tanka makes me feel as if simple solutions exist to all our problems…which is probably true!

  6. Chen-ou Liu

    Lary, I don’t think there are simple solutions, but we need to face our problems because this is the New Era of Migration.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my poem.


  7. Bill Kenney

    The twain aren’t even a twain. Or should I say “isn’t.”

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