Wednesday, July 16, 2008



The poem takes the reader through the monsoon period. Life in Malacca is described, and the time is about forty years ago when the Baba-Nyonya family traditions were closely observed. The traditional family atmosphere is full of warmth and security. The poem ends with a sense of peace and tranquility, and a suggestion of happy ending.

First Stanza

- The air is filled of moisture. It is about to rain.

- The wetness of the air supports all forms of life, including destructive pests.

Second Stanza

- It is divided into two parts-the shift from the garden to the place inside the home i.e. from outside to inside.

Part One

- It is about to rain.

- The cloud are rolling in and darkness is setting in-rain is coming.

Part Two

- It is now an indoor scene - Inside the house

- The home is safe, secure environment - sitting at home and drinking Milo

- Clear reference to the Baba-Nyonya customs and tradition - wearing sarong, counting silver paper for the dead, portraits of grandfather in the parlour.

Third Stanza

- The western and eastern influences are shown to be in harmony

- Reading poetry by Tennyson shoes western education (in contrast with the eastern tradition and upbringing - stanza 2)

- The presence of insects is in harmony with the environment

- Wearing pajamas and getting ready for bed

- Washing their feet before going to bed – traditional influence

- The time is six p.m. and it is raining outside

- The mother removes her traditional Nyonya clothing and uncoils her traditional knot of hair.

- The father is still outside at the beach, waiting for his fishermen to return from the sea

Fourth Stanza

- The monsoon is over – everything is calm

- There is peace and tranquility once again

Symbolic Meaning:

Life can be peaceful and secure if we have good family relationship, follow traditional and customs even if there are problems and hardships.


1) Reflective (nostalgic about her past, i.e. her traditional and customs)
2) Regret (referring to the time – time forty years ago, and also the diminishing childhood, traditional and customs)


Where you are in the world, you just cannot forget your roots,

Childhood memories and your tradition.

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