Book Review: Unmarked Treasure

Title: Unmarked Treasure

Author: Cyril Wong

Call No.: WON

Review: After reading this I felt that I got a better sense of Cyril’s maturation as a writer. As friends have pointed out, the confessional mode makes the persona’s (and more often than not, the poet’s) biography front and centre of the work, and most are prepared to overlook much else in the name of overflowing emotions as a result. Having read and loved Oneiros, this only goes to show that Cyril has been pushing the limits of his craft successfully.

Here Cyril seems to be gingerly stepping out of the transcendent signifier of himself, trying on personas for size. Yet the theme of suicide and death, so embedded in his work, reveals the constraints of his technique: there is less meditation upon what death is and means, and much more hinges upon the persona’s reactions when confronted with thoughts of death or suicide. The writing is ethereal and lean, but soon becomes repetitive. Surely language can do more than this?

Source: Reader’s Review: Hao Guang Tse, 2012,