"Ladybird" by Samantha Hui

Description: Ladybird is inspired by the Academy Award winning movie of the same name, about the turbulent relationship between a single mother, and her strong-willed, opinionated daughter. It is also a twin cinema poem, a unique poetic style pioneered in Singapore.

While fully folded, Ladybird can be read either one or two poems. For instance, each column can be read as a poem on its own (e.g. I carry myself with such pride). Yet, for its hidden meaning, one must read across the two columns in the twin cinema (e.g. I carry my worst burden — myself, a heavy thing with such pride).

But there is still one more twist to this poem. The ladybird can still “spread its wings”. When it is unfolded, two more columns are revealed to have been hidden beneath the ladybird’s shell the entire time. Again, each column can be read on its own as a standalone poem. But for the full secret message, one must again read across all the lines in the poem (e.g. I carry you within me, I put you beside my worst burden – myself).

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