Khoo Seok Wan
Khoo Seok Wan (1874-1941) was one of Singapore's early poets. He was a prolific writer who penned over 1,000 poems in his lifetime. He started writing from an early age and continued till his demise at age 67. Khoo's last poem was said to have been written three days before his death in 1941. His literary works were published widely in books and in various Chinese-language newspapers in Singapore and overseas.
A selection of publications by Khoo from the National Library collection have been digitized, which readers can access below. These will enable readers to appreciate the poetry and literary works of Khoo Seok Wan, and to understand why he was such a well-known literary figure in Nanyang (Southeast Asia) at the time.
Khoo Seok Wan's works were featured in the exhibition titled Khoo Seok Wan: Poet and Reformist that was held at the National Library Building from 22 November 2013 to 18 May 2014.
邱菽园（1874年 - 1941年）是新加坡的文艺先驱之一。他是一名创作量丰富的诗人，在他六十七年的人生中写了超过一千首旧体诗。他从小接受传统教育，博于诗书，一生笔耕不缀，直至辞世前三天还提笔作诗。他的作品除了结集出版外，还散见于新加坡及海外的中文报章上。
这本由邱菽园编写的童蒙读本是以相信是一千四百年前开始沿用的《千字文》的体例所重新编写的 。这一千个文字是由押韵的四字短句构成，方便协助背诵。邱菽园的《新出千字文》保留了原文的479 字，也外加521个新字，其中包括南洋孩童所熟悉的事物如椰浆和薯粥，文中内容也包含普通常识和道德伦理。邱菽园在书后页解释他对编写《新出千字文》的途径与他早期出版的《浅字文》有所不同。那是因为他领悟到“字之浅深,不在画之多少,在乎用之常罕”。
Xin Chu Qian Zi Wen
(新出千字文, Thousand Character Classics: A New Version
This textbook which helps to introduce Chinese characters to children, was authored by Khoo Seok Wan. It is modelled after the Thousand Character Classics believed to have been composed around 1,400 years ago. The format uses four-character verses worked in a lyrical style, so as to aid memorisation. The total contains 1,000 unique characters. In Khoo's version of this classic, he retained 479 words from the original and has introduced 521 new characters. Among the new characters are those which children living in Southeast Asia would be familiar with, for example, coconut milk (椰浆) and sweet potato porridge (薯粥). Examples of general knowledge and morals have also been included in the publication.
Khoo adds at the end of this book a note stating that he has taken on a new approach for this book as compared to his earlier publication titled Qian Zi Wen (浅字文) or Simplified Characters Text. The improvement being his recent realisation that learning of characters is determined by frequency of use than on the character's number of strokes.
Xiao Hong Sheng Shih Chao
(啸虹生诗钞, Collected Poems of Xiao Hong Sheng
This publication contains mainly romantic poems written by Khoo Seok Wan. The publication is made up of four main volumes with three additional volumes. The first main volume includes poems written when he was 17-26 years of age and the fourth volume at 35-44 years old.
Tan Xie Shi Ji
(檀榭诗集, Collected Poems of Tan Xie
15th year of Republic of China (1926)
This two-volume publication features some poems composed by members of the Tan Xie poetry group. The selection of the poems was compiled by Khoo Seok Wan. According to the publication, the poetry group lasted for three years. This publication was financed by Khoo's friend, Chen Yan Qian.
Shu Yuan Shi Ji
(菽园诗集, Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan
This compilation of Khoo Seok Wan's works was published by his daughter Khoo Meng Kuan, eight years after Khoo's passing in 1941. The publication includes a preface by Kang Youwei and one by Lee Choon Seng (a well known businessman), as well as a biography of Khoo by Chang Shu Nai (newspaper editor). This publication is based on hand written manuscripts likely to have been compiled during Khoo's lifetime. These manuscripts are in the collection of the Ong family, desendants of Khoo Seok Wan. Aside from the seven volumes of poetry found in the written manuscripts there are two additional volumes in the printed publication. The first additional volume also includes a preface written in 1941 by Khoo to explain that the poems in that chapter are organised around the time he wrote them according to the four seasons – spring (23 poems), summer (64 poems), and so on.