Creative Showcase

On the Passing of a Mentor

A poem written in tribute to the late Prof John Richardson.

By Edward Goh Khiam Li


In distant lea, on brackish shore

A Spirit moves in me

That worthless hands should ink a score

Of praise and memory


God help me carve ex nihilo

A torch for all to see

Pray help me tell, with lines so bold

Of a coming victory


A song for you, lifted with grace

On wings to warmer nest

To a High place, to see His face

Your absence makes us less


As bugles sound, a Voice from Eden

Calls you to final rest

Reminding us, the Voice ever even:

This is not a test


But glorious return, what time is served

And all is said and done

Until our day, a Heaven on Earth

In each and every one


Of us we find, our souls being true

Steadfast unto the end

So give our best, that none shall rue

A life in need of mend


So help me Lord, verily to tell

Of him who shaped our world

For him shall toll all our bells

In minds he helped unfurl


Stop me not, this shaking hand

From etching lines of death

In mourning and loss, we give our thanks

For life in every breath


Shed not tears of sorrow and grief

From this day on find peace

Have faith, He keeps in all His fief

For us a better place


Prof John Richardson was former Director of USP (2009 – 2015). He most recently taught Representing War, and was always enthusiastic about mentoring students. He constantly volunteered to lead Brainfood+ groups and was most beloved by his students and colleagues. He was a mentor to many staff and students in USP, and a dear friend to us all.

For more tributes from the USP Community, please refer to Remembering Prof John Richardson.


A third-year English literature major, the poet is currently away on exchange at the University of Toronto (Scarborough). This piece is dedicated to the late Professor Richardson and those pained by his passing.

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