one point six one eight (2013)

published by ethos books


one point six one eight is a long poem in two parts: ‘migration’, with 13 smaller poems, and ‘home’, with 8. the book title reflects the ratio of 13/8, or the golden ratio of 1.618, a proportion of beauty which occurs in nature.

the title: in mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. the golden ratio’s value is 1.6180339887….., or one point six one eight.

book design: the physical book design plays on the theme of migration and its attendant associations which madeleine lee raises in her collection. when laid out in an open spread, the reader will find that the poems go full circle–like a migratory path–and in fact has no specific start or end.

one point six one eight has been adapted into a theatrical production by cake productions.


review by ian chung on sidekickbooks

publisher’s website

writing the city video adaptation

I will always, always attribute the start of my love for writing to Madeleine Lee. I couldn’t afford buying poetry books when I hadn’t started earning my own money yet, and I used to sit at NLB copying Madeleine’s poetry word for word in notebooks so I could read them later on. Her writing is sparse but brutal in its beauty, like a harsh desert or a frosty landscape. It was the first time I saw how panoramic writing could be.

Euginia Tan, poet & playwright
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