What is a PONG?

You probably don’t know what a PONG is because I just made the word up to describe an enhanced way of sharing our experiences using technology. This emerging phenomenon was not possible ten years ago.

A PONG is a poem, song or story that consists of input from its writer, his collaborators AND each listener or reader who chooses to add and share their reactions. It is a shared response layered on the original.

Think of a music video to which every viewer contributes so that the next viewer sees the original and all the added on bits. What would that be like? Set your imagination free.

Ping, pong.

In the past, performers have been able to do tributes to songs they like and to sample songs that inspire them to compose their own music. What has not been easy is for listeners to express and share their experience with the artist and with other consumers. Each screaming fan at a performance is trying to talk to the singer.  These days, the artist can tune into each voice on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media in the form of comments and even videos. This is one way things are changing.

A song writer is inspired by his own experiences and thoughts and constrained by his skills. His composition is then layered on by the experiences and performance skills of his collaborators. This rich tapestry is what is then presented to the listener.

As the song bubbles through the consciousness of the listener, it is coloured by the listener’s mood, experiences and thoughts. It thus becomes an even richer experience.

This richer experience is not limited to music. It applies to poetry, stories and other art forms. Technology is making it easier for the listener to pass on the enriched experience.

We are glimpsing new ways of collaboration between human beings and new heights in the pleasures derived from works of art.

Here is an example of how a song sung in a language I did not understand inspired thoughts and emotions that I share with you.

My very first PONG – a love poem, FIRST KISS:




(A Love Poem inspired by the song, “Bendita tu Luz” by MANA)

We spent the warm summer evening in front of the TV

I sat in front of the TV
She sat in another chair to my right

I spent the evening watching her:
Smooth skin, dark hair,
Every breath, every smile…

The evening flew by.

“Goodnight,” she said.
She stood up and started walking out of the room.
“Goodnight,” I said, holding out my hand for a handshake.
I did not get up.

She came up behind my chair and took my hand.
Her hand soft and warm like an embrace.
Her sweet perfume sailed on my breath deep into my soul.
My heart slammed against my lungs, taking my breath away.

I gently guided her round my chair.
She floated through the air and fluttered into my lap –
Her eyes closed, her lips half-open.

I put my arm around her shoulders.
She wrapped her arms around my neck.

Our lips met.

A bolt of sheer ecstasy surged through me from head to toe.

Through a hundred life-times I sought this one moment in time.
An oasis of bliss.
A moment that lasts for ever …

She stirred in my arms and sat up in my lap.
I opened my eyes.
We gazed into each other’s eyes.

There were no words.

Some people go through life without finding their Moment.
Here I was, holding mine in my arms.

Worth a thousand lifetimes.
I am grateful for love so deep.

To have and to keep,
One Kiss.


 I have, since then, looked up the artist, the lyrics and what they mean. Mana is a Mexican group that sing Bendita tu Luz in Spanish.

Here is the song in Spanish and an English translation of the lyrics.

Bendito el lugar, y el motivo de estar ahí, 
Bendita la coincidencia, 
Bendito el reloj que nos puso puntual ahí, 
Bendita sea tu presencia. 

Blessed location, and the motive for being there, 
Blessed the coincidence, 
And blessed clock that set us there punctually, 
Blessed be your presence. 

Bendito Dios por encontrarnos en el camino, 
Y de quitarme esta soledad de mi destino. 
Bendita la luz, bendita la luz de tu mirada (x2) 
Desde el alma. 

Blessed God for meeting us on the road, 
And for taking away this solitude from my destiny. 
Blessed be the light, blessed be the light of your gaze (x2) 
Coming from the soul. 

Benditos ojos que me esquivaban, 
Simulaban desde que me ignoraban, 
Y de repente, sostienes la mirada. 

Blessed eyes that shyly avoided me, 
Pretending all along that they ignored me, 
And suddenly, you sustain(ed) your gaze. 

Bendita Dios por encontrarnos en el camino, 
Y de quitarme esta soledad de mi destino. 
Bendita la luz, bendita la luz de tu mirada (x2). 

Blessed God for meeting us on the road, 
And for taking away this solitude from my destiny. 
Blessed be the light, blessed be the light of your gaze (x2). 

Gloria divina, diste suerte de buen tino, 
Y de encontrarte justo ahí, en medio del camino, 
Gloria al cielo de encontrarte ahora, 
Llevarte mi soledad, y coincidir en mi destino, 
En el mismo destino. 

Glory divine, you gave luck with good aim, 
And for finding you just there, in the middle of the road, 
Glory to heaven for finding you now, 
Taking my solitude to you, and coinciding in my destiny, 
In the same destiny. 

Bendita la luz, bendita la luz de tu mirada (x2) 
Bendita mirada, bendita mirada desde el alma, tu mirada, 
Bendita, bendita, bendita mirada, 
Bendita tu alma y bendita tu luz. 

Blessed be the light, blessed be the light of your gaze (x2) 
Blessed gaze, blessed gaze coming from the soul, your gaze, 
Blessed, blessed, blessed gaze, 
Blessed be your soul and blessed be your light. 

Tu mirada, oh, oh, oh, 
Digo es tan bendita tu luz, amor, amor, 
Bendito el reloj y bendito el lugar, 
Benditos tus besos cerquita del mar, 
Y tu mirada, amor, amor, 
Que bendita tú mirada, tu mirada, amor. 

Your gaze, oh, oh, oh, 
I say you gaze is so blessed, my love, my love, 
Blessed clock and blessed location, 
Blessed are your kisses near the sea, 
And your gaze, my love, my love, 
How blessed your gaze, your gaze, my love. 

Translation by William


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