Feb 15, 2011

Mr Wang and South Africa

    A Completely Safe, Good Poem

    It is about nothing you love, hate or desire.
    It avoids sex, God and politics.
    The line breaks are unadventurous
    And the shape of the poem is prudent.
    The words do not take up arms,
    Tear down walls or otherwise conspire.
    As you put them down on paper,
    They neither protest nor demonstrate
    But merely compose themselves
    With a careful, calculated blankness.
    They will do exactly as they are told,
    And nothing more. One late night
    When sleep evades and the questions burn
    You return here to your own words
    To find the answers to yourself.
    And it is too late. The words fold their arms
    And smile in silence. They take no risks.
    They know what they know, but they
    Will tell you nothing.

This old poem of mine, which has been published in various places over the years, will soon make another reappearance in a new book.

I don't even know the title of the book yet, but it's going to be ready quite soon, in the next few months. The book is a collection of short stories and poems from writers in Singapore and ..... South Africa.

This is part of this year's Spotlight Singapore programme. It's a cultural diplomacy platform hosted by The Arts House. Spotlight Singapore uses artistic, economic and educational activities, to bring together the arts and business communities of Singapore and other countries.

Over the years, Spotlight Singapore has focused on Hong Kong, Japan and Russia. This year, Spotlight Singapore is tying up with South Africa.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

I like this poem, Gilbert!