Singaporean Literature - Literature in English - Poetry

Poetry

Singaporean literature in English started with the Straits-born Chinese community in the colonial era; it is unclear which was the first work of literature in English published in Singapore, but there is evidence of Singapore literature published as early as the 1830s. The first notable Singaporean work of poetry in English is possibly F.M.S.R., a pastiche of T. S. Eliot by Francis P. Ng, published in London in 1935. This was followed by Wang Gungwu's Pulse in 1950.

With the independence of Singapore in 1965, a new wave of Singapore writing emerged, led by Edwin Thumboo, Arthur Yap, Robert Yeo, Goh Poh Seng, Lee Tzu Pheng and Chandran Nair. It is telling that many critical essays on Singapore literature name Thumboo's generation, rightly or wrongly, as the first generation of Singapore writers. Poetry is the predominant mode of expression; it has a small but respectable following since independence, and most published works of Singapore writing in English have been in poetry.

There were varying levels of activity in succeeding decades, with poets in the late 1980s and early 1990s including Simon Tay, Leong Liew Geok, Koh Buck Song, Heng Siok Tian and Ho Poh Fun. In the late 1990s, poetry in English in Singapore found a new momentum with a whole new generation of poets born around or after 1965 now actively writing and publishing, not only in Singapore but also internationally. Since the late-1990s, local small presses such as Firstfruits and Ethos Books have been actively promoting the works of this new wave of poets. Some of the more notable include Boey Kim Cheng, Yong Shu Hoong, Alvin Pang, Cyril Wong, Felix Cheong, Toh Hsien Min, Grace Chia and Alfian bin Sa'at (also a playwright). The poetry of this younger generation is often politically aware, transnational and cosmopolitan, yet frequently presents their intensely focused, self-questioning and highly individualised perspectives of Singaporean life, society and culture. Some poets have been labeled Confessional for their personalised writing, often dealing with intimate issues such as sexuality.

Verse anthologies have collected and captured various aspects of life in Singapore, from the 1970s onwards. For example, the coffeetable book Singapore: Places, Poems, Paintings (1993, edited by Koh Buck Song) featured poems, paintings and reminiscences about 30 significant places ranging from Chinatown to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and had an exhibition at the National Museum along with paintings from the book. From Boys To Men: A Literary Anthology Of National Service In Singapore (2002, edited by Koh Buck Song and Umej Bhatia) examined the meaning of military duty. Reflecting On The Merlion (2009, edited by Edwin Thumboo and Yeow Kai Chai) brought together about 40 poems about the national tourism symbol. The most authoritative anthology to date is, arguably, Writing Singapore: An Historical Anthology Of Singapore Literature (2009) edited by Angelia Poon, Philip Holden and Shirley Geok-lin Lim, and published by the National University of Singapore Press.

Read more about this topic:  Singaporean Literature, Literature in English

Other articles related to "poetry":

Muse - Origins
... in both their names and their attributes Calliope -epic poetry Clio -history Euterpe -flutes and lyric poetry Thalia -comedy and pastoral poetry Melpomene -trag ...
Yuriy Tarnawsky - Selected Bibliography
... Life in the City (1956, poetry, Ukrainian) Popoludni v Pokipsi (Afternoons in Poughkeepsie) (1960, poetry, Ukrainian, New York Group Publishing ... novel, English, FC2) 6x0 (1998, collected plays, Ukrainian, Rodovid) An Ideal Woman (1999, poetry, Ukrainian) The City of Sticks and Pits (1999, book-length poem ...
Emblems of The Muses
... Muse Domain Emblem Calliope Epic poetry Writing tablet Clio History Scrolls Erato Love poetry Cithara (an ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyre family) Euterpe Song and Elegiac poetry Aulos (an ... Calliope (epic poetry) carries a writing tablet Clio (history) carries a scroll and books Erato (love/erotic poetry) is often seen with a lyre and a crown of roses Euterpe (lyric poetry ...
Poetry - Genres
... In addition to specific forms of poems, poetry is often thought of in terms of different genres and subgenres ... A poetic genre is generally a tradition or classification of poetry based on the subject matter, style, or other broader literary characteristics ... Narrative poetry Narrative poetry is a genre of poetry that tells a story ...

Famous quotes containing the word poetry:

    The poetry of heroism appeals irresistibly to those who don’t go to a war, and even more to those whom the war is making enormously wealthy. It’s always so.
    Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894–1961)

    If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger.
    Muriel Rukeyser (1913–1980)