Presentation on theme: "Urban Poetry Urban Poetry"— Presentation transcript:
1Urban Poetry Urban Poetry No Other CityNo Other CityUrban PoetryUrban Poetry
2Urban Poetry Scope of the Lecture Concept of ‘Urbanness’ Lines of tension brought about by changeBackground of Singapore PoetryReasons for creating an anthology of Singapore PoetryHow do the editors decide on what to include in the anthology and how to divide the various sections of the anthology?General Themes in No Other CityPoetry as a literary genreThe sound of poetryThe way poets thinkThe product of a poemHow to make this lecture relevant to IOPNo Other CityUrban Poetry
3‘Urban’ as a modifierThink of as many words that collate with ‘Urban’.What is the general feeling that the word ‘Urban’ gives to you? Is it Positive or Negative?What would Urban Poetry be about?
4Draw a connection with your earlier discussion to these words. “We had moved, in the space of a generation, from kampong to metropolis, from kopi to cappuccino, from semi-literacy to palmtop microcomputers. Our writing, we realised, was and had always been trying to deal with this flux.”Introduction, p.22
5SOME EXAMPLES of CHANGES kampong to metropolis- living spaceskopi to cappuccino- lifestyle- taste- class/statussemi-literacy to palmtop microcomputers- technology- education/mindsets/ behaviour/ interaction
6Lines of tension brought about by change New vs OldPast vs PresentModernity vs TraditionTechnology vs NatureMe vs ThemForeign vs LocalDevelopment vs DestructionSpace vs PlaceLandscape vs MindscapeComfort vs CommunityDay vs NightGrowth vs RegressionVision vs ExecutionGood vs BadLogic vs PassionMan vs EnvironmentNature vs ManAge vs YouthWisdom vs IntelligencePrivate vs Public
7Poetry in Singapore (I) Our colonial heritage and English-based education system, Singapore is one of the few territories in Asia with a strong tradition of writing in English.The first significant native writing occurred in the 50s and 60s, energised by the independence movement, and the decades of “nation-building” which followed.
8Poetry in Singapore (II) Poetry in the late 90s enjoyed something of a renaissance, with the happy confluence of several positive factors:Rise of the InternetEmergence of small literary pressesArrival of a new generation of young poets.
9Poetry in Singapore (III) New poets typicallyin their twenties to early thirtiesmany are professionals in fields far removed from poetry.several have been educated at top schools overseas.their very different backgrounds allow this new breed of Singaporean poets a fresh perspective and energy that has been lacking in the scene for decades.
10Poetry in Singapore (IV) The new poetry is wonderfully diverse, yet distinctively urban and cosmopolitan, modern, frequently street-wise, often startlingly intimate.
11Poetry in Singapore (V) But poetry seldom make the headlines (given the nature of the market forces): literary arts play poor cousin to glitzier genres such as the performing arts, visual arts and musicSingaporean writing is also glaringly absent from our schools, which at any rate are steeped in the Cambridge exam syllabus and tend to eschew the “difficult” subject of literature.
12What are some reasons for creating an anthology?
13Reasons for the creation of the anthology given by the editor. allow publication of works that would otherwise find difficulty in being publishedincreasing number of young people writing in poetry to express themselvesexploration of the urban city-state from different points of viewallow for diversity of voices which were of a certain standard, spanning different generations
14coming of age of a country’s poetry Other reasons for the creation of anthologies.coming of age of a country’s poetryrecognition of the different voices in a countryeasy reference (eg. anthology of English or American poetry gives an overview of the subject)Can be seen as a selection of what is worthy of publication and hence, preservation of memory, in a country
15How do the editors decide on what to include in the anthology and how to divide the various sections of the anthology?
16How poems were selected… p Introduction gives reasons for WHAT was included:“resonance & relevance”“strength of writing” which were fully formedBalanced “new voices and perspectives” with older voices even then, the editors looked for new worksAvoided canonised works because relevance rather than reputation guided entry into anthology
17(p.24-25): Division of various sections “broad thematic clusters” narrowed downtended to follow a certain chronology with the concerns reflected being that of each generation
18THEMES: Tradition vs Modernity (eg THEMES: Tradition vs Modernity (eg. A brief history of Toa Payoh, old house at ang siang hill) Change (eg. Singapore River, Change Alley) City-Planning/Nation building (eg. The Planners, The Way Ahead, Cranes, Road-works) Loss / Nostalgia (eg. Amoy Street Houses, old house at ang siang hill)
19THEMES: City vs Nature (Urbanisation) (eg THEMES: City vs Nature (Urbanisation) (eg. Trees are Only Temporary, remembering trees, Trees) Identity (eg. Made of Gold) Advancement (Upgrading) (eg. Bigger, Newer, Better) City-living & Restrictions (eg. The Flat-Owner, Train Ride, Animal Farm)
20Poetry as a literary form - memorable, lives in our head and hearts valued for its wisdom, consolation and consolidation immediacy
21Poetry as an auditory medium Poetry is something that is read aloud – a form of address, a way of speaking, something said and heardthe voice that we hear in a poem is ‘made’. Is it close to ordinary ‘conversational’ speech or theatrical? Do we hear the poetry on a public occasions such as a weddings or funerals or overhear it, like an intimate bedroom conversation?We hear the tone of the poem in pitch, pace, in timbre and intonation; would the meaning of the poem change if we alter volume, pace and pitch?what kind of emotional colouring is given to a subject matter because of the way it is being ‘heard’?
22Approaches – Poets ‘think’ in a number of ways. - reflect on experiences- advance general statements- take unfamiliar looks at common phenomenon/beliefs/etc
23Poets essentially think in and through the images and symbols they deploy, by that they create imaginative worldsDream worldsNew worldsRe-created worldsFamiliar worldsA world where present and past co-existin the case of No Other City, the poets remake Singapore and present essential features of a world familiar to us.
25How to make this lecture relevant to you preparation of IOP
26While you read the anthology and contemplate on an appropriate IOP topic seek out relevance and resonance. 2. Consider how has the poet used a relevant subject and connected it to relevant theme. 3. Investigate how the relevant subject and relevant theme(s) have been made to resonant a. The quality of the resonance – intellectual, emotional, inventive … b. Reaction to the resonance - introspection, retrospection, contemplation, revelation, provocation.
27Grouping poems or texts based on common subject - common theme(s) - quality of resonance - type of response (attitude) - common literary devise (symbols, imagery, structure) b. Close analysis of ONE poem