Thursday, 24 March 2011

10 poems

These are my 10 poems, those they're mostly my faves for the moment. (I'm fickle :D ).

I happened to chance upon Gilbert Koh's blog and I read a few of his poems. I really like the following few and I think the themes are quite good for use in a secondary classroom!

 1) This poem is about spousal abuse. (I remember when we tackled an activity with this theme in QCE520. Luka:
The Couple Next Door      Gilbert Koh

2) I like how this poem ties in with the theme of migrant workers in Singapore.Good way to get discussions going in the classroom.
Construction             Gilbert Koh

3) I've felt very uncomfortable after visiting some old folks home here in Singapore, where they ill-treat the elderly.This poem not only tackles the problem of Singapore's aging population but also questions whether CCA truely benefits the people it says it is helping. 
(Also look at:
An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost)
Old Folks Home

All day long they lie on the
straight rows of white beds or sit
in the heavy-duty wheelchairs
pushed out into the breezy sunshine
of the gardens.

Resigned to the prisons
of their own failing bodies,
they drift in and out of the haze
of senility, half-forgetting
themselves in the patient wait
for death.

Still the bright-eyed teenagers come,
on Saturday mornings, by the busloads,
sent by their schools
on compulsory excursions
to learn the meaning
of compassion
as outlined in the ECA syllabus.

They bring gifts of Khong Guan biscuits,
they help to mow the lawns,
they clap their hands performing happy songs
and valiantly they attempt the old dialects
trying to communicate.

Later they will clamber noisily
back up the departing school buses,
and next week in class
they will write startlingly
similar essays
on what a meaningful,
memorable experience they had
at the old folks' home
last week.

 4) I'm evil I know, but i was drawn to how LKY was being portrayed in this poem. Startling similarities to Genesis where God says "Let there be light".

Garden City           By Gilbert Koh     
Let there be trees, the man said, and lo and behold,
there were trees – rain trees, angsanas, flames of the forest,
causarinas, traveller’s palms and more – springing up against
the steel and concrete of the expanding city.
Even as the true towers of the city climbed higher
and higher for the heavens, the trees were planted, replanted,
transplanted, watered, fertilised, and groomed to grow
and grow. They appeared overnight, abandoned the
chaos of jungle, bent to the will of man, grew in straight lines,
in squares and rectangles, in allocated corners,
in car parks, along highways, outside banks and buildings,
faithful to the commandments of urban developers.
The hard lines of architecture were softened,
the rain did fall, the green did gently, gently grow,
and in his seventieth year, the man was pleased,
as he rested, as he viewed his work, as he felt the weight
of a nation’s soil run slowly through his old green hands.

 5) I was browsing through Davina's poems and I got entranced by this poet's works. Very beautiful and vivid imagery. I love how delicate the poem sounds but yet how rich it is in emotions.
Autumn Song by Sarojini Naidu

 6) I love how identity is being portrayed here. Or dare I say the lack of an identity? Perfect for students undergoing identity confusion.

Emily Dickinson

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you -- Nobody -- Too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise -- you know!

How dreary -- to be -- Somebody!
How public -- like a Frog --
To tell one's name -- the livelong June --
To an admiring Bog!

 7) I think the idea that a woman has to hide her flaws for someone, who is only interested in her surface beauty, is intriguing-How beauty is socially portrayed and how a woman has to rely on her beauty.

 Emily Dickinson

A charm invests a face
Imperfectly beheld.
The lady dare not lift her veil
For fear it be dispelled.

But peers beyond her mesh,
And wishes, and denies,
'Lest interview annul a want
That image satisfies.

8) Since I read Oscar Wilde's The Nightingale and the rose (, the haunting image of a bird dying to fulfill an impossible dream has been etched in my mind. In this poem, I was reminded of this Oscar wilde's story and this image of a poor aged bird whose hope is so brittle but yet persists in singing that 1 last song of hope.
The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

9) I love the colors and vivid imagery in this poem. 

Robert frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
10) This is a very short and 'simple' poem that is rich in imagery and allusions to Dante's Inferno.The Juxtaposition of fire and ice, desire and hate is intriguing.
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

1 comment:

  1. "Stay gold" - See Hinton's The Outsiders.