Friday, 25 March 2011

Anita's list of 10.

1) After the Fire by Boey Kim Cheng

Probably a lesson on imagery for the lower secondary. With a sombre mood set, perhaps, I can then do a follow up activity by making them reflect on their relationships with their loved ones?

2) Cartoon, the coffee shop boy by Kirpal Singh
Alone, legs crossed, you sit,

Newspaper in left hand,
A glass of coffee in the right.
In between sips you read.
Read, the news of happenings around you,
Of people, places and things…
But who shall read your news,
Your thoughts, your face, your eyes?
You put on a pleasant face,
When people call you ‘Cartoon’.
Nay, worse names than that
Have you been called.
Many a time have you remained calm
In the face of interruptions of “one coffee” while you ate.
Do you not get fed-up?
Do you not get bored?
Do you not get angry?
Do you not get --?
What more can I ask,
When you tell me to keep quiet?
You are resigned you say
To the life of a coffee-shop boy.

Would use this to introduce theme to lower secondary students.

3) When we 2 parted by George Gordon, Lord Byron

4) Mirror by Sylvia Plath

Perhaps a lesson on subject and voice for the Upper Secondary Students

5) Dreams by Langston Hughes

6) Phenomenol Woman by Maya Angelou

Feminism for Upper Secondary students

7) Cinderella by Anne Sexton

Satire. Lower Secondary. I think this poem is pretty fun.

8) Stamp Collecting by Boey Kim Cheng

Starting with Australia, she slides the stamps
behind the filmy strip, the album breathing
promise in its fresh gluey feel, the world
being collected and unfolding as it fills up
shelf by shelf. As her five-year-old fingers
gingerly slip the countries into place, the questions
spill out, like the stamps from an old album
I opened yesterday, forgotten pressed flowers
of a time when the world arrived
in a philatelic queue, surviving
emblems from my stamp-mad phase.
Is Australia our home?
What is this country? Why doesn't it exist
anymore? Why is the Queen's face
on the stamps of so many nations?
We finger an atlas
of vanished countries: CCCP, Yugoslavia
East Germany, Rhodesia, Malaya,
my childhood coming into place
under her learning fingers.

I remember the thrill as my fingers walked
the filmy rows, past the flora and fauna,
the faces of presidents and royalties,
gleaning a sense of a world out there
from the passage of stamps.
Those were my first travels,
transported on those serrated tokens
beyond the one-room flat
in Geylang Bahru
to the origins of those couriers.
The years of collecting culminated
in three bountiful, loaded albums
tokens that brought those countries,
their histories and languages
to my fingertips.

I want to bequeath my daughter the albums
whole, the worlds I found and arranged,
but they have diminished to this half-filled, yellowed
album, proudly marked 1973, owned
bilingually in English and Chinese.

A few stamps have slipped from their moorings
and some lodge in the wrong countries;
others like the Burmese row still sit
faithfully in place. The missing ranks lost,
like many other things,
in transit, between houses, countries
and lives.
But in a strange way they are here,
all of the missing stamps and years,
the way those vanished republics
emerge in the atlas with new names,
present as my daughter picks
the last of a Singapore series
when it was still part of Malaya,
fingers the face of a youthful Elizabeth
pendant over a Chinese junk,
and slips it home.

9) Courage by Anne Sexton

10) All that is Gold does not Glitter by John Ronald Reuel Tokein

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