Monday, September 21, 2009

Cyril Wong's Below: Absence

This is the second of Cyril Wong's poetry collection I read. So, what drew me towards it? More of the same, I guess: the lyricism, the tenderness in poems so personal, and the Singaporean quality which I can relate to. The last point was vague at first, only now I see it clearly.

One thing about reading published poems is, I realised almost immediately how little I know: the forms, the line-breaks, the use and order of words so diversfied. I got an inkling that maybe Cyril Wong himself was experimenting too, as if he too walked in the dark, looking for the light, even though he could not know when and what he would find. But deep inside himself Cyril seemed to look, so his poems resonate with anyone who opens up enough to connect and read his thoughts.

Reading poems, I realised, can be a humbling, yet enriching experience: you push your "self" out of the way to dive into another "self", such is the intensity.

As in "Like a Seed with its Singular Purpose", some of the longer poems really stand out, like "grandmother", "guardian angel", "this calm" and "blueprint". "what we may call this" is one of the shorter poems I like:

Holding each other's gazes
like lonely hands across a field of dark,
we may call this love
for the crippling inability to define this,
as our solitudes rise and fall like wings
on a single butterfly,
each destination in time a gratifying flower.

I rated "below: absence": 4.5/5

No comments: