陈宇昕推荐 (Tan Yu Xin Recommends)
A Chinese Poem & Short Story
Chinese poetry and stories are interesting and full of meaning. Lianhe Zaobao journalist, Tan Yu Xin gives us two recommendations to enjoy!
"Squatting Towards Tradition or Sitting In Search of Modernisation" by Chia Joo Ming
This short story explores the themes of:
- Human Instinct
If you were the author, how would you write this story?
In his witty way, Chia Joo Ming uses the analogy of choosing a toilet bowl to explore in depth the three themes above. We are sometimes defined, and limited by words that exist, but novelists are creators who can play the role of Cangjie*, creating new language systems and meanings.
Just as J.R.R Tolkien invented the Elvish language for The Lord of the Rings, Chia Joo Ming likewise created new Chinese characters, unique to Singapore, for this short story.
Who says we are unable to explore profound themes with simple words, structures and concepts?
*Cangjie is a legendary figure in ancient China, who was said to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters.
“Lament for a Child” by Yeng Pway Ngon
Yeng Pway Ngon first gained attention in the literary scene as a poet through his work with modern poetry. His early works had notions of idealistic fervour, mixed with a tinge of melancholy. Although “Lament for a Child” was written in 1974, it still feels relatable in this post-truth era.
Let us slowly digest and savour the poem.