Read A Luxury We Cannot Afford: An Anthology of Singapore Poetry by Christine Chia Joshua Ip Paul Grayson Jon Gresham Lauren Harper Ho Ren Chun Shawn Hoo Lynne Hong Online

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Singapore is a country of many invented, transplanted, or self-made myths and fables, but one looms above them all. 1969 marks the famous declaration of the myth: "Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford."As our island nation approaches its 50th anniversary wielding extraordinary wealth and prosperity, it is timely to review the narrative that has shepherded us through the pasSingapore is a country of many invented, transplanted, or self-made myths and fables, but one looms above them all. 1969 marks the famous declaration of the myth: "Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford."As our island nation approaches its 50th anniversary wielding extraordinary wealth and prosperity, it is timely to review the narrative that has shepherded us through the past half-century. Indeed, it seems only poetic justice to examine this polarising mythos through the ballyhooed medium of poetry. To praise and appraise this most poetic of figures, 56 of Singapore's finest poets offer up 65 poems that promise to excite, exhilarate, and electrify, to a man....

Title : A Luxury We Cannot Afford: An Anthology of Singapore Poetry
Author :
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ISBN : 9789810926533
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Luxury We Cannot Afford: An Anthology of Singapore Poetry Reviews

  • David Kellogg
    2018-11-18 16:24

    A superb, and superbly clever, anthology of poetry from Singapore, all in response to the statement that poetry is "a luxury we cannot afford" as made by Singapore's founding father back in the 1960s. The poems themselves range widely in style and approach, and the anthology groups them into sets roughly around the city, the life of that nameless, though fully known, founding father, and the statement "poetry is a luxury we cannot afford" itself. The collection is necessarily uneven in content, with some poems (the more traditional ones, in my view) less successful than others. But the elliptical call to action that the book has enabled makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts, and there are poems in this anthology I will return to again and again. A must for anybody interested in modern Singapore and the possibilities of literature in a benevolent autocracy.

  • Jo
    2018-10-26 15:20

    I stumbled across this book by accident in a little shop in Joo Chiat the other day. What a find! It is an anthology of poems published last year, only months before the death of Lee Kuan Yew, reflecting on the nature and complexity of the man who called poetry a luxury Singapore could not afford. A fascinating honest daring moving creative mixture of respect and critique directed toward the man and his legacy. It marks a moment in history and is the sort of anthology you can pick up and dip into many times over; I expect I will.

  • Angelin
    2018-10-28 14:14

    One book with varying views that offer different perspectives that truly got to me - both the use of the language of the poets contributing to this anthology, and also what each of these poems meant.Kudos to The Man who inspired these wonderful works.

  • mm
    2018-11-13 21:37

    A collection of poems in honour of Singapore's founding father who once famously said that poetry was 'a luxury we cannot afford' in building our new nation.How times have changed with poetry books being published each and every year now, mostly by local publisher Math Paper Press, which has put this beautiful volume together.All on Lee Kuan Yew. Poets recount historical events; go into his mind; tell of his love of his wife, his country; his pain?; his regrets?. We can only speculate.So many beautiful pieces that I cannot list my favourites.Just one, for a taste:22*C / 19*Ca curtain discloses lightin the afternoonan air-conditionerprepares a roomnightlyhis chamber iscooled for slumberthe sky is ripe and roundwith crescentsI am looking forward to reading the next volume, 'A Luxury We Must Afford'. & that we must.

  • Jake
    2018-10-21 19:19

    An impressive anthology of poetry about The Man, that displays the vast gamut of Singaporean literary voices in plain sight, showing over and over how poetry is, in the words of Norashiqin Toh, 'not luxurious. It is simply necessary.'[Review 1 - 16/05/17.]

  • Grace Phua
    2018-11-04 18:22

    Curiosity level: Beautiful, honest, and enchanting "I know. What you meant to say is: we cannot afford poetry as a luxury, for poetry is not luxurious. It is simply necessary." - p.33In this anthology of poems, 56 of our country's best poets dedicate poems to "The Man". He had raised a country from the ashes to beauty - but there were things that even great men like him can't never get away with saying. One was his (in)famous maxim: "Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford".Spanning 65 poems, these poet citizens lovingly (some cheekily) respond to His quote, to His rulership and life.

  • Judith Huang
    2018-11-12 15:33

    One of the most coherent anthologies out there! Probably all thanks to one man...

  • jin jie
    2018-11-19 14:40

    Perspectives are essential in life, and I had the opportunity to read this after The Man has passed on. This gave me a wonderful chance to read the anthology in retrospect, rather than the original intention, being published in 2014. There is a whole plethora of ideas, some placed in uncanny juxtapositions, others in intriguing methods, yet perhaps these unplanned contradictions hint at a complicated portrait of The Man. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology, of which I can quote the ending lines of the final poem, which offers us another avenue to consider our founding father in. "For who among us have seen him? / Who among us treading water beneath his tower have seen / anything at all?"

  • Jericho Eames
    2018-10-30 20:14

    I now appreciate local literature. It's something to be able to understand the writers' and their lingo. It's something to understand things because you're Singaporean, it makes it a lot more relatable and a lot more raw. I feel connected somehow. There are really good poems in this collection, such as "Cut". It's one of my personal favourites. I feel a lot more optimistic about the local literature scene after reading this collection. Maybe we're onto something here.

  • Jon
    2018-11-15 19:19

  • Joshua Ip
    2018-11-01 14:27