Comparing Arthur Yap and Boey Kim Cheng Bernard Thai Ming Arman
Arthur Yap • Arthur Yap was born in Singapore, the sixth child of a carpenter and a housewife. • Yap attended St Andrew's School and the University of Singapore, after which he won a British Council scholarship to study at the University of Leeds in England. • At Leeds Arthur earned a Master's degree in Linguistics and English Language Teaching, later obtaining his PhD from the National University of Singapore in the years after he returned from Leeds. • He stayed on in the University's Department of English Language and Literature as a lecturer between the years 1979 and 1998. Between 1992 and 1996, Yap served as a mentor with the Creative Arts Programme run by the Ministry of Education to help inspire students and nurture young writers at local secondary schools and junior colleges. Yap was then diagnosed with lung cancer, and received radiotherapy treatment.
Arthur Yap is famous for his poems about Singapore. In the poems “the correctness of flavour” and “an afternoon nap”, he focuses on Singaporean mothers and allows us to truly understand the poem as many of us are able to relate. His poems can even be quite humorous at times as he stereotypes Singaporean mothers so well.
waiting for the lime sherbert to arrive, mother turned around to her vacuous child: boy, you heard what i said earlier? nowadays, they emphasise english. boy rolled his squinty eyes to the ceiling. waitress returned, flustered, and started on her own emphases: lime sherbert today don't have. mango got. strawberry also don't have. mother, upset and acutely strident: today DOESN'T have. today DOES NOT have
The correctness of flavour • The correctness of flavor is a poem which greatly stereotypes Singaporean mothers. We are depicted a story of a boy and his mothering ordering ice cream.The main ideas shown in this poem are authority and the strictness of a Singaporean mother. The first line itself already shows one stereotype. In the line," waiting for the lime sherbet to arrive," the phrase lime sherbet stands out. This is not just any random flavor. The poet is trying to show how specific even the flavor of ice cream should be. This could represent the pickiness of a Singaporean mother.In this poem, the word mother is used instead of mom. The formality of the word could show strictness and authority. The "mother" also refers to her child as "boy"and this could possibly make him feel small and brings him down to a raw state as he uses the word boy instead of son. In this poem, we also see different points of view. The line,"boy rolled his squinty eyes to the ceiling" allows us to relate with the boy very well as this is the way many of us would react to our mothers. This also shows us that his mother mother acting this way is probably a usual thing. This line also shows defiance which is a minor theme in the poem.The last stanza sums up the authority strictness and pickiness of the mother. The phrase "acutely strident" means harsh. As the mother corrects the waiter for her English, we can see how she needs the waiters English to be right. This may also show how Singaporean mothers may often step out of line, and though the waiter is not her child, she still has the audacity to speak her mind and correct her.
Boey Kim Cheng • Boey Kim Cheng was born in Singapore in 1965 • He received his secondary education at victoria school and graduated with bachelor of arts and masters of arts degrees in english literature from NUS
Boey Kim Cheng • Boey's works are highly regarded by both the academic and writing communities in Singapore. • His own sense of restlessness about life in Singapore is reflected prevalently in his poems. • According to him, Singapore's rapid growth and swift economic success are achieved at a cost. • Feelings of displacement and disconnection with the past occurred precisely because places where one experienced his or her sense of belonging, through their childhood are fast disappearing.
Poems • Somewhere-bound, (1989) • Another Place, (1992) • Days of No Name, (1996) • Losing Alexandria, (Giramondo, 2003) • Calling the Poems Home, (2004) • Plum Blossom or Quong Tart at the QVB, (2005 • After the Fire: New and selected poems, (2006) • Report to Wordsworth, (Unknown Date)
‘Report To Wordsworth’ by Boey Kim Cheng You should be here, Nature has need of you. She has been laid waste. Smothered by the smog, the flowers are mute, and the birds are few in a sky slowing like a dying clock. All hopes of Proteus rising from the sea have sunk; he is entombed in the waste we dump. Triton’s notes struggle to be free, his famous horns are choked, his eyes are dazed, and Neptune lies helpless as beached as a whale, while insatiate man moves in for the kill. Poetry and piety have begun to fail, As Nature’s mighty heart is lying still. O see the widening in the sky, God is labouring to utter his last cry.
Reports to wordsworth • In “Report to Wordsworth” Boey Kim Cheng powerfully conveys deep feelings about human destruction of the natural world. • Personifies nature in line two: “She has been laid waste”. Shows how personal nature is to us and introduces the destructive actions of man over nature almost suggesting rape of the land now without nutrients. • Moves into a listing frenzy of the destruction of nature. “the flowers are mute.” Read together with “the birds are few” Chang could be referring to the loss of musical reality in nature. • The poet’s sibilance in the simile “… a sky slowing like a dying clock” suggests the almost rhythmical deliberate destruction of nature by man.
Form • As a result of the “waste we dump” the sea-god is “choked” and “dared”. This ends the octet which adopted the lament in the pattern of ABAB CDCD. The pattern could suggest his singular thought out position of how man is destructive that even the gods are affected. It could show that we have power over nature. • The third last line of the sonnet carries the sad words “Nature’s mighty heart is lying still.” She alludes to nature’s power” mighty heart” but immediately contrasts it with the euphemism for death “lying still”. Up to here the rhythm and pace of the poem “ABABCDCDEFEF” has been rising as if it is a high pitched lament.