El rationale



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EL Rationale

I have chosen to do question 1. This is because I am very interested in poetry that reflects on Singapore. Especially poems such as 2 Mothers in a HDB playground by Arthur Yap and An Afternoon Nap also by Arthur Yap. These poems show how the local people live their daily lives. I was born in Singapore so I am always looking forward to learn more of culture and lifestyle that people have here. Thus by reading and analysing poems by local poets, I can gain more knowledge about Singaporean lifestyle. Arthur Yap has won many awards for his brilliant poetry which shows that people appreciated his poems. His poems relate very strongly to the use of 'Singlish' in Singapore. Not only was he a poet, but he was a artist too. He painted abstract works of art and even held an exhibition. In my essay, I will describe Arthur Yap's writing style and the various techniques he uses in his poems and certain patterns that he leaves behind that can hint to you that he has written that specific poem. His famous poems are; 2 Mothers in a HDB playground, An Afternoon Nap, The Coffee House-Cockpit Hotel, When last seen, and many more. In my essay these are the four poems that I will be analysing.

EL Essay

Arthur Yap is a very interesting poet. He uses certain patterns in all his poems that create the significance of his poem. Since he writes poems mainly related to Singapore, he uses 'Singlish', which is Singaporean English. Also he always write in lower case letters and does not use rhyming stanzas. Thus his poems are telling us a story rather than rhyming to make song out of it. Other poems by famous poets that rhyme have been picked up by singers to compose songs on them which is unlike this unique poet.

2 mothers in a hdb playground is one of the popular poems by Yap. It is more of a conservation between 2 mothers about their family life and their children than a poem. Basically it depicts 2 typical Singaporean mothers who are frantic about their child's education and tuition teacher. They are worried that they children do not eat well during examinations and that they play too much and study too little. Also they are annoyed by the fact that their children do not eat their vitamins and they are wasting their father's money. However, he also tells us that middle class normal people also have good income as they have money to renovate their homes, buy expensive furniture and afford a motor car. Thus they are living happy and prosperous lives and they have no problems and tensions that many people around the world are suffering from. In a way, it is promoting that Singapore is a good place to live.

An afternoon nap shows the real life scenario of many children that were born and raised in a Singaporean household where the father works hard all day and the mother takes care of the children. In this poem a mother is hovering above her son for all the things he is doing wrongly and then she tells him how many things he still has complete such as his piano lesson and 2nd language tuition. Also Yap says that the tuition fees are paid by the boy from his pocket money. "each monday, wednesday, friday, miss low & madam lim appear & take away $90 from the kitty". The boy is upset that he has to pay so much for his education from his savings and he yells at his mother for her expensive taste for education.



The coffee house- cockpit hotel describes a wedding. It shows how a Singaporean bride reacts on her wedding day. Her bridesmaids and a chaperon are in hesitation, her family has booked a function room for the ceremony, all her guests are lined up holding expensive packs of cigarettes- something Singaporean men cannot live without. Then the bride makes her way down the function room. On the way she discretely takes her hand out to adjust her hair which already is perfectly made but her anxiety forces her hand up. At the same time she looks at her gloves. After the hour long ceremony which feels never ending, she sits for dinner and eats locals delicacies- sharks fin soup and crispy chicken. She looks at the groom and gives a gentle smile to gesture that everything went well and they will live a happy married life.

Arthur yap has written some amazing pieces of art and his writing will be missed by all Singaporeans that are fond of poetry.

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