What’s puisi-poesy about?
[We do not know how well this project will work and how long it can be sustained, but here’s what we hope to do during this short trial]
As mentioned in the blog description, this would be a place to sembang-sembang – the malay word and local phrase for meeting up for chit chat - about poetry. The other word, mamak refers to open air, roadside stalls that sell a rich array of wonderfully delicious Malaysian food from evening to the wee hours of the morning. It’s a place where Malaysians meet up and socialise with friends and colleagues, while having copious amounts of drinks, especially the sweet, frothy and pipingly hot teh tarik (loosely translated as pulled tea). Mamak has since entered the local idiom, and when one says ‘let’s mamak’, it means, let’s go to a meet up for chit-chat and some food. This food metaphor which aptly captures our Malaysian love for food would hopefully be similarly translated here into a love for poetry.
Each week, as our time and schedule permits, one or two contributors will put up a poem he/she likes or have recently read and make some observations on the craft and ‘meaning’ of the poem. Being informal, we unfortunately won’t delve deeper into the context, tradition and the different aesthetic, thematic development (movement) of specific poets and their periods. To a significant extent, the interpretive distance from our largely Asian cultural referent and ‘location’ will cause us to miss some of the greater nuances and specificities of the poem, but we trust that as lovers of language, we will be able to distil and approximate some ‘meaning’ from the poems.
We hope that these simple, feeble efforts will help stimulate and encourage the reading, appreciation and ultimately the writing of poetry, especially among fellow Malaysians – our chief audience, but obviously all are more than welcomed to share their love and expertise of poetry here. In fact, we would love to have as many comments as possible from anybody who loves poetry, and look forward to reading and learning from the ideas and discussions put forward.
Please do leave any of your valued thoughts and comments for our posts. :)