Compare the work of a contemporary local (SIngapore) poet to the work of a Modernist poet, and evaluate their styles and the prevalent concern about the times that runs through them. Essay

1182 WordsAug 29, 20085 Pages
I have chosen to compare Grey and Wet in Singapore City, the work of a contemporary local poet, Wong Shin Ming, to Acquainted with the Night, the work of a Modernist poet, Robert Frost. Grey and Wet in Singapore City by Wong Shin Ming The setting of the poem is when it’s raining. This poem is about a narrator, probably a girl, going for her music lesson in a “dry white car” while other people are all “outside with the grey and the wet”. The poet is concerned about the “new social strata” that “Rain in Singapore / gives us”. He wrote this poem to show that there is a social strata in Singapore. The grey and wet is caused by the rain. Rain is representative of hardships. The grey and wet represents suffering and pain. Hardships cause suffering and pain. The narrator is in a dry white car, the opposite of grey wet road. She is also sheltered from the rain, meaning she is sheltered from hardships. She is also “dry / very dry” “but they’re wet / very wet”, she does not get suffering and pain, unlike the people outside. The people outside are concerned about trying to not get wet by the rain as can be seen, “The man” “sacrifices his umbrella’s aridity” and “The girl” “holds Time magazine over her head”. The workers are used to getting wet. No matter how the people outside avoid the rain, they still get wet. For the narrator, she is not concerned about trying to keep dry as she already is dry. Her only matter of concern is her music lesson. Music lesson is something which only rich people will have. This shows the social divisions present in Singapore. The more well-to-do people have different concerns from the not-so-well-off people. However, the not-so-well-off people are used to the suffering and pain they have to face. Also, the outside people are shown as if they are uncomfortable while the narrator is in a better state. Another point is that the

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