Sunday, April 08, 2007

Cecil in the Pub

NST columnist Kathirasen writes an account of Cecil Rajendra's end of litfest poetry reading and party at Ronnie Q's, which I'm sad I missed.

...only a handful of Malaysians are into poetry ...
says Kathirasen. I'd like to point out that had he been a couple of miles up the road at exactly the same time he would have seen 200 people crowded into a small space to hear Benjamin Zephaniah. Poetry is alive and kicking in KL and getting very good audiences these days - in case anyone hadn't noticed!

I enjoyed Kathirasen's account of the poetry that was read that night and went looking for The Animal & Insect Act online in full and found it here. Apparently:

There was uproarious applause for this poem, an indication, indubitably, of the feelings of those present.
And this, of course, is Cecil Rajendra's great strength, reflecting the zeitgeist of the country and using poetry as a platform for social comment. He's critical because, as he says, he cares about Malaysia:
if i did not care
i would not dare
chart your many imperfections
i would sing
only your praises
picking the best
ignoring the rest

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