Lesson of the Day: “Trawlers” by Alfian Sa’at.

Wow! Election fever has hit our shores, and many people are attempting to ram many agendas – perceived or otherwise – down our throats.

Hence, I thought it’d be nice to also ram my literary agenda down everyone’s throat for everyone’s nutritional needs, by way of a poem that has the dubious honour of still being relevant in this day and age.

Watch this video first (click on this link if you can’t see the embedded video) for schema-building purposes before reading the poem:

Happy learning!

    By Alfian Sa’at

    Come election time
    we would see those vans
    crowned with loudspeakers
    like wind vanes-

    with a supply of their own
    hot air. Their mission:
    to catapult slogans in four directions
    and four official languages.

    No child throws stones at it.
    And old women chew their curses
    like betel leaves, tangy, unspat.
    Woe be the motorist

    trapped behind the hearse-crawl
    of the harbingers of “good years”.
    Who says that lightning
    never strikes twice at the same spot?

    Here it comes again:
    not so much a van as a trawler,
    casting huge nets, not subtle hooks;
    the only way one catches mouthless fish.

From: One Fierce Hour. Singapore: Landmark Books, 1998.

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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