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Sonnets from the Singlish

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  14 reviews
sonnets from the singlish is a collection of 44 poems on love, language and the pursuit of laughter. the poems are loosely translated from the english-based creole language colloquially spoken in singapore, widely known as singlish.

the poems were originally composed in the sonnet form, an archaic italian fourteen-line rhyming verse form that follows the rhythmic rules of i
Paperback, 72 pages
Published June 2012 by Math Paper Press
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Tse Guang
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am fond of the sonnet, and Joshua Ip plays with it to great satisfaction. Occasionally there are lyric bursts of longing, perhaps even nostalgia, but these are balanced out with what I would call a clearheaded look at the state of the Singlish -- present language (language shapes thought) and how it relates to heritage. The ode to the karang guni man is a case in point: startlingly ecocritical, general and abstract, it narrows down to an unmistakably specific and concrete part of Singapore cul ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
another local poet nails it with his observations of life on our tiny isle.

lamenting the lack of
private spaces in our country
. . . we humbly bid the government erect
more libraries, since all books lead to sex,
the inevitable best place to shag
is up against the shelves or on the stacks --
and there, we'll find our private cul-de-sacs
to make the beast with many paperbacks

the old builder complains
to the new town planner
. . . we were building a home, not finding faster
ways to get them to their homes.
Jericho Eames
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I like poetry and I'm in the midst of learning how to appreciate a wide variety of it. I'm just starting to understand poetry and the way it flows and mingles and make sense in my head. I love how local the whole thing is. I know that's the point but knowing something and actually experiencing it is two very different things. I enjoyed most of the poems but some just left me confused and I couldn't see how it was to be appreciated. Overall I thought it was a good and fast read. ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
The sonnets do not really follow the iambic pentameter that it claims to and neither can all of them be read consistently in a Singlish accent. It was little bland and just okay.

My favourites would be: 'monkey learns to jump' (I enjoyed the satirical aspect of it), 'rag and bone' (what an avid and bold description of Singaporeans as a privileged city of waste that only trudges towards its end), 'bukit timah, singapore' (really liked the front few stanzas that outline a living and breathing sta
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
I did promise myself I would read more 'poetry' for 2014.

Interesting ideas presented in this slim volume but I don't think I am the target audience.

I am always leery of Singaporean writers/poets who take up the local lingos and spin a tale/poem from it.

Guan You
Aug 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
Am I the only one to find this very thrashy? It's too crass and does not befit the sonnet form. ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love how I actually understand what he's writing about. It helps that I grew up in the same context as the author. ...more
Samuel Lee
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
*eats multicoloured har gao, chuckles*
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not so impressed by the poems. Maybe Singaporeans will relate better. Some real Singlish poems are pretty funny though.
Sabrina Loh
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I have always enjoyed Singaporean poetry, and this is no exception. Funny and prosaic, but in the best possible way.
Nicole K
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
A few of the poems seem clumsily written, but the last few poems were probably the best in this maiden collection. Fun and quite thought-provoking in its own way.
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