Friday, February 03, 2012

Episode 1228: Merlion Cento

Just composed a cento using the anthology I'm writing my dissertation on. You have to admit that's a pretty unusual form of procrastination. I've formatted it as a prose poem to send around the EN911 seminar group, since I think the procedural logic behind it and that final step of taking out the line breaks are what turn it into a hybrid form of writing. Even if no one else ends up agreeing, I still think the end result's pretty cool. It's interesting how going forwards and backwards through the anthology produces different effects, although coincidentally, applying my own rule of first line from first poem, second from second, and so forth, I occasionally wound up having to incorporate the line in both the 'forward' and 'backward' stanzas. It would be hilarious if I could stick this cento somewhere into my dissertation. Maybe if I make some point about how the Merlion as a subject is approaching exhaustion? Not sure that it necessarily is, although my argument that as a liminal figure it must ultimately work its way into a kind of obsolescence as the Singaporean identity continues to develop and mature, would seem to suggest otherwise. Eventually anyway.

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