The first of May

by Chua Han Au

A Cheshire cat’s smile follows me tonight. I think of incandescent purposes and of what poetry means. I don’t think I can write poetry like before.

I am reading Plath again, after almost 5 months of a complete abstinence from her gravely melancholic confessions. May has come and spring should denote the freshening of oneself—a moulting, of sorts. I have been reading so much and so deeply into academic writings and Literature that sometimes I am drugged by their elusive and seemingly bizzare ideas. I find myself sick upon dealing with thematic concerns about death, about how “[you] only begin to live when [you] conceive life as tragedy”, about why people who know too much must die, about exhaustive explanations of technicalities of poetry (especially by the oh-so revered Aristotle). I am sick of all that is convoluted, heavy, of principles that command what should be and otherwise. Literature is not about writing about how the sun teases with the clouds, not about what the waters choose to reflect of the sky. I am sick, but am afraid simultaneously. Simply because of the gravity of the bond after graduation—of the lives I’m supporting or possibly destabilising. Yet am honoured, uncontestably. 

I can’t be sick about literary theories and the daunting future of being an academic. I must discover what I want to research and go further: make what is dead appealing and make what is sickening, lively. I need a break from all that is literary, for a moment only short. I am saturated, utterly so.

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