Singapore pens longest Giant Poem in Asia
8 Sep 2011 – Singapore penned the longest Giant Poem in Asia over the weekend, spanning a record length of 170 metres! Organised by The Arts House, the Singapore, A Giant Poem project attracted over 1,000 participants who gathered at the Empress Place River Promenade, contributing close to 150 poems in over 20 languages.
Employing a variety of poetic forms from long verses to haikus, and writing in a motley of languages – from the four national languages to European and Asian ones like Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean, and ancient ones like Sanskrit and Hebrew – the participants came from all over the world. But they huddled together along the Singapore River to pen their verses as part of a writing community.
They let their inner poets shine and collectively shared their thoughts and voices with the public, as, among many different topics, they paid tribute to Singapore, waxed lyrical about love, and meditated on life. Furthermore, the Giant Poem project provided an unusual but effective learning platform to teach the young about creative writing and expression.
Educator Nilofer Ashraff, 24, from The Little Arts Academy, a non-profit arts school, brought about 20 of her students to write their poems and discuss about their works. Said Ms Ashraff, “As a teacher, it is important for children to learn in an environment that is not just their classroom. Bringing them here enables them to learn about poetry and language differently and makes the learning experience even more special and valuable.”
Agreeing, one of her students, Lisa Ilin, 9, said, “It was very fun and exciting. I hope I can do this again next year!”
Added another participant, Singaporean Chinese poet and educator Tan Hock Gee, “This is a great opportunity for me to share Chinese children’s poems with the masses. There is much wisdom in poems, even simple ones that everyone can learn from and identify with.”
The worldwide project, which started in Spain, has attracted thousands of participants, and collected as many poems written by the various local communities. The poems will all contribute to a wider project, The World, A Giant Poem.
The Giant Poem project is the brainchild of Spanish anthropologist and artist, Ángel Arenas, and supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Said Ángel Arena, “We would like to thank everyone for their contribution to this project. What was created along the Singapore River was a wonderful giant poem with words, poetry, dialogue and emotion, and we have received feedback to repeat this project in Singapore again, as well as in other cities.”
For media queries and more pictures, please contact:
Executive, Marketing and Communications
DID +65 6332 6903
The Arts House at the Old Parliament
The Arts House since its opening in 2004, has been offering its visitors a broad spectrum of lifestyle options, while at the same time playing an active role in the Singapore arts and creative scene. From 2011, The Arts House will focus on the development of Literary Arts, while supporting and presenting programmes and festivals that aim to give a wide and multidisciplinary experience to our audiences along the theme of "Writing our Worlds" this year. For more information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg