On the last day of National Poetry Month, I pay homage to a local Singaporean poet Alvin Pang whom I admire very much. Below is a poem found in his second volume “City of Rain” where he moans about the state of the news industry and how it perpetuates certain stereotypes. As a media practitioner, I found myself relating to some of his sentiments, so let me know in the comments box about what do you think.
What you read between the lines in our last
edition, after the world’s been whittled
down to column length, is how much rage,
breath and ink it took to fend death off, and fail:
Our little rag that got preyed on page by page.
All those eyeballs drawn to glamour
in the bland newscape. The day we died,
the story goes, a gun went off in Cyprus,
one woman lost her sight. Grief
was on the wires, but not for us.
After all, the presses are still running
somewhere, churning colour into words
and paper continues to flow like so much water
under the bridge. It’s human nature
to let things slide, leave for later
What won’t fit on the page today,
not fuss with ideals and intentions,
but keep things as they are:
Better let the pages go out now
than think we’d ever come this far.