15 August 2005

            Early Influences

            But you were forgotten.
            I had put you aside, out of my mind.
            Years passed, while I worked at
            this small patient craft,
            studying the works of others,
            on a quiet journey I thought I’d mapped
            out to my own voice.

            Now by chance, I stumble upon you again.
            I revisit your words, with new eyes.
            To my surprise, I learn that I’ve carried
            you with me all this time,
            and every place to which I’ve gone,
            you have been there too.
            The trail I followed was none other
            than that of your footsteps.

            I want to shake myself to shake you off,
            remove you from my skin, to see if this is
            even possible. But I am afraid.
            Even as I speak now, I wonder who I’m hearing.
            I don’t know how much of you is me now,
            and after the tearing off, which parts
            of me I’ll lose, how little of me
            will be left behind.
posted by Gilbert at Monday, August 15, 2005


Blogger floots said...

Is this a new one? I loved it and can't believe I would have missed it.
For me, it represents everything about writing/the muse. How much we celebrate, how much we give - and lose.
(You've been "quiet" lately. Hope all is well.. Cheers.)

August 16, 2005  
Blogger Alson Teo said...

I don’t know what to say.

I am speechless.

Time to do some serious thinking….

August 17, 2005  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Errrr, I hope that means you liked the poem. :)

August 17, 2005  
Blogger Alson Teo said...

Of course I like this poem, actually very much.

It is common for aspiring poet like me to imitate the style or voice of other experienced poets. I wonder if this is a good thing to do?

Although I would love to write like you, but what if someone read a poem written by me and exclaimed “Hey! This must be written by Gilbert Koh!” I really don’t whether to be happy or sad. Heehee. :)

August 18, 2005  
Blogger Amy said...

I think that, in the arts, imitating a favorite artist can be good practice. It's one tool to use in finding one's own voice. We are all influenced by someone--even those we admire were influenced by someone.

Nice poem. I love "small, patient craft." The craft is very patient, isn't it? It's we poets who have the problem of urgency.

August 18, 2005  
Blogger Alson Teo said...

To a different extent, we are all perfectionist. :)

August 19, 2005  
Blogger ross820sidney said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 21, 2005  
Blogger Injenue said...

i chanced upon your blog from heavenlysword's. gosh, i think your poems are beautiful!

the one about father and son is very emotional.

keep writing =)

August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chanced upon this blog through a link to a link..

it brings to mind a Bloomian 'anxiety of influence' (not sure if I am right, haven't studied lit for quite a while)

oh yah, nice poem...liked the last stanza especially, the struggle and hesistancy in being one's very own self

September 02, 2005  

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