Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

S’pore wins Poetry World Cup against Pakistan

SINGAPORE — In the end, it was a pretty close fight, with Singapore’s Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde edging out Pakistan’s Mehvash Amin by a mere 25 votes.

Poet-artist Desmond Kon wins the Poetry World Cup for S'pore. Photo: Desmond Kon.

Poet-artist Desmond Kon wins the Poetry World Cup for S'pore. Photo: Desmond Kon.

SINGAPORE — In the end, it was a pretty close fight, with Singapore’s Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde edging out Pakistan’s Mehvash Amin by a mere 25 votes.

Kon’s gan qing yong shi :: impulsive and impetuous garnered 1,295 votes against Amin’s equally powerful Karachi’s 1,270. Phew! No penalty shoot-outs required.

We’ve already gushed about Kon’s powerful moves, but Karachi’s no pushover either.

“We must learn to quarter fear,/ dice it, serve it on plates/ in manageable portions.” it began, before pushing on in a more calculated, rigid tercet formation against Kon’s more freeflowing piece. Karachi ended with the line “fairy tale endings” but there was to be no fairy tale ending for her. Like Messi. Or Neymar.

Actually, it was a bit like a Germany-Brazil game — Karachi marching on with purpose, structurally in order while gan qing yong shi just slalomed through. So yes, Kon’s was a bit like a freeflowing Brazil team that won. As in, as my editor said, “they let goals freeflow into their net.” Ouch.

“This win is for Singapore. It couldn’t have happened without everyone. I’ve been text-hugging everybody,” said Kon, who shared that he apparently had votes coming in from Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the USA.

Something else came out of the whole Poetry World Cup event — he was invited to create a work for a commercial gallery (he’s also an artist). “A Warholesque riffing of this moment,” he said.

It has also been a fun moment thanks to his name. “I’ve had people mention my double-barreled Chinese name as being a ‘mouthful’ or ‘unique’. Made me think of Lefter Kucukandonyadis, the legendary Turkish player. He scored 423 goals for Fenerbahce and 22 for his nation in 55 appearances.”

His final words? “Even when literature becomes sport, as with this event, we become more aware of poetic artifice, and how we should enjoy reading as experience and activity. We should remember — after all — our love for, and of, reading.”

You can check out the two poems here: http://bit.ly/1qC9oFM.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.