Life in a Day

Free to roam in the morn, no restriction
A limit is there, but not in your mind
Wandering round, the clocks are but fiction
The day is still young and time is still blind
But now noon approaches, time’s on your tail
You wake to reality, somewhat frail

The sun passed it’s brightest, hopes are slipping
The trek passes quick, you act and you kick
A space man, a leader, dreams flickering
The night’s drawing near, time has played a trick
For what was squandered is taken by time
The last hour: lost chances shan’t again shine.

The One who Watches-Reagan Tao 10C

I always knew your touch, whether filled with sorrow, or with mirth.

When I was yet to take my first breath

Before birth

After death

 

We are intertwined.

When I first stood up,

You were there, close to heart, to mind.

When I drank, you held the cup.

 

Between us tears poured like rain

Bond loose and broken.

Red haze descended, such was the pain.

Kindness given, just a token.

 

Looking back, turning the clock

I see my faults.

My realisation. My world it rocks.

For a second, a lifetime my world halts.

 

For your love was boundless,

That I know now.

The things that I owe you are countless.

To bring you back, how?

 

However, I know now we will never be separated.

For you are my mother

Before birth

After death

Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a psychological horror story that expresses the fragmented reality and the thoughts of a deranged mind, and how the fantasy in our minds can at times overwhelm reality. Written in a diary format, the narrative manages to evoke a sense of dread and anticipation as the narrator and her husband, John, rent a house that was up to three miles from the village, to a room with a strange, yellow wallpaper. However, under John’s harsh guidelines not to exercise any creative thoughts, she disobeys, and writes a secret diary, in which she begins her obsession with the wallpaper in the room. Eventually, as the narrator’s logic and reasoning disintegrates, she imagines a woman creeping about under the wallpaper, whose pattern started to resemble the bars of a cage . Her subsequent delusions and her slow descent into mania highlights the question of fantasy and reality, and how, at times, they are indistinguishable.

From the beginning of the narrative, the story alone feels uneasy when it is discovered that the narrator has a romantic and naive mind that does not seem to fit her facade. This is not only through how her husband, John, isolates her from society and consequently reality, but also through the query as to why he would do this in the first place. At first, we see that John is unusually overreactive and protective of the narrator, such as forbidding her to think about her condition, moving house just because of the narrator’s condition, and treating her as if she was a child “‘What is it, little girl?’ he said. ‘Don’t go walking about like that-you’ll get cold.” However, it is only when the narrator expresses her reactions to the room she was in that John’s behaviour seems to make more sense: the narrator describes, in her fantasy, how the room could have been a nursery, as it had barred windows, “for little children”, and from the “rings and things in the walls”, which was covered with torn wallpaper. However, she fails to realise the reality: that the room could also have been used to house a mental patient.

The narrator’s state of mind becomes more prevalent and startling when she begins to develop a profound interest in the yellow wallpaper, of which she is disgusted at first:”the colour is repellant, almost revolting: a smouldering, unclean yellow”. However, after noticing the wallpaper, the narrator’s diary entries starts to focus more on it, especially the “pattern”, as the narrator tries, in vain, to find a pattern for the stripes on the wallpaper, a pattern that evidently does not exist. She then delves deeper into fantasy as she begins to imagine a woman creeping about the wallpaper, trying to escape from the lines, which starts to resemble the bars of a cage with the heads of others who had tried to escape, although she does not realise that the woman’s predicament symbolises her own: she was also, in a sense, trapped, isolated, and unable to escape both the house and continually unable to escape her own fantasy. The narrator’s deranged mind becomes clearer when she discovers a smooch in the wallpaper, going around the entire room, “round and round and round”, failing to see that the smooches were made by her clothes rubbing against the wall, even when she saw yellow stains on the clothes.

Through the diary entries of a narrator who is not sane, Gilman delivers a chilling message to her readers about the distinct line between reality and fantasy, and what would happen if we delve too deeply into our fantasies and consequently lose control of our ability to return to reality. There is a very thin line between the two, Gilman seems to be implying, and sometimes it is possible for someone to lose control of their sanity and therefore their lives, as they continually draw back from society, which was demonstrated when the narrator’s obsession with the wallpaper ends with her mind believing that she was the woman in her own fantasy. She then tears up the wallpaper, to “set her free”, only for the two to fully combine. She then surprises John with this behaviour, making him faint, which was annoying, since she “had to creep over him each time!”

Writing Prompt: Global Literature

Although English is the most-spoken language in the world and has significant dominance in the world of literature, it is merely one of many languages used by people of different cultures across the world. With the rise of globalisation and the prevalence of the internet, it is becoming more common to see books that reflect cultural values different from English-speaking nations, broadening from British and Eurocentric values to tell a broad range of stories about people’s lives irrespective of their country of origin.
Reading across a variety of cultures allows one a wider view of the world and recognition of different cultural views and values. I myself am an admirer of the works of Russian novelists, especially Dostoyevsky and Nabokov, for their unique approach to writing fiction. Many have described Russia’s geographical location as responsible for its different perspective that comes through in its fiction, embracing neither the values of Western Europe nor that of Asia.

It is also becoming increasingly common to see works by Asian authors written in English. Mao’s Last Dancer is one of the best-known instances of this, a work of fiction with strong ties to the historical context of Chairman Mao’s Communist regime in China and the social consequences of the Cultural Revolution. However, what makes any novel truly good is how it connects with and attempts to explain human lives, which Li Cunxin manages effectively. Haruki Murakami is another one of my favourite authors, who has become popular and successful worldwide despite his books being initially written in Japanese and often exploring bizarre themes or ideas.

A work that has been translated from one language into another recognises its quality as a piece of literature. Many of the greatest works of the Western canon were not originally written in English. The works of French authors such as Proust, Voltaire, Hugo and Camus have profoundly influenced the history of literature because of the revolutionary ideas that they proposed at the time. Then there are German authors such as Herman Hesse and Günter Grass whose philosophical writings questioned the European school of thought, and the Russian novelists that I mentioned earlier that expanded the creative boundaries of the novel.

Language is a powerful tool; it has shaped our discourse for millennia into the society that we are today. Literature is in many ways becoming much more globally interconnected, with contributions from people all over the world expanding the creative boundaries of the medium. Your writing is able to contribute to a truly global discussion, with anyone who has a computer and internet access being able to comment on this blog and share their thoughts, feelings and opinions with others.

This week, I invite you to consider how expanding global interconnectedness is affecting communication between different people across the world. Are culturally dissimilar nations becoming more similar as the result of globalisation? If so, is this a bad thing? This raises potential questions about whether it is better to develop an isolated, potentially unique perspective or engage in a broader range of ideas from others. Consider writing about certain cultural philosophies or events in your writing, or applying your own understanding to that of another country’s way of life.

Writing has been expanding its borders for centuries, and is now spreading across the world faster than ever. Right now your writing can contribute to this vast, rich world of global literature and be read by people all over the world.

Mondayitis

It’s that time of the week again: as “Sunday Night” eventually ends, with a flourish, on the telly. It’s what most would think about: the fact that Sunday was almost over, and that Monday will come, preceding four other miserable days at work, dealing through the ocean of paperwork that is your boss’s idea of “light work”. The worst part of that could be having to drag yourself, shaking, whimpering, out of the cosy homeliness of your bed, and literally belly-flopping over the bathroom sink, while toothpaste from that magical flying toothbrush (which somehow dislodges itself from your hand) manages to draw a line of fresh, green peppermint across your face. Monday may actually be too much to bear for most, especially those who do not like surprises, waking up, with a hell of a hangover after drinking galleons of brandy, and having played hopscotch with all the breakable and fragile wooden pencils the night before while in a dazed stupor. Thinking that it is Sunday, they naively tear off a page in their calendar, screaming, fainting and frothing at the mouth, ripping the calendar off the wall, and making holes in the wall at the sight of Monday. However, there are those people who likes Monday, cackling away at you, their eyes burning and their teeth shiny and incredibly sharp, so as to scare the general public. Having heard all their cheery, bubbly opinions on Monday, especially when they look bright, enthusiastic and happy while you’re on your twentieth cup of double espresso really makes you tempted to throw the cup of coffee at them, yelling hoarsely at them to shut up, while sobbing out of frustration, annoying your pet hamsters, and causing a small earthquake of 2.2 on the Richter Scale.

It’s Too Late Now

I broke something

It wasn’t my fault

I can’t take all the blame

It’s broken now, beyond repair

And nothing can change that.

I wish I could though

Turn back time

Change the decisions of the past

How do you explain it to someone?

Do you tell them everything at once

Let it all crash on them like a wave

And watch them try to keep their balance?

Or would it be better to

Give them the pieces and 

Let them put it together?

It’s slower and less sudden

But it’s the slow knife that cuts the deepest

Either way, it’s going to hurt them

Deep inside them something will burn

And never grow back.

Maybe it’s better to

Keep quiet for the while.

Hope no one tells them

And breaks that uneasy silence

Let them sit in blissful ignorance

While the train of your mistakes

Hurtles towards them.

Don’t try to stop it.

You set it in motion

You stoked the fires.

You urged it forward

And when it hits them

It’s going to be bad.

The rug will be pulled

And no one can stop you fall

They’ll watch with cold eyes

As you plummet down

Not even lifting a finger

To help you up.

He trusted me

And I broke that.