says to perspective, wait.
"I chose these pithy lines from Reginald Shepherd’s poem “Syntax” to preface Five Right Angles, my second book of poetry released in 2007. At that time, I had been a serious poetry practitioner for twenty years, and an avid reader of poetry for longer. Its publication marked the first decade of my new life in Singapore as a naturalised citizen. Shortly afterwards, I began to term myself a “pilgrim poet”, with both spiritual and wayfaring connotations. Truth be told, I was a pilgrim from a very young age. As an ethnic minority Malaysian with a less-than-privileged socioeconomic background, it was providential to receive an education in Singapore and put roots down in this island nation. I have indelible memories of taking the school bus across the Woodlands Causeway daily, canvas bag on my back and passport tucked into the front pocket of my crumpled white shirt. Even as a nine- year- old, I lived between two worlds, and I knew it.
Sometimes I cannot be sure whether I am living from the inside out, or from the outside in. Does circumstance or moral agency direct the holy disarray of life? For me, poem-making at its best is about slowing down and paying close attention to seemingly trivial details: the things we might easily miss on the roads, lanes and other byways we take. It is a way of being present while seeking to move beyond mere appearance to some sort of truthful understanding of the world and the hereafter."
(Extracted from "A Poet's Journey into Home and Belonging" by Aaron Lee, published in The Birthday Book 2018, eds. Cheryl Chung and Aaron Maniam)