Cyril Wong On His Republished Work “Like A Seed With Its Singular Purpose”

First published in 2006, Like A Seed With Its Singular Purpose finds itself renewed a decade later. It is funny how the written word continue to exist and stay relevant even though time has flown by and the physical landscape may have changed drastically. Perhaps the emotional landscape is not so easily altered, and we find ourselves in similar, familiar spaces again and again.

Having read most of Cyril Wong‘s works, I will say that it is always a pleasure to read his writing. His honesty and inquisitiveness always a treat. Admiration, perhaps, for his ability to articulate with such clarity the nuances he wish to translate from his mind and heart to you, the reader.

This collection features poetry that runs across pages, carrying your heart with it. Varied and clearly inspired by the various happenings of that time, the poems spark your imagination and bring you back to 2006, only for you to discover that 2018 is not all that different after all.

Popspoken asks Cyril some quick questions on the republication and five books by local writers we cannot dismiss.

Popspoken: First published in 2006, why republish this book now? 

Cyril Wong: Because Kenny Leck of Math Paper Press is a generous spirit who was unwilling to see this poetry collection go out of print. Hence he decided that it should be republished. Also, I’d like to think that its themes of existential doubt and troubled introspection are equally relevant today as more than a decade before in the context of Singapore.

Popspoken: Share with us which book that you have written is closest to your heart.

Cyril Wong: Tilting Our Plates to Catch the Light—but only because this book about the tribulations of a singular romance was the most painful to compose.

Popspoken: What can good poetry do for the soul?

Cyril Wong: Depends on the soul—good poetry can heal wounds within the reflective, sensitive spirit, simply by making us feel less alone in the world. If the reader doesn’t possess much of a soul, then poetry is pointless.

Popspoken: Favourite word in the English language: 

Cyril Wong: “if”, as the word is a threshold to infinite possibility. I have a long poem in Like a Seed with Its Singular Purpose that deals extensively with the playfulness surrounding this word.

Popspoken: If not a poet, you might have become a: 

Cyril Wong: Corpse or zombie.

PS: Five must-read books by local writers? 

Cyril Wong:  Arthur Yap: The Collected Poems of Arthur Yap, Tania De Rozario: Tender Delirium, Yeo Wei Wei: These Foolish Things, Shubigi Rao: Pulp and Marylyn Tan: Gaze Back.

To purchase the book Like A Seed With Its Singular Purpose and to find out more, look it up here.

BooksActually also has a Shophouse Fund to finally purchase a permanent space to house its books. Read more here.

Reads is a series by Teo Dawn on Popspoken. Learn more about local writers, their inspirations and what they think is worth writing about. After all, one writes about what one cares about. Got a book you want featured? Drop her an email here


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