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A number of poems by Edwin Thumboo focus on individuals from Singapore’s diverse ethnic cultures. Their inclusion can give a sense of how he approaches the question of what being Singaporean must mean. This poem is one of two that famously present his personal encounters with Malay individuals. It is a sequel to “Ahmad”, Ibrahim being Ahmad’s son, and should best be read alongside it. Ibrahim represents the sensibility of a younger Malay generation that is more able, and willing, to find and shape common grounds with what the poet stands for, the cultural Other.
This digital copy (c) National Library Board Singapore 2011. The original work (c) Edwin Thumboo, 1977.