Literary Arts

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This is the most famous, if not important, poem in Singaporean literature, bar none. It describes the mythic Ulysses’s imagined encounter with the statue of the Merlion and his thoughts about the people and culture of Singapore. The poem has sparked many literary and academic responses to this day, attesting to its vast applications and ranging influence. Poets continue to write in this poem’s shadow, whether in consideration of its themes and concerns or in parodic or satirical form. The poem in itself consolidates positive feelings about immigrant struggles, nationhood, the search for identity, cultural diversity, and socio-economic progress. The poem is dedicated to a Maurice Baker.
This digital copy (c) National Library Board Singapore 2011. The original work (c) Edwin Thumboo, 1979.