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The great Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges once wrote that every writer creates his/her own precursors. Similarly, every writer creates his/her own pretexts. It is by creating our own pretexts that our poems transcend the personal.

The first part of the book features poems from various historical events as well as various persons/personality in Singapore’s history, e.g. Munshi Abdullah, Raffles and Utama. The second part consists of readings of classical poetry of three Tang poets—Li Po, Du Fu and Li Ho—where Tay attempts to unveil the lyricism of Li Po, narrative and social criticism of Du Fu and the surreal landscapes of Li Ho.

Remnants fuses the historical with the poetic and mythic. It tells us that the political and poetic histories we inherit are fragments at best and it celebrates this fact.

About the Author

Eddie Tay is author of three collections of poetry, Remnants, A Lover’s Soliloquy and The Mental Life of Cities, and has been invited to various international festivals. He is from Singapore and is currently teaching creative writing and poetry at the Department of English, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also a Reviews Editor for the Asian literary journal, Cha.




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Eddie Tay