Focus: City and Poetry
Can city inspire poetry?
[dropcap cap="T"]his issue of eRenlai explores these three dimensions: what kind of poetic feelings will a city arise within our hearts? How can the city proper be read as a giant poetic work? And how can we foster the poetic soul of the cities we inhabit? Let us hope that this issue will inspire all of us, and that it may reach the ones who are responsible for city planning. Our future will not depend only on their technical ability but rather on the way they will be able to respect and foster our dreams, our fantasies and our creativity…[/dropcap]
When thinking about the poetic nature of cities, there is something that can strike even more our imagination: a city looks actually like an immense poems; its avenues, buildings or underground can be read as a giant network of rhymes, metaphors and verses. The city is like an elegy that men write, carve and erect on the surface of the...
I had to travel this winter, going to Paris and Toulouse in France, Munich and Aachen in Germany, before crossing Holland to go back to France. I had to go to offices and universities, I had to hasten through the streets and the underground, but I had also time to wander through the parks and the squares, to dream when looking through the windows of trains slowed by the weather, and to let recollections come back to my mind. I was thinking of all the cities I had lived in, of their minds and...
Growing up in Canberra, I never thought of it as being a particularly remarkable city. It was just the place where I lived. Then one day when I was about 13, I read an interview of some backpackers in the local newspaper. When prompted for their views on Canberra, one suggested something along the lines of “it is like a David Lynch movie – everything is neat and tidy but you wonder what is really going on below the surface”. Not having yet seen any movies by Lynch - America’s legendary surrealist chronicler of urban life - I was a bit puzzled by this comparison, but with time I...
Being an outsider in the city can give rise to a poetry of sorts. Whether we are business ex-pats, exchange students or foreign workers, we all eventually face the same problem of our wandering impermanence. For this months Focus on poetry in the city, I look back at some written scraps and ramblings on my own impermanence and identity issues whilst I was a student of Mandarin in Taipei. Of Anglo-French descent, studying Chinese, for me it was fitting that I could find scrawlings in the three languages (and cultures) between which I’m torn:
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This month's Renlai
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- Conference: Embrace the Pacific June 5th
- Amateurs in Tokyo - Reasonable Riots
- Obesity and Freedom
- Focus Response: Father Jacques Duraud, SJ on 'My God?'
- Dancing through the lens: Photographing the Pacific Festival of Arts
- Religious Colonialism: Cultural Loss in the Solomon Islands
- Shell Money, Dowries and the Skulls of Ancestors: The Living Traditions of the Solomon Islands
- The Langalanga People: "Natives" of the Man-made islands of the Solomons
- A Vibrant Culture with an Ugly Facade: Honiara and the Pacific Art Festival
- Swept away from Sinology by the Allure of Taiwan's Pacific coast
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