Tuesday, March 27, 2007

dated 26th march: An Elegy for Fluffy

i had so many cats before, eversince i was a girl of 6. i think cats are so affectionate and loyal, with the adorable qualities as well.

my beloved half persian, fluffy, was such a cat. i fell in love with him when he was 3 months old, and i bought him frm a pet shop. he's active, as all kittens are, and had a really cute face. all my family members love him, including one of my sisters who hates cats.

the thing about fluffy is he's really manja. too damn manja. he would meow in that manja way of his. and would come and take a nap in my room. sometimes he'd wake me up in the morning, asking me to open the door for him. when my students come for tuition, he'd come to the table and bask in the glory when people fuss over him. i used to feel menyampah over his act, but i love him.

despite his manja ways, fluffy could be very haughty. he could give anyone that haughty stare of a royalty. and he's also very smart. when he wanted us to let him out to enjoy a morning romp, he'd give us that melting pitiful look.

the whole neighbourhood knows fluffy, of the fact that in the evening and at night when he still hadnt returned, i or the maid could be heard calling his name.

last night, fluffy was extra manja, more manja than usual. i called his name from time to time, and he'd come near me and slept. when i was baking bread, he kept me company in the kitchen.

today, one of the neighbours' son came to the house to tell us that fluffy was found dead at his garage. there he was, fluffy, in his white and caramel fur, lying very stiff, eyes wide open. i was so shocked and held him dearly, and the trip back to my house (though a few metres away) was dreadful. that was the last time i held him, with his soft fur... i was crying openly, but i just didnt care. fluffy died. and he wanted to spend the last moments with his mistress. fluffy died, and my heart is crying...i can still hear his manja meows in my head. may his soul rest in peace.

entry dated 24th march: The Lovers of Literature s Meet

i always dread going to courses. may be it's because i like the mundane routines and hate being yanked frm its dreariness. so i always complain (loudly) about the stupid courses - like, the one i attended 2 years ago, about encouraging the teachers to use the textbook in class (DUH!! i've been using textbooks in class long before that). there was once a one-day course where english teachers had to jazz chant and jump. i wasnt amused at all.

and so, it was with great excitement when i was told by the top JU here that i would be attending a briefing on the new syllabus for the 6th cycle of Literature in English. yep, i was on the moon, jumping over it, around it, whichever prepositions you prefer. you see, i've been teaching the subject since 2 years ago, and after much racking of the brain, i realised that i need help in teaching the ending cycle - the one with the e.e. cummings (why on earth did they select a modernist poet who wrote run ons and gleefully wrote cryptic words?). i also need the new syllabus. i'm very happy to know that they chose Neruda's poem. the selection of texts are carefully thought of, and the texts are student friendly (except shakespeare's julius caesar)

will start the class next week...cant wait!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

thumbs up to CDC

well my heart leapt up on thurs when i went to school and the typist handed me the texts of the new cycle for Literature in English SPM paper. because the first title that i read is the title of my mostest favouritest poem in the world, written by the most passionate poet, Pablo Neruda. the people at the Curriculum Dev. Centre must have a soft spot for the Chilean poet like i do.

i first read the poem 10 years ago when i was recovering from a breakup. now everytime i read the poem i still cry, as i can feel the poignancy n the emptiness felt by the persona.

well my literature students will hear me raving about the poem during our lessons...that's for sure...haha...for those of you who've never heard of neruda or read his works....read this poem...btw there are some other versions as neruda wrote this in spanish, so this is a translation.

The Saddest Poem

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I love her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think that I dont have her. To think that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to the grass.

What does it matter that my love couldnt keep her?
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is so lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her, and she is not with me.

The same night that whiten the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer loved her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Some else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and forgetting so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
My soul is so lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem i write for her.

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)