WRITTEN BLOG ENTRY

QUESTIONS

1) Why did you pair this poem with this photo/art work and the article? What do the three have in common?

2) Examine the two Wordles. What important words, if any, do the poem and article have in common? Does the word cloud make you see the themes, ideas or subjects of each more clearly? How?

3) Which do you like best: the Poem, the Image or the Article? Why?

4) What does this pairing say about life today? Do you think someone looking at it 25 years from now would “get” the same meaning? What about 100 years from now?

5) What other photos, art work or ST articles could also have been paired with this poem? Why?

6) What other works of Literature, Film, or Fine Art can you think of that also echo, expand or even challenge the words and ideas of this poem?

The title of the poem caught my eye. “Lion heart” conveyed the image of a brave warrior, a person who has the courage to fight for what he believes in. I was deliberating what article to pair it with when, after logging out of my email account, I suddenly noticed an article on MSN Singapore that mentioned that the first Gold medal of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) had been won. This piqued my curiosity, and after I read it I realised that there indeed was a link to the poem. The article was more of a report on the results of the Girls’ Triathlon event, but the photograph of the winner as she dashed to the finish line enabled me to imagine the courage and bravery she possessed. I chose the image of Lyo as the photograph for this assignment because it represented the poem’s title (literally :D), and as the official mascot for the YOG it symbolises the athletes’ spirit of determination and perseverance, their valor and pride, all of which can be summed up into one apt word: lionheart. (the title of the poem that I chose!) Thus, the poem, article and photograph are all interconnected.

While there are no common words between the poem and the article, both of them share similar themes. They focus on courage, determination and perseverance, and even though they do not share any specific same words, there are some parallels that I managed to draw. For instance, “heart” is featured in the poem but not in the news article. However, it is evident that the Gold- medal winner in the YOG Girls’ triathlon event put all her heart into the race to bring glory to her country. Another example is “remember”, as this is an experience that all the athletes would most definitely remember- the pain, sacrifices, suffering, the timings, scores, results achieved. The word clouds definitely helped me to see the themes of the poem and article better, as some of the words are enlarged and coloured and ‘jump’ out at me. This enables me to see things from a different perspective, as I am forced to make meaning of single words and link them to a theme.

I like the image best, as a picture paints a thousand words. Just looking at the image of the YOG mascot Lyo immediately brings to mind the Olympic Values of Friendship, Excellence and Respect. From there, it is very easy to allow my mind to delve deeper into the significance behind this mascot, that it embodies the athletes’ bravery, determination, can-do spirit, resilience and youthful exuberance. Without words, there is no context set and this allows me the liberation of making meaning of the picture.
Life is about conquering challenges, overcoming obstacles and reaching new milestones. In this journey, there will always be unforseen setbacks and difficulties to surmount. One should always be armed with courage and resilience, and this pairing evidently reflects this message. I think that this is a theme that will transcend time, as it doesn’t matter which period of time one is in since courage, resilience and determination will always be needed as one faces life and its trials and tribulations. Thus, I am confident that this is a theme that will always remain relevant, even 100 years from now!
I think a photo of the 5 olympic rings (I’m really into the YOG mood! :D) could be paired with this poem, as it also symbolises courage, resilience and a never-say-die attitude, which is essentially this poem’s theme.
“Chariots of Fire” is one such film that seems to echo the theme of courage, albeit in a different way. The 2 key characters both have their own mountains to climb, and are faced with strict religious constraints. In the end, however, both characters had the courage to persevere in the hope of realising their dreams, and both of them found their own ways of working around the constraints to achieve their goals in the end. This is a very inspirational story that will expand the poem as it offers an insight as to the rewards that being “lionhearted” can reap.
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LINKS TO WORDLE

POEM WORD CLOUD

http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/2297460/Lion_Heart-_Poem_by_Amanda_Chong

ARTICLE WORD CLOUD

http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/2298176/News_Article%3A_First_medal_of_YOG

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ARTICLE

SINGAPORE: Japan’s Yuka Sato has won the first ever Gold medal of the Youth Olympic Games.

At East Coast Park on Sunday morning, the 18—year—old won the Girls’ Triathlon event with a time of 1 hour 49.69 seconds.

Australia’s Ellie Salthouse was 15 seconds behind and took the silver medal, while and Kelly Whitley of the USA settled for the bronze.

Singapore’s Clara Wong came in last or 30th, out of the 32—strong field in 1 hour 21 minutes 30.85 seconds, as two competitors did not complete the race.

The two competitors could not finish as they were involved in a crash during the bicycle leg.

Source: http://news.xin.msn.com/en/singapore/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4275469

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PHOTOGRAPH

YOG 2010 Mascot- Lyo

Source: canoeicf.com

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POEM

lion heart

Amanda Chong
You came out of the sea,
skin dappled scales of sunlight;
Riding crests, waves of fish in your fists.
Washed up, your gills snapped shut.
Water whipped the first breath of your lungs,
Your lips’ bud teased by morning mists.
You conquered the shore, its ivory coast.
Your legs still rocked with the memory of waves.
Sinews of sand ran across your back-
Rising runes of your oceanic origins.
Your heart thumped- an animal skin drum
heralding the coming of a prince.
In the jungle, amid rasping branches,
trees loosened their shadows to shroud you.
The prince beheld you then, a golden sheen.
Your eyes, two flickers; emerald blaze
You settled back on fluent haunches;
The squall of a beast. your roar, your call.
In crackling boats, seeds arrived, wind-blown,
You summoned their colours to the palm
of your hand, folded them snugly into loam,
watched saplings swaddled in green,
as they sunk roots, spawned shade,
and embraced the land that embraced them.
Centuries, by the sea’s pulmonary,
a vein throbbing humming bumboatsyour
trees rise as skyscrapers.
Their ankles lost in swilling water,
as they heave themselves higher
above the mirrored surface.
Remember your self: your raw lion heart,
Each beat a stony echo that washes
through ribbed vaults of buildings.
Remember your keris, iron lightning
ripping through tentacles of waves,
double-edged, curved to a pointflung
high and caught unsheathed, scattering
five stars in the red tapestry of your sky.
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