Saturday, May 17, 2008
There's been a death in the opposite house
Just by reading the title above, it evokes various emotions, right? Well, it is actually a title of a poem for the upper secondary students in Malaysia. I bet many students dislike this poem (me too). Mind you, it took me a disastrous month to comprehend only the first stanza for my SPM!I'm now working on a thesis that discards this poem to ever being taught in schools. I've received many feedbacks (agreeing with me) as to replace this poem with other better ones.
Emily Dickinson, as you are already informed, is a good poet who always expresses death in various ways through her poems. For Malaysians (and also other citizenships), death is something sensitive and very closely related to religions. To even start a class with 'death' as the subject is not a simple thing, believe me. I should thank my teacher to courageously finish teaching my friends and I this poem while there were some of us who were talking, eating, and even sleeping right in front of her desk! Some of my friends had faced death related with their beloved parents or siblings or closest friends.
In Malaysia, death is a very taboo subject to even talk about among us. Besides, having literature as only a minor subject in English, this poem is absolutely not appropriate and should be abolished. Therefore, another better poem with positive tones and emotions, should replace this poem.
What do you reckon? Should it be replaced? And if your answer is a 'Yes', what poem is to be taken as the replacement?