Poet Zakariya Amataya has won the 2010 SEA Write poetry prize for his Mai Mee Yingsao Nai Bot Kawee ("Poems without maidens").
This is the first time the award has been given to a book of free verse, quite different from the classical style of poetry that usually wins the award.
The classical style of poetry is written with "rigid rules pertaining to the specific number of lines, syllables and rhyme schemes."
This year's prize also takes an important step towards recognizing the diversity of Thai society.
The first language of this year's winner was Malay not Thai and he also studied the Arabic language for many years in India.
For the full article and a sample of poetry please go here.
Click button to listen to SEA Write Poetry Award and rightclick to download
Zakariya Amataya pushes the boundaries of traditional Thai literature by Anchalee Kongrut
…Zakariya started writing poems accidentally while studying Islamic culture at a university in India
Unlike many award-winning writers, Zakariya said he was not a bookworm as a child. Moreover, Thai is his second language, after the local Malay dialect spoken among the majority of Muslims in the deep South.
In India, Zakariya was forced to learn a third language: Arabic. Initially unable to understand lectures in Arabic, Zakariya, then 25, would scribble on blank pieces of paper to convey his train of thoughts in Thai. Later on, he found what he wrote was actually free verse.
He has since been writing in that style, first for the internet and most recently in literary magazines and local dailies.
Apart from writing poems, Zakariya also translates poems of the Middle East and by contemporary Western poets. He is planning to write a novel about his hometown, but the progress has been very slow, too slow, to be exact. "Writing a novel and writing a poem are two completely different things. With fiction, you need to let the plot and narrative carry you. But in a poem, you spend time polishing your words over and over. And I found myself always polishing words instead of working on the narrative structure," said Zakariya.
In the 83-page Poems Without Maidens, 36 poems touch on subjects as variable as the violence in the Southern provinces of Thailand and Middle East countries, universal love, religion, philosophy and God. A couple of them also show his cheeky sense of humour. Curiously, Zakariya's sources of inspiration include poets from faraway lands like Charles Baudelaire, Illija Ladin and Octavio Paz, whose lines or words are incorporated into his own works and always with accreditation.
Poems Without Maidens is Zakariya's very first published work. But do not expect to see a sequel soon. For the poet has spent about a full decade penning those pieces in the tiny book; some in particular took him five years to write and polish, although a few were carved within hours - but that was a rare occurrence and only when his muse, tempo and mood happened to align themselves well together.
Although he has made his name known from launching online poetry blogs (http://www.thaipoetsociety.com and http://www.republicofpoetry.com), Zakariya's constant companion is a notebook in which he jots down what he sees; his inspiration and exact details such as the colour of a shirt, objects in hands, time or even the colour of the sky or the weather. The poet then transcribes his feelings in incoherent verse or simply a sentence.
He usually keeps those notes with him for days or weeks - years even. Late at night he would review those scribbles and turn them into poems if his mood and Lady Muse permits. …
SEA Write - "an award that has been presented annually since 1979 to poets and writers in Southeast Asia" (See Wikipedia)
verse - poetry บทกวี
free verse - poetry that does not follow standard patterns of rhyme and rhythm (meter) (See Wikipedia)
rhyme - repetition of same sounds in two or more words in poetry and songs (See Wikipedia) เสียงสัมผัสในบทกวี
rhyme scheme - a standard pattern of same-sounding words used to write poetry
rhythm - a regular pattern of sounds (examples: the rhythm of the music or poetry) จังหวะสัมผัสในกวี
meter - the pattern of rhythm in a line of poetry (See Wikipedia)
classical - following old traditional standards
traditional - things (clothes, music, customs, etc.) that have been part of a country or society for a long time
rigid - done in a strict, following the rules exactly
pertaining to - about, related to
line - one series of words printed or written in a row across the page, one after another
syllable - one of the sound pieces that make up a word, starting and ending with a consonant with a vowel in the middle (See Wikipedia) พยางค์
recognize - to accept something as important or true ยอมรับ สำนึก
diversity - when there are many different kinds of people in a group or at a place ความหลากหลาย
bookworm - a person who really loves books
local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
dialect - a form of a language that people speak in a particular part of a country, containing some different words and grammar, etc ภาษาท้องถิ่น
majority - more than half of the people in a group ส่วนมาก, เสียงส่วนมาก, ส่วนใหญ่
scribble - write something down quickly on a piece of paper
convey - to communicate something; to express a thought, feeling or idea so that it is understood by other people สื่อไปถึง, สื่อสาร
train of thoughts - the series of thoughts that you have and the connections between the thoughts (connected together like the cars of a train)
literary magazines - a small magazine published every month or few months that includes short stories, poetry, essays, literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews and letters (See Wikipedia)
progress - going forward, improving and developing over time, completing tasks that move you towards achieving a goal ความก้าวหน้า
plot - the series of related events that make a story (with a beginning, middle and climax and end)
narrative - a story
polishing your words - rewriting sentences an changing the words in the sentence to make it more perfect
violence - physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
universal - involving everyone ทั่วไป
couple - two people who are married or are involved in a romantic relationship คุ่รัก
cheeky - showing a lack of respect but not in a rude way, in a way that seems lively, smart and attractive
humour - the ability to find things funny, the way in which people see that some things are funny or the quality of being funny ความตลกขบขัน
inspiration - someone or something that gives you new ideas or enthusiasm to do something แรงบันดาลใจ
Charles Baudelaire - famous French poet who lived from 1821 to 1867 (See Wikipedia)
Illija Ladin - a Croatian poet
Octavio Paz - (1914 – 1998) was a Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature (See Wikipedia)
incorporated - included as part of something larger ซึ่งรวมเข้าเป็นหนึ่งเดียวกัน
sequel - the next book (following a book that has already been published)
decade - a period of ten years ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
penning - writing
carved - cut from something like stone, wood, or in this case, bone แกะสลัก
rare - uncommon, unusual, not happening very often หาได้ยาก
occurrence - something that happens เหตุการณ์
muse - the ancient Greek goddesses, spirits, or real persons who inspire the creation of literature and the arts (See Wikipedia)
inspire (verb) -
inspiration (noun) -
tempo - the speed at which things happen
mood - the way you feel at a particular time อารมณ์
align - organize things thiings so that they match well and work well together
online - connected to the internet
blog - an online diary that records a person's opinions, comments on news and experiences (See Wikipedia)
constant - continuous; all the time ต่อเนื่อง
companion - friend
notebook - a book with empty pages used for writing notes สมุด
jots down - writes down quickly
inspire - to make someone excited about doing something (give them energy and enthusiasm)
inspiration - a sudden feeling of energy, enthusiasm and excitement that helps you create something
transcribe - write down something exactly as it was said
incoherent - difficult to understand because badly or organized
review - to look over work you have already done again (or something you have studied)
scribbles - things written down quickly on a piece of paper
mood - the way that someone is feeling (examples: happy, sad, angry)
permits - allows, make possible for to do
(Source: Poetry without set rules, Zakariya Amataya pushes the boundaries of traditional Thai literature, 4/10/2010, Anchalee Kongrut, link)
Latest stories in this category:
- EC issues warning, suggests poll delay (updated)
- Bomb attack on heiress home “politically motivated”
- Southeast Asia's fastest man
- A happy story
- Democrats: Will they or won't they? (updated)
- Election: Democrat dilemma (updated)
- Thailand targets 110 golds in SEA Games (Updated)
- Child kidnap suspect arrested (Updated)