pantone 125 was written as part of a collection for babette’s feast
this two-poem anthology arose from the accidental advocacy of one poet, coming off the back of her love for walking about in the less beaten paths in singapore. the first, “green“, was written after a walk on the bukit timah railway tracks. in a convoluted and unexpected manner, it partly set the scene for a series of discussions which led eventually to the preservation of the ktm tracks as a green corridor. the second piece, “brown“, was written after a pre-dawn stroll in bukit brown cemetery, just as debates began about preserving it. sadly, the authorities remain adamant that plans for an expressway to run through the site will go ahead.
babette’s feast is a fortnightly public gathering of writers, initiated and organised by booksactually, where a diversity of writers–writers of singular words, writers of sentences, writers of letters, writers of lyrics, writers of stories, writers of fact, writers of the ephemeral–come together to share their written works in the midst of earnest company, warm conversation and a humble feast. this series of chapbooks is borne from these sessions.
a superb book of two poem sequences, each having to do with a specific effort at protecting some aspect of singapore’s land or history. lee is a meticulous observer of her locality (these poems are walks), and each poem retains a sense of observed reality even as larger social and historical force are acknowledged. her observing eye is at once immediate and more-than-immediate, precise and generously accommodating. – david kellogg