Posts tagged ‘Post Consumeralism’

April 7, 2011

The Earth is Calling Out

by kristiemendoza

A pleasant read that unites language play with lyrical reflection on the late consumerist background is found in Rita Wong’s Forage. It is clear that Wong has observed everything to seem materialistic in this moment of time, so in her collection of poems, we instantaneously wonder about questions of labour exploitation, provision in this age of globalization, and the stress that has cumulated on profit limitations.

Given the catastrophes of the international economics, the current discussions regarding global warming, and the broadening difference between the rich and poor of society, Wong’s work uncannily seems almost psychic. While being part of a growing Asian-Canadian poetry community, her collection powerfully speaks to them. Korean and Chinese characters come up on the page to interrupt a single semantic reading that was being experienced. The lyrics break up into different parts all throughout the text which holds a more dynamic prose in poetry.

Wong writes about the elegy for a Korean activist who killed himself while protesting the World Trade Organizations polices in “for Lee Kyung Hae Korean farmer martyred in Cancun.” The characters for Lee’s name has been widely apprehended as a racial politic instead of an ethnic politic. Wong poses with an interethnic thought through “WTO/smashes rice farmers/into the enduring/earth” (62). She brings us back to Canada by “biking down the august streets of vancouver I find my pride at powell street” (72). The shift between Asian culture and Canadian culture is outstanding.

Her attention towards other cultures is a way of thinking about diversity and the encouragement of change is greatly invigorating. Rita Wong is an exceedingly brilliant writer who is able to create meaning against each other in juxtaposition. This collection would be appropriate for any course on contemporary poetics in literature.

Word Count: 292

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