Second Persons by Aaron Maniam
Never one to shy away from the 'deeper questions that [give] us gravity', Aaron Maniam opens fresh ground in this long-awaited second collection, scouring new worlds and old wounds for what is mythic, lasting, and transcendental. Within these pages, two beloved cities of the mind and heart form a secret geography where language can do its rare work of 'love, razing then raising / itself' - and speak directly to our 'quiet places'. We read and hunger; we read and are full.
Theophilus Kwek, author of They Speak Only Our Mother Tongue (2011), Circle Line (2013) and Giving Ground (2016)
“words/Are close to everything we have” reads “Amelia to Adam”. By turns elegiac and sincerely tender, luminous and precise, Second Persons by Aaron Maniam is a moving meditation on relationships, religion, and the hum and fabric of a poetically lived life.
Sharlene Teo, Author of Ponti and winner of the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writers' Award
This is the work of a wise and virtuous poet who shares with the world his experience of the whole gamut of loves from eros to agape in verses that are graceful and true. He exemplifies here his advice to generations of mentees to “[c]larify into a slowly legible sign” with crisp imagery that provides “words for the wordless.” We are most grateful for his latest gift.
Eric Tinsay Valles, poet, educator and director of the Poetry Festival (Singapore)
This collection finds the shape of nostalgia intimately nestled in the everyday tempo of love, family, religion and travel. With disciplined form and gentle imagery, familiar topics are explored in disarming ways, stringing together an atmospheric sense of the linear. Larger philosophical considerations are refined into observations of the mundane, illuminating not just Aaron’s own personal history, but also situating the search in his poetry within a larger question: how do we know what we’re going to lose, before we’ve lost it? The collection's fresh answers to this question produce a bracingly introspective experience, leading the way through with clarity and affection.
Nurul Amillin Hussain, Author of Beef