Singapore’s Favorite Poem

Jess C. Scott, author, artist and general non-conformist, nominates as her favorite Singapore poem “Lovers” by Tania De Rozario. Scott writes, “To me, it thoroughly captures that moment of absolute realization that a person deserves better in a relationship–that their own self-respect is more valuable than whether they are being (superficially) loved. Furthermore, the poem is part of a 100-edition, hand-made artist book titled Leaving: Tutorials on How & When. The Indiegogo campaign for the book states that funders are backing “a creative initiative not bound to commercial or institutional support.” How cool is that?”


#2 Lovers

It was over when she asked me
to change: not as a person, but out of
the dress that I was wearing. We were
going to lunch: could I please put on

something nice? I knew it was over
not because I fought back but because
I obeyed: I stop fighting once I stop
caring, and once I slipped out

of that dress, I slipped out of her grasp.
The next three months she spent picking
fights, I spent unpicking us. This meant
that when we finally split, the threads

came apart with ease. I went back
to my dress, she went back to dating
people who agree that the clothes
on your body reflect what you embody.

My taste has since improved.


by Tania De Rozario, from Leaving: Tutorials on How & When


Tania De Rozario Photo 3


Tania De Rozario is an artist, writer and curator interested in issues of gender and sexuality. She is the author of Tender Delirium (Math Paper Press: 2013) and co-founder of EtiquetteSG, a multidisciplinary platform focused on developing and showcasing art, writing and film by women. She is also a co-editor of Body Boundaries (The Literary Centre: 2014), an anthology featuring poetry and prose by 28 woman writers. Winner of the 2011 SPH-NAC Golden Point Award for English Poetry, Tania is a literary alumna of Hedgebrook (USA) and Sangam House (India). Her words can be found in journals and anthologies such as the Prairie Schooner Fusion Archives, theSanta Fe Writers ProjectSoftblowMoving Words Poetry JournalQuarterly Literary Review Singapore, and GASPP: A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry & Prose.  As a visual artist, her work has been shown in Singapore, The Netherlands, the USA and Spain. She is also an Associate Artist with The Substation, Singapore’s oldest independent contemporary arts centre. On the side, Tania freelances as an art-writer and adjunct educator; she facilitates drawing workshops on a regular basis and teaches Contemporary Contextual Studies at Lasalle College of Arts. She is currently working on her second book.

About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.


  1. datta2014

    Apart from the cute narrative it is taking ,the following lines are quite impressive I like these lines.

    came apart with ease. I went back
    to my dress, she went back to dating
    people who agree that the clothes
    on your body reflect what you embody.

    My taste has since improved.
    with regards


  2. Thanks, datta2014, for your comment.


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