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Squills 12/20/21 - 12/27/21



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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:13 pm
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Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!
What will you find here? Tons of interesting news about YWS, including but not limited to: articles about writing, art, and the world of humanities; interviews with YWS members; shameless plugs; link round-ups; and opinionated columns.
And where will all of this come from? Take a look at our fantastic creative staff!

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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:14 pm
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: WAYWARDXWALLFLOWER
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written by Liminality< PM: >

In February of this year, @waywardxwallflower joined the YWS community, and things have been brighter since. On September 20th, they were selected as the Featured Member for their strong reviewing and activity. They are known on the site for their positive and encouraging reviews, as well as their thoughtful poems, one of which, Petrichor , was recently discussed at the Poetry Readers’ Club.

Squills: Hey there! A belated congrats on becoming FM! Squills, the YWS news, does a column interviewing the current featured member. I was wondering if you'd be up to answering a few questions?


waywardxwallflower: Of course!! Thanks bruv :)

S: Great to hear! What was your reaction when you found out you were FM?


W: At first I was very surprised; I didn't feel like I'd done all that much to earn it. But looking over the post that was made, I was really happy and excited that I'd been noticed and recognized for something I did.

S: Yes, that is a great feeling to have! After reading that post, what did you think or realise could have earned you FM?


W: I posted a few works that month and got literary spotlight a couple of times, and I earned my third star. I hadn't realized I'd done all of this until I saw the post

S: Wow, those are great achievements! Would you say the Literary Center is your favourite part of the site? If not, what is?


W: I actually really love the points system; it ensures that everyone who wants to post genuinely involves themselves in the society and gives advice and guidance to others.

S: You're right about that, for sure. Finally, do you have any advice for YWS-ers who might want to be FM in the future?


W: The contributing factors to mine were writing a lot of reviews and gaining another star, so that's likely a good place to start :)

S: That's wonderful advice! Thank you so much for your time, and congratulations once again on FM.


If you have not already, join us in congratulating wayward in this thread or on their wall !




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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:15 pm
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FUN AND GAMES: WORD SEARCH EDITION
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written by alliyah < PM: >

Sometimes as writers we spend a lot of time looking for *just* the perfect word for our work! This week I've got all the words for you, but you have to find where they are! That's right! I've made a YWS Word Search for you to try out. After making the Bingo Game for last month's Squills edition I thought this would be fun to do. Please tell me if you actually tried or enjoyed this, so I know whether to keep up with this column or not. And if you manage to find all 21 words (and circle them in a screenshot or something) I'll send you 200 points.

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Good luck!




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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:16 pm
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PANTOUM AND PANTUN: A FORM ADAPTED
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written by Liminality< PM: >

Poetry Foundation describes the pantoum as a poem where the second and fourth lines of one stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next. The pantoum is a structure adapted from the Malay pantun. But have you ever wondered how similar the two of them really are? Let’s find out.

Our story begins with the pantun, a form that originated in Malay-speaking regions such as modern-day Indonesia and Malaysia. Pantun have an ABAB rhyme scheme, and usually have four lines to a poem. [8] These lines are divided into two halves. The first two lines usually depict an image, often a natural image, while the second two lines carry the message of the pantun. [7] The technical terms for these are pembayang/sampiran and isi, respectively. Pantun are attested at earliest in the Hikayat Hang Tuah, a traditional Malay epic, and in Sejarah Melayu (the Malay Annals) which was written around 1612. [9]

Here is an example of a popular pantun. [7] There is no author stated, because many pantun are a lot like folk tales - no one knows where exactly they came from. This pantun was used as an example in the UNESCO nomination video for pantun. [8]

    Pisang emas dibawa belayar, A
    Masak sebiji di atas peti; B
    Hutang emas boleh dibayar, A
    Hutang budi dibawa mati. B

This is my attempt at an English translation:

    The fig bananas are brought to sea, A
    one fruit ripens atop its container; B
    A payable debt is one of money, A
    unpayable is the debt of a favour. B

In this pantun, the first two lines describe a type of banana native to Southeast Asia. The Malay name pisang emas actually translates to 'golden banana', but an English equivalent name of the fruit is fig banana. The second two lines convey a moral message about the weight of a good deed done for someone else.

We need to note that the history of the pantoum is unfortunately marred by orientalism, a certain mode of thinking that is ‘othering’ of people that live around the geographic East. Some aspects of orientalism that were relevant in the inception of the pantoum were textualism and selectiveness. That means the orientalists who brought the pantun to Europe only focused on certain aspects of the culture they were studying, ignoring what did not suit their own tastes, and also made the assumption that texts alone could inform them about the culture rather than listening to local voices. [6] We can see how that plays out in the following.

In the 19th century, the Anglo-Dutch Treaty supported the French translations of two major works: Grammar of the Malayan Language by W.D. Marsden and The History of Java by Thomas Stamford Raffles. [9] Marsden included a few pantun in their book, which was later taken by the orientalist Ernest Fouinet, who brought a copy to the writer Victor Hugo. [3] You might recognise him as the man who wrote Les Misérables.

Hugo wrote Notes des Orientales, in which he published Ernest Fouinet’s French translation of a Malay pantun berkait, [3] which can be read here , along with Marsden’s English translation.[4] I’ve quoted a short segment below for illustration, with the rhyme schemes and refrains marked in.

    Butterflies sport on the wing around, A
    They fly to the sea by the reef of rocks. B
    My heart has felt uneasy in my breast, A
    From former days to the present hour. B

    They fly to the sea by the reef of rocks. B
    The vulture wings its flight to Bandan. C
    From former days to the present hour, B
    Many youths have I admired. C

This publication resulted in the popularity of pantun among the French, European and American public. The change in name from pantun to pantoum appears to have been a mistake made in transcription or spelling, where in the ‘n’ was swapped for an ‘m’. [9] The pantun berkait seems to have been the main inspiration for the pantoum, [3] as opposed to the four-line form more common in Malaysia and Indonesia. [8]

Within the sphere that pantun originated from, multiple scholars emphasise the importance of the meaning of a pantun. [see for instance, Mustofa and Andriani] The UNESCO website for intangible heritage gives some examples of the Malay cultural values inscribed within pantun: “restraint, respect, kindness and humility”. [8]

The pantoum, on the other hand, does not adhere to the same thematic rules. Pantoum are defined mostly by their structure, as can be seen in this Reader’s Digest article and the Poetry Foundation definition of the form.

Structurally, the pantoum also does not have the same division between pembayang/sampiran and isi, and some pantoum do not utilise the ABAB rhyme scheme typical of pantun. For instance, “Harmonie du soir” by Charles Baudelaire has an ABBA rhyme scheme instead. The lack of pembayang also means that the poem handles its subject matter more directly than a Malay pantun would. [3]

Nevertheless, the pantoum as its own, separate form has inspired many poets. Modern pantoum often do not repeat entire lines, but repeat chunks of lines, as can be seen in 'pantoum for aiyana & not a single hashtag' by Aurielle Marie and in 'A Painter's Thoughts' by John Yau. These poems also embody certain values, in the first case, moral ones, and in the second, aesthetic ones. This makes them similar to the traditional pantoum. (Please note that the first poem alludes to gun violence and contains some visceral imagery.)

Has the pantoum become an independent enough form, despite its past? Feel free to let us know what you think on my Author Page. You can also read some pantoum by YWS-ers here . Meanwhile, the pantun has been inscribed as intangible heritage attributed to two countries, Indonesia and Malaysia, as of 2020. [8] You can watch the UNESCO nomination video for this form, which includes pantun recitals from many countries where pantun culture is indigenous. [7] Who knows? Maybe you’ll be next to try your hand at writing a Malay-style pantun.


References

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[1] Andriani, Tuti. 2012. Pantun Dalam Kehidupan Melayu (Pendekatan historis dan antropologis). Jurnal Sosial Budaya Vol. 9 No. 2. Juli-Desember. http://ejournal.uin-suska.ac.id/index.p ... ew/383/365

[2] Barrère, J. (2021, May 18). Victor Hugo. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Victor-Hugo

[3] Mustofa, Andi. 2020. PANTUN: JEJAK TRADISI LISAN BANGSA MELAYU DI PRANCIS. Sosial Budaya, Volume 17, Nomor 01, Juni 2020, pp. 56 – 63. http://ejournal.uin-suska.ac.id/index.p ... /view/7967

[4] Heer, Nicholas. 2008. A Famous Pantun from Marsden's Malayan Grammar: https://digital.lib.washington.edu/rese ... /1773/4880

[5] Poetry Foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/ ... ms/pantoum

[6] Rameez, Aboobacker. 2015. Orientalism in the post-colonial context: A study in relation to Malay-Muslim in Singapore.
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... _Singapore

[7] UNESCO. 2020. Pantun. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEIyJFX3m8k

[8] UNESCO. 2020. Pantun – Intangible Heritage – Culture Sector – UNESCO. https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/pantun-01613

[9] Voisset, Georges. (1997). Histoire du Genre Pantoun. Paris: L‟Harmattan. (as cited in Mustofa's article)




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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:16 pm
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: RANDOMTALKS
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written by Liberty < PM: >

This is late, but @RandomTalks deserves a special interview on Squills just like any other. <3 They joined YWS at the beginning of this year, in March. It hasn’t even been that long since they’ve joined, and they already have 328 reviews down, with 5 whole stars under their belt, which is so cool! They were apart of the YWS Olympics this year and actually won gold in one of the events. And I got the chance to interview them about their experiences!

Squills: Heya~ I'm a reporter for Squills and was wondering if you wanted to get an interview done regarding your experiences as featured member! c:

RandomTalks: Sure!

S: Awesome, first question, what do you think got you this wonderful position of FM?

R: To be honest, I myself was wondering the same question at the time. But then that I really thought about it, I realized I have been pretty active on the site since July. I have been reviewing consistently, I am close to finishing Team Tortoise this month and I participated in the Writing Olympics. That has to be it, I guess.

S: Oh of course, yes, for sure! What was your favorite event out of all the ones you mentioned (or haven't mentioned)?

R: I really enjoyed participating in Team Tortoise and reading all the wonderful stories that people have shared, but I have to say that the Olympics were the best. There were so many events and everyone could participate in something or the other. My personal favorite was the second event!

S: The Olympics were fun for sure! Going back to the topic of FMs (I forgot to ask this earlier) what was your initial reaction to when you found out you were FM?

R: To be honest, it took me an embarrassingly long time to actually understand why my screen was suddenly blowing up with all these notification. But then it actually sunk in and I spent the rest of the day grinning like an idiot and telling everybody around, even though they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

S: Aww haha that's awesome!! If someone were to ask you for advice on how to become an FM, what would you tell them?

R: Well, all I can say is that you have to participate. YWS is all about about partipation and contribution. So just be yourself, spread your joy around and always try to contribute in whatever way you can.

S: And now, before I wrap up this interview, do you have anything else to say, or any shout-outs to make?

R: Not really. If I had to thank anybody, then it would be everyone over here at the YWS community who share their wonderful stories, spread their love and knowledge and help us become better writers.

S: Aw, that's sweet! That's it with this interview, thanks so much for participating & your patience! <3

R: It was my honor really!!

Have a great day! :D


If you want to check out RandomTalk’s FM announcement thread, then you can find that here !




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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:17 pm
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2021 HOLIDAY EVENTS
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written by alliyah < PM: >

Hey holiday folks! It's December, {depending on when this Squills edition gets posted} and you know what that means! YWS is filled with all the Holiday Activities to participate in. So I thought I'd give a quick summary of what's going on, so that you know all the latest happening around town.

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is driving around and looking at the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations outside, and on YWS it's no different! Many people take the opportunity in December to "Holidayify" their avatar. Personally my classic Avvie-A is now featuring a santa hat, but there are many options from snow to tinsel that can be added. And if you need a little help in the design-department, @Spearmint is actually drawing personalized holiday avatars this year! And judging by the first few that are out, they're super cute, definitely check it out! Draw Me A Holiday Avatar

If you like giving and recieving gifts, you're in luck this year because YWS has two opportunities for you! The first is the classic Secret Santa ran by @IcyFlame and @Liminality where you sign-up with some of your site interests and then get paired out to give a gift to another user, and then the second option is one I'm excited to run called The WORST Gift Exchange the idea with the worst gift exchange is you try to give funny / bad gifts to the person you're matched up with. So if the person you are paired with hates capital letters in poetry you Could Consider Giving a Poem where Every Other word is Capitalized. xD It's fun!

We've got a couple ~reflective~ activities for you that @Seirre is hosting for us this year. First we've got New Year Resolutions to make some goals for the next year and then we've got Yearbook so that you can reflect on this last year. Both are YWS-classics and a good way to finish up the year! I always enjoy reading my previous year's resolutions and reflections and seeing what all has happened.

Another YWS-classic that is back for another year is The YWS Best & Most Awards here we can finally come to a consensus about just which YWSer is Most Chaotic, Who is the Egg, and Which YWSer is most likely to accidentally step into an alternate universe ... These are a lot of fun to reflect on all the interesting people on YWS and figure out who fits which category best. Definitely check this one out too!

If you're looking for another activity to interact with the YWS community in, you should definitely jump into the YWS Wonderland Tagbook ran by @SilverNight and @HarryHardy! So far I know that I've been running around with chickens in it, but I'm not sure the rest of the plot. Breeze through the posts that have been posted before and dive right into the snow, the only requirement is try to tag as many friends and possible into the post, the more, the merrier!

Looking for a little competition this season? Why not check out the Holiday Senryu Contest that @Liminality is running this year. If you're not sure what a Senyru is, it's a fairly simple poetry form, that's really easy to learn and is explained right in the contest post, so even if you've not written one before you should definitely take a try!

Last, but not least, a few years ago @AvantCoffee started a little friendly challenge or invitation to fill up the people tab with music during the holiday season with the tag #ChristmasCover. Choose a winter jingle, or a favorite Christmas Carol and join right in! No need to have something super polished, the idea is just to spread a little holiday cheer and share your singing or instrumental playing. I hope you join!

And that's all we've got so far at the time this article is being written! It looks like it will be a full December! Have a great holiday season! :santa:




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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:18 pm
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SHAMELESS PLUGS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

We love to run articles and questions, but we also love to advertise for you. Let people know about your new blog, a poem or story you’re looking for reviews on, or a forum thread you’d like more traffic on through Squills’ Shameless Plugs. PM @SquillsBot with the exact formatting of your advertisement, contained in the following code.

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Send us yours~!




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Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:20 pm
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SUBSCRIBERS
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I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
— Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom