Renowned Thai poet and artist Angkarn Kalayanapong has recently passed away at age 86 after a long struggle with heart disease and diabetes. Angkarn Kalayanapong was born in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat and graduated from the faculty of painting, sculpture, and graphic arts at Silpakorn University. He was to go on to be considered one of Thailand’s most prominent contemporary poets receiving the award of National Artist in 1989. The award which was established in 1985 provides for funeral expenses as well as monies for a memorial biography which should be forthcoming.
The name Angkarn means Tuesday, the planet Mars, charcoal, and ashes so it is fitting that as a prolific artist, his delicate works with charcoal often provided a unique counter balance to his somewhat rough poems.
The obituary in The Nation quotes athe artist as saying,
Poets, first of all, are supposed to be free and love fellow human beings, We are not supposed to take anyone in as a master simply because that person pays us…
Poets were not ordinary people. Since we are born as poets, we have to dedicate our life and soul to it. You give your all to nothing else but poetry. As a poet, your heart is not like the ordinary. If you are a poet, your heart is a poet. Poetry is so important.
It’s like you’re losing your way on Mars, and then you find a glass of water. It has charming qualities. It’s like our spirit has experienced the universe for a long time before. Poetry is food for the heart. It is ‘the vitamin’ for the soul.