Cars at Tjililitan Airfield at Batavia (circa) 1930

Ambition

By Muhammad Yamin

Night has fallen, cool and still
The breeze is so gentle and soft;
The ocean heaves, murmuring quietly
The smooth surface glistening and glinting.

Outstretched hands reach into the night air
Unsteadily withdrawn, by a heart without joy
Because of the “wish”, remembered so often
So brilliantly, beyond words.

Every star shines brightly
This body of mine is finally aware
The longed for is reaching through nobility.

Who can doubt, who can not believe
That we are guided always
By God, the Lord so rich?

On the Indian Ocean, June 1921

Gezicht over Tandjong Priok, de haven van Batavia
Gezicht over Tandjong Priok, de haven van Batavia  Deze foto is genomen vanaf het spoorwegstation van de Staatsspoorwegen (SS) in de haven Tandjong Priok bij Batavia (Jakarta). Rechts is de “Eerste Binnenhaven” te zien.

The Ambition (Tjita-Tjita) was first published in Indonesian in the Dutch-language journal Jong Sumatra : organ van den Jong Sumatranen Bond, Batavia, June 1921. It was republished in Pane, Armijn (ed), Sandjak-Sandjak Muda Mr. Muhammad Yamin [The Young Poems of Mr. Muhammad Yamin], Firma Rada, Djakarta, 1954, p. 6.

Other background that may of interest includes: Abdullah, Taufik. and Cornell University. Modern Indonesia Project.  Schools and politics : the Kaum Muda movement in West Sumatra (1927-1933) / Taufik Abdullah  Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, Cornell University Ithaca, N.Y  1971  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7822864-schools-and-politics; Yamin, Muhammad. Tan Malacca, Bapak Republik Indonesia: Riwajat-politik Seorang Pengandjoer Revolusionér Jang Berfikir, Berdjoeang Dan Menderita Membentoek Negara Republik Indonesia. Djakarta: Berita Indonesia, 1946. Print.

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