Blue Mosque

Request

By Muhammad Yamin, 1921

Listening to the waves close to me
Pounding to the left and to the right
Chanting their charity-filled song
Awakened is longing for the place of my birth.

To my side over in the East
Shrouded in cloud-billowed skies
Appears the island full of marvels
That assuredly is the country of my birth.

Wherever the sea may pound and crash
And arrive seething on the sand
That is where my soul, first was cast forth.

Wherever the waves may spraying writhe
Wetting the coast of the isle of the Barisan range
That is the place please, lay me to rest.

On the Indian ocean, June 1921

padang

Padang city, West Sumatra


Request (Permintaan) 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.

Homeland

By Muhammad Yamin, 1920

maninjau-view

On the barrier, the Barisan range,
I gaze down, looking down I behold;
Spread out dense jungles and valleys;
And charming rice fields, winding rivers;
And then more, I also behold,
The green sky exchanging colors
With forest crown, palm leafed jungles;
That is the land, my homeland
Sumatra its name, my beloved birth country.

As far as the eye can see, nothing but forests,
Mountains and hills, bestrewn with valleys;
Far in the distance, over there,
Hemmed in by mountains one by one
There is none other than a heaven,
Not a second perfect earth
– But Eden of the Malays above the world!
That is the country which I love,
Sumatra its name, which I honor.

On the barrier, the Barisan range,
Looking down on beautiful beaches and bays;
Stretching water, endless water,
None other the ocean, the Indian ocean.
There visible the waves, multitudes of waves
Breaking onto the sands, then spreading out,
They thunder, as if proclaiming:
“Oh Andalas, isle of Sumatra,
Make sweet the name, from north to south!”

Bogor, July 1920

Ngarai Sianok

Ngarai Sianok


Homeland (Tanah Air) was first published in Indonesian in the Dutch-language journal Jong Sumatra : organ van den Jong Sumatranen Bond, Batavia, 1920 No. 4. 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. 5.

Sumatra

Buffalo Shepherd

anak gembala

By Muhammad Yamin, 1921

Who would not be deeply moved
To see a small child singing
Alone in the middle of a field
No shirt, nothing on his head.

Thus is the fate of the buffalo shepherd
Shading under, a wooden shelter;
After leaving the stable at dawn
Only heading for home at sunset.

Not far away, softly audible
I can make out the sound of the Minang oboe
Conjuring nature, beautiful and melodious.

Oh shepherd, in an ocean of green
When it hears your oboe, your buffalo will follow
How I want to follow you too.


Song of joy.......... by dewan irawan on 500px.com

Song of Joy By Dewan Irawan

Buffalo Shepherd (Gembala) was first published in Indonesian in the Dutch-language journal Jong Sumatra : organ van den Jong Sumatranen Bond, Batavia, April-May 1921. It was republished in Pane, Armijn (ed), Sandjak-Sandjak Muda Mr. Muhammad Yamin, Firma Rada, Djakarta, 1954, p. 10 and again in Jassin, H. B., Pujangga baru : prosa dan puisi/dikumpulkan dengan disertai kata pengantar oleh H.B. Jassin  [Pujangga Baru : prose and poetry/collected and accompanied by an introduction by H.B. Jassin] Haji Masagung, Jakarta,  1987, p. 323.

Sunset

Early Morning

By Muhammad Yamin, 1921

Fiery sunset still glows wondrously,
Saddening the majestic stars;
Becomes dim then the light is gone,
Rising and setting since time immemorial.

Dawn in the east arrives fiercely,
Spreading jewels all over the world;
Radiant bright as rare pearls,
Variety of colors, sparkling.

Slowly and gloriously,
Gradually rises the sun;
Illuminating the earth with beauty.

All the flowers spread their perfume,
The blooms are open, a splendorous array;
Covered in dew, beading the branches.


First published in Indonesian in the Dutch language journal Jong Sumatra : organ van den Jong Sumatranen Bond, Batavia, June 1921 via Pujangga Baru II/9, March 1935. Republished in Jassin, H. B.  Pujangga baru : prosa dan puisi / dikumpulkan dengan disertai kata pengantar oleh H.B. Jassin  [Pujangga Baru : prose and poetry / collected and accompanied by an introduction by H.B. Jassin] Haji Masagung, Jakarta,  1987, p. 327.


Image care of Wanderlust East Java, Private Travel Agency for Nature Tourism in East Java Indonesia.

Sumatra

Love

By Muhammad Yamin, 1921

I often laze about, deep in thought,
Watching the sky aglow,
Vaguely visible, joyful,
Sweeping all away, my contemplative thoughts.

What is there to say, what does the future hold?
Weak is my heart, without any strength,
Watching the stars shining gloriously,
Far atop the mountains.

Oh God of all nature,
What is the point of being here,
Worrying about my lot, after night has fallen?

The stars are shining now and it is dark,
Leaving me sitting here like this
Longing for love . . . leave me here to drown in my thoughts.


Based on and adapted from the work of Keith Foulcher (“Perceptions of Modernity and the Sense of the Past: Indonesian Poetry in the 1920s.” Indonesia, no. 23, 1977, pp. 39–58. www.jstor.org/stable/3350884.) First published in Indonesian in the Dutch language journal Jong Sumatra : organ van den Jong Sumatranen Bond, Batavia, June 1921.

Mount Bromo Savanna

The Rustle of the Ulla Grass

By M. Adil, 1935

Ulla grass, I often listen to your whistling rustle,
If the soft wind swirls around you;
Your heads lowered as if in homage,
You bow singing of grief which cuts the heart;

While shivering grips your long stems
Straight and bowed declaring your praise –
          Completely pervading my conscience,
Because your song makes an agreement with my sorrow.

          In the shade I often lazing sit
Gazing at the waves which gently undulate,
Escorting the song of your sighing siren leaves
Serene, at peace, unperturbed
I recede me into a wave of ecstasy
Into your oneness mystic soaring oblivious to time,
          Caught in the stream as if in a dream,
          Prostrate to intercede for God’s mercy divine.


Desau Pimping, From Panji Pusaka via Pujangga Baru II/9, March 1935. Republished in Jassin, H. B.  Pujangga baru : prosa dan puisi / dikumpulkan dengan disertai kata pengantar oleh H.B. Jassin  [Pujangga Baru : prose and poetry / collected and accompanied by an introduction by H.B. Jassin] Haji Masagung Jakarta  1987, p. 34.

Images: Themeda gigantea (Cav.) Hackel ex Duthie [as Anthistiria gigantea Cav.]   Cavanilles, A.J., Icones et descriptiones plantarum, vol. 5: t. 458 (1799) [A.J. Cavanilles]  Drawing: A.J. Cavanilles  http://plantillustrations.org/illustration.php?id_illustration=240997; Bromo Midnight Tour and Travel; Savanna Valley, Whispering Desert Mount Bromo