Tag Archives: Sejarah

Poem of an Old Person Under a Tree

Poem of an Old Person Under a Tree

By WS Rendra

This is my poem,
an old person standing under this barren tree,
holding both hands behind my back,
and in my mouth a clove cigarette that’s dead.

I behold the age.
I see the state of the economy
in shop windows full of foreign brands,
and the terrible roads between villages
that doesn’t allow any interaction.
I see looting and decay.
I spit on the ground.

I stand at the front of a police station.
I see the bloodied face of a demonstrator.
I see the lawless violence.
And one long road,
full of dust,
full of feral cats,
full of children with scabies,
full of awful terrifying soldiers.

I walk following the sun,
down the byways of the history of development,
that are dirty and full of deceit.
I hear someone say:
“Human rights are not the same everywhere.
Here, to maintain a good climate for development,
political freedoms must be limited.
To overcome poverty
requires the sacrifice of some basic rights.”
My God, what bullshit is this!

Do they think a fart can substitute for a sense of justice?
In this country basic rights are reduced,
in fact to defend the established and the rich.
Workers, farmers, fishers, journalists and students,
are made powerless.

Oh, falsehood that has been deified,
how far can you resist the reality of life.

I hear the roar of the traffic.
I hear the theatre of trials.
I hear the news.
Urban guerrillas running wild in Europe.
A businessman who was a stooge of the fascists,
a hard man who opposed the workers,
was kidnapped and murdered
by a group of people who are angry.

I gaze at the sunset at the harbor.
My feet are aching,
and the cigarette in my mouth is out again.
I see blood in the sky.
Yes! Yes! Violence has begun to entrance people.
The powerful are everywhere pressing.
The angry have begun to bring out weapons.
Bastards are opposed with bastardry.
Yes! This is now the possibility starting to attract people.
If the courts don’t prosecute the official bastards,
then the street bastards are going to be put on trial.
So what says the conscience of humanity?
Who has created this state of emergency?
Do people have to copy the behavior of the official bastards?
If not, why are the official bastards not prosecuted?
What says the conscience of humanity?

Oh, Sunset that blazes!
Brief but thrilling the soul!
Then soon people look for the moon and the stars!

Oh, pictures that are passing!
Because the air over the people is oppressive,
and the air outside is awash with the shimmering twilight,
so conscience is poisoned by deception.
Yes! Yes! I am an old person!
I am tired but haven’t given up the ghost yet.
I stand now at a crossroads.
I feel like my body has become a dog.
My soul still toils to write this poetry.
As a member of humanity.

Pejambon, 23 October 1977
A Picture of Development in Poetry

 


Poem of an Old Person Under a Tree (Sajak Orang Tua Di Bawah Pohon), State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978.

Poem of a Young Woman and Her Boss

Poem of a Young Woman and Her Boss

By W. S. Rendra

Do not just grab me any way you feel like it.
It’s pretty clear to me where this is going.
I am no seer,
but I can obviously already see
what this hug means…

Fuck the education I got.
I was taught maths, typing, foreign language, deportment, and administration,
But they forgot to teach me:
If I’m grabbed from behind by the boss,
how should I react then!

Do not grab me any way you feel like it.
Not even my boyfriend dares to be as bold as that.
I can pretty clearly see what your goal is, mister.
When you elbow my tits,
I know what that means……

They taught me to hate sin
but they forgot to teach me
how to find work.
They taught me a lifestyle
whose products do not come from nature.
Taught me to need things that are produced by the bosses,
and controlled by the bosses.
Make-up accessories, air conditioners, synthetic vitamins, tonics, every kind of soda, and school certificates.
Education tided me to their markets, and to their capital.

And now, now that I’m an adult,
where else am I going to run to,
if not to the world of the bosses?

Do not grab me, mister, any way you feel like it.
I’m no academic
but I pretty much know
that all the work on my desk
is going to head in that direction.
Don’t, mister, don’t!
Do not grab me any way you feel like it.
Ah. Oh no.
The money you’re sliding inside my bra, mister,
is my education certificate.
Ah. Yes.
That’s how it is.
You grab me so confidently, mister.
Your fat belly
is pressing against my stomach.
Your fowl mouth
is kissing my mouth.
You do all of this
like it’s all normal, mister.
Every person in the community is helping you.
They grab both my legs.
And they force my thighs open
as you climb on top of my body, mister.

Yogya, 10 July 1975


Poem of a Young Woman and Her Boss (Sajak Gadis dan Majikan), State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978, p. 30.

 

Poem of a Scrap of Paper 1

Poem of a Scrap of Paper 1

By Emha Ainun Nadjib

A novelist, in Europe
paid a political group
in an African country
to stage a coup d’état.
The novelist carefully noted
every aspect of the process of replacing those in power
and wrote about it in a famous novel
which was marketed and produced
more than the cost of the coup.
And you, sipping on your coffee
in some little food stall
after witnessing a fight between
pedicab drivers and minivan drivers
say bluntly:
Ah, why isn’t the novelist interested
in countries in Asia!
Then you laugh to yourself, and grumble
Why have we come to the point
where a nightmare about blood
has become the only dream
that feels beautiful?

Yogya, 13 March 1982


www.caknun.com

Journal Article: Diplomatic Desperation of a Small State

Indonesia and the Malay World:

Raja Bersiong or the Fanged King

The abject of Kedah’s geopolitical insecurity

By Tan Zi Hao tanzihao@gmail.com

“Raja Bersiong, the Fanged King, is a cannibal monarch in the Kedah epic literature Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (HMM). By looking closely into the character of Raja Bersiong, this article examines the underlying ambition of the Kedah Sultanate in commissioning the HMM as a rhetorical statement of power, presumably around the early 19th century. By the late 18th century, Siamese predation had greatly destabilised Kedah. Lacking military capacity to deny Siamese suzerainty, Kedah plunged into double-dealing: through writing, the HMM downplays Siamese power by masking Kedah’s subordinate status to Siam as a relation of kin, and by considering Siam as an offshoot of Kedah’s royal legacy. Adopting an approach informed by Hendrik Maier, this article interprets the HMM as an ambiguous text that alludes to the diplomatic desperation of a small state. Such critical lens enables a more complex understanding of court writing as a historical source. In the face of geopolitical insecurity, Raja Bersiong figures as the abject, the symbolic surrogate for Siam to be expelled from Kedah, embodying a dialectics between Kedah and Siam, self and other, civility and savagery.”

Read more at Indonesia and the Malay World: Raja Bersiong or the Fanged King, The abject of Kedah’s geopolitical insecurity, By Tan Zi Hao tanzihao@gmail.com

Featured image credit: Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa 10 stars!!! by Siqah Hussin

Journal Article: Qur’anic readings and Malay translation in 18th-century Banten Qur’ans A.51 and W.277

“This article examines two copies of the Qur’an from 18th-century Banten, A.51 and W.277, that contain interlinear Malay translation, focusing on two aspects, i.e. Qur’anic readings and Malay translation, to reveal Qur’anic pedagogical practices in the region…”

(2020). Qur’anic readings and Malay translation in 18th-century Banten Qur’ans A.51 and W.277. Indonesia and the Malay World. Ahead of Print.

Read more at: Qur’anic readings and Malay translation in 18th-century Banten Qur’ans A.51 and W.277