Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Poetry has now become something extraordinary; it has now become a weapon"

National laureate probed over 'seditious poem'. (27/6/2011) "Poetry has now become something extraordinary; it has now become a weapon," he told a throng of journalists jostling to hear the soft-spoken man.



Unggun Bersih

Semakin lara kita didera bara—
kita laungkan juga pesan merdeka:
Demokrasi sebenderang mentari
sehasrat hajat semurni harga diri.

Lama resah kita—demokrasi luka;
lama duka kita—demokrasi lara.
Demokrasi yang angkuh, kita cemuhi;
suara bebas yang utuh, kita idami!

Dua abad lalu Sam Adams berseru:
(di Boston dijirus teh ke laut biru):
Tak diperlu gempita sorak yang gebu,
diperlu hanya unggun api yang syahdu.

Kini menyalalah unggun sakti itu;
kini merebaklah nyala unggun itu.


--

24—25, 6.11. A. Samad Said, Malaysia's national laureate.
Listen to our dear poet's recital (with guitar accompaniment!) here.
An English translation has been attempted here.

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