Works (in English)


A collection of works originally published in English.

Mar 15, 2010

On Goenawan Mohamad’s Poems

by Laksmi Pamuntjak
Even in the salad days of his career, Goenawan’s lyric poems – a genre which one normally associates with youth – were already shot through with the melancholy of age. And subsequently – whether in the restrained aesthetic of the poet’s response to the socialist experiment in Indonesia in the 1960s, in the burning fire of his eight-year tryst with eroticism in the first part of the 1990s, in the brief compulsive, image-chasing period of the short prose poem and the interior monologue of the early millennium, or in the sturdy austerity of the last six years – there is always that singular aloneness: a leitmotif that hints at its faith in Plotinus’ notion of poetry, “the flight of the alone to the alone”. And so these poems often anticipate their own failures and tragedies, refusing to linger on beauty, let alone hope. They are the poems of submerged desire, the sum of an ironic age.
Mar 15, 2010

A Poem in Its Becoming…

by Goenawan Mohamad
Goenawan Mohamad's opening speech at the World Poetry Festival, Kuala Lumpur, 17 August 2004. I would like to thank you for having me here, in this extraordinary gathering of poets, and for giving me the honour to begin our conversation. However, I must confess my nervousness; I know that each time poets get together they become acutely self-conscious of their peculiar trade, especially in today’s world. When words relentlessly multiply, like they do nowadays, the verbal deluge makes us wonder what will happen next to the hidden side of language, which is silence.
Mar 15, 2010

A Brief Introduction to Indonesian Poetry

by Hasif Amini
For better or worse, there is only modern Indonesian poetry – and what comes after. There is no such thing as medieval Indonesian poetry, for instance. For, even in the 19th century, let alone in medieval times, there was not yet a country called Indonesia.
Apr 18, 1999

Best Story; The Book That Killed Colonialism

by Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006)
About 50 years ago, at a diplomatic reception in London, one man stood out: he was short by European standards, and thin, and he wore a black fezlike hat over his white hair. From his ...

Poems and Other Myths

by Ayu Meutia Azevy
Poems and Other Myths, a collection of spoken word poetry by women from Asia.