Obituary Hamid Jabbar(1949-2004)

What Media Says


About Hamid Jabbar,
Written by Asep S. Sambodja, and was originally published in Personal Blog,
Jul 19, 2007


The literary magazine Horison, July 2004 edition, published a special report “In Memoriam Hamid Jabbar”. His colleagues and close friends like Taufiq Ismail, Emha Ainun Nadjib, Cecep Syamsul Hari, Rahman Arge, Berthold Damshauser, Wilson Nadeak, and Slamet Sukirnanto wrote their notes on the obituary of the late poet who was born in Koto Gadang, Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, on July 27, 1949. It is a bit strange that his poems were not included nor discussed in Harry Aveling’s Rahasia Membutuhkan Kata: Puisi Indonesia 1966-1998 (2003) [Secret Needs Words: Indonesian Poetries1966-1998] or in Sapardi Djoko Damono’s Sihir Rendra: Permainan Makna (1999) [TheMagic of Rendra: Playing with Meanings]. However, his works had been published in Horison Sastra Indonesia: Kitab Puisi (2003) [The Horizon of Indonesian Poetries] and Ketika Kata Ketika Warna (1995) [When Words When Colors] which he edited together with Taufiq Ismail and other poets. I don’t really know why Hamid Jabbar’s poems were not discussed by Harry Aveling, who analyzed Indonesian poetries in the New Order era with a political perspective. Yet, in 1998 Hamid Jabbar published an anthology called Super Hilang: Segerobak Sajak [Super Disappearing: A Bunch of Poems], which had won awards from Yayasan Buku Utama and Pusat Bahasa. The social criticism loaded in that anthology is relatively sharp, like in “Proklamasi 2” or “Indonesiaku”. There are two possibilities whyHarry Aveling did not discuss Hamid Jabbar’s works. First, he didn’t have access to Hamid Jabbar’s poems. Second, the poems did not fulfill his literary taste.

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