Sapardi Djoko Damono


He was born in Surakarta (Mar 20, 1940), and died in Tangerang Selatan (Jul 19, 2020)
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A poet known for lyrical poems, and who is widely regarded as the pioneer of lyrical poetry in Indonesia.

Sapardi has also completed a number of translations of literary works from other countries into Indonesian. These include the literary works of T.S. Eliot, Khalil Gibran and Jalaludin Rumi; his translation of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is considered among Indonesia’s best.

Sapardi’s poems have also formed the inspiration behind several musical compositions, most notably by Indonesia’s international-acclaimed pianist Ananda Sukarlan. Several singers have also released albums using his poetry: Hujan Bulan Juni (1990), Hujan Dalam Komposisi (Rain in Composition) (1990) Gadis Kecil (Little Girl) (2006) and Becoming Dew (2007). In the realm of film, Aku Ingin has been rearranged into a soundtrack by musician Dwiki Dharmawan for Garin Nugroho’s 1991 film Cinta dalam Sepotong Roti (Love in A Slice of Bread).

Today, he is still a professor at the University of Indonesia. Damono’s extensive and intensive involvement in the university has borne him the unofficial title ‘Professor of Indonesian Poets’. He was once elected dean of the faculty. His poetry continues to enjoy wide popular appeal. A poetry recital, arranged to celebrate his 70th birthday in March 2010, was packed out with people of all ages and from all walks of life, queuing to enter the venue.1

  1. Wikipedia 


mBoel — 80 Sajak
Poetry Collection
115 page(s), Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Sepasang Sepatu Tua
Collection of Short Stories
120 page(s), Gramedia Pustaka Utama
200 page(s), Penerbit Buku Kompas
Suddenly the Night
Poetry Collection
108 page(s), Lontar Foundation

Work(s) in Translation

What Media Say

He Never Betrayed Poetry by Hasan Aspahani — Tempo English (Aug 03, 2020)
Guess what?: Sapardi adapts poem into novel — Jakarta Post (Jun 16, 2015)
Sapardi’s words pull in new generations by Evi Mariani — Jakarta Post (Sep 04, 2005)

Also Mentioned in ...

Literature is the new cool by Sebastian Partogi - Jakarta Post (Dec 19, 2017)
The literary light from the east by Andi Hajramurni - Jakarta Post (May 29, 2017)
Lontar’s Modern Library of Indonesian Literature by Ron Witton - Indonesia Institute Blog (Jul 18, 2015)
Notes about the INDONESIA Special Issue by Kent MacCarter - Cordite Poetry Review (Dec 29, 2012)
Crossing Bloodlines by Deborah Cole - Cordite Poetry Review (Dec 29, 2012)
Editorial: 15 March 2010 by Sarah Ream - Poetry International Rotterdam (Mar 15, 2010)

Media Writing(s)

Danarto: Literary Sketches, on Danarto, , published in Tempo English (Apr 16, 2018)