The Development of Modern Indonesian Poetry
SUNY Press, 1967 - Biography & Autobiography - 278 pages
Indonesian poetry, like the country and also the language, is basically a product of this century. Only in the twentieth century have the people of this vast archipelago begun to achieve a unified cultural identity and national spirit; only since 1928 has the possibility, and by now the reality, of a common language been realized; and only since World War II have Indonesians achieved nationhood. Yet Indonesia has already produced a highly individual, lyric poetry that s in many ways unusual. Reflecting the diverse heritage of the Orient and the West—Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian; Malay, Chinese, Dutch, and others—a poetic expression is developing that is accessible to, and meaningful for, both East and West.In this first major study of this poetic flowering, Burton Raffel traces its development, discusses the work of such major figures as Chairil Anwar, and points the paths the most recent poets are taking. This is illustrated with a wealth of examples—in translations mostly by the author, but also with samples of the original Indonesian to convey the flavor of the language—and by an extensive appendix of Indonesian literary criticism that indicates how the poets themselves view their role and their performance.
The Development of Modern Indonesian Poetry provides the English-speaking public with a rare insight into the cultural development of the fifth most populous country in the world, and raises along the way some questions important for an understanding of the relationship between poetry and politics in nonaligned nations.