Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quatrains

I sent you a few words
ones that are now rare –
if they reach you one day,
hide them, there’s no way to understand me

the space that exists within a word
is like our home:
there are pictures, sounds, and gestures in it –
and yet we are forbidden to decipher it

for those who still believe in words:
silent is their surging core, pitch-dark is their heart of fire –
but when will we ever understand the sea?
and the eternal fire?

what do we find beyond words:
a flower garden? deep space?
in the garden, so many things are left unsaid
in space, so stark is the void

what else is left to cling on to? some words
insist on bursting through reality’s edge –
upon reaching the other shore, will it still be meaningful,
to you, everything I want to say?

in every word you read there are always
missing letters –
you will find them again someday
amidst thickets of memories.

by Sapardi Djoko Damono
translation: Hasif Amini and Sapardi Djoko Damono
from Hujan Bulan Juni
publisher: Grasindo, Jakarta, 1994

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