Sadjat Buat Adik- poem for my little brother, by Rivai Apin

Poem for my little brother
 .
Ever shorter the day
Fingers unbendable chilled by the evening
Fingers exhausted by searching for form
 .
There is always
The singing of a dream dreamt, one you will hear at last
You should
Let the light at dusk meet the light of day
and carefully attend to that
 .
Tomorrow is another day
And it will keep getting shorter

 

This modernist poet died in poverty and obscurity in 1995 in Jakarta. Political prisoner.

Political prisoner on Buru island with Indonesian writers, journalists, playwrights and poets. Tens of thousands of left-leaning and progressive Indonesians for periods up to 14 years.

Apin was one of the very few who managed to write something during his imprisonment. Memoirs: Jiku Kecil (19971-1973) about his unit and a couple of poems (1974-1979).

Many died in these prison camps. I don’t know enough to say whether they can be more closely described as how we understand concentration camps. Some combination of death, hunger, humiliation, reform and punishment.

 

Dutch translated by Linde Voûte
Gedicht voor mijn broertje

Steeds korter de dag
Vingers onbuigzaam verkild door de avond
Vingers vermoeid door het vinden van vorm
 .
Er is altijd nog
Het zingen van voorbije droom dat je eens zult horen
Je zou
Schemerlicht de dag moeten laten ontmoeten
en oplettend toezien
 .
Morgen is er weer een dag
Maar hij wordt steeds korter
 .
Uit: Ik wil nog duizend jaar leven. Negen moderne Indonesische dichters. Meulenhoff, Amsterdam,1979. Poetry International Serie. Put together by Harry Aveling.
.
BUY:
ONE book left in the Netherlands, antique and with nice prints: http://www.bol.com/nl/p/ik-wil-nog-duizend-jaar-leven/1001004005110174/
.
 .
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