水曜日, 9月 01, 2004

Buku dan permaidani

Borong!!!

mph at OU depleted more of my funds this afternoon. bought some local stuff. i don't really read malaysiakini, but i've heard of the commentaries of farish a. noor. hishamuddin rais, that one i know. :) i saw a. samad said on the plane recently, and since i thought lantai t. pinkie was simply excellent, i felt i should try reading some of his works. apparently, i found out that i just missed (by one day) the special offers they had for books by malaysian authors. oh well.

i remembered in secondary school when we had to do sajaks and puisis for the bahasa malaysia paper (how i attained such a grade in the real test escapes me, to this very day!). i never understood it, nor did i really like it. i also cringe when i hear the sajaks that get read on telly. do all sajaks have to be read in such tones? i thought puisis were easier on the ear, especially when rendered in song form (think kopratasa).

i've commented in someone's blog some time ago about being introduced to sajaks again after reading mat som. i was intrigued by the beauty of the prose, probably because the handful of poems cited by lat in his work were more of the social commentary types as opposed to the ones about flowers, love and patriotism.

i am, and never was, much of a reader. let alone of contemporary fiction and especially poetry, may it be local or western, but after reading mat som and listening to songs by the likes of kembara, i became fascinated with it. i remember resisting my arwah mama's suggestion of reading dewan sastera during my spm years. i wish now i hadn't. i now know that it ain't just a bunch of sentences that simply rhymed.

you may think of me as lacking in imagination. i need pictures (a reason why i prefer comics as opposed to penguin classics, and also why i can never read law... no pictures in their text books). when i found out that lat was a regular contributor to the likes of dewan sastera, i saw poetry in his drawings. i began to see the poetry in his description of our nation's capital, especially when, in mat som, he went on about:

"... kuala lumpur di waktu malam. aku sudah kenal dan aku sudah rasa."


mat som also introduced me to the existence of salleh ben joned, latiff mohidin and tongkat waran. in fact, a good friend of mine in primary school is the son of a sasterawan negara ("kau tak tau? kau dah berapa lama kenal aku?"). apart from his caustic witticisms found in his excellent wednesday as i please articles in the nst literary section in the 90's, salleh ben joned's an excellent poet. an unnamed laureate once described that, to salleh, "nothing is sacred"; thus, prepare to read poems with titles like bladi bastat! and rentak haram jadah. his sajak collection (aptly titled sajak-sajak salleh) was ever so difficult to find.

until this afternoon. when what followed suit was a little spree of beli buku.

i hope to discover, with what little number of tomes i purchased this afternoon, further enlightenment with what we already have in our own backyard.

in the spirit of merdeka (no raping of mother earth here), i would like to share with you an excerpt from salleh's I (you may find this poem familiar as it was entitled aku in mat som):

"kehidupan i anggap satu cabaran
untuk mencapai idaman
yang disahkan oleh kaum i:
kerja senang sebagai kakitangan kerajaan,
sebuah rumah teres di desa jaya
lengkap dengan mesin basuh, tv dan seorang suri,
sebiji proton saga yang dicuci tiap-tiap hari;
beretika kerja berdikari
untuk bangsa, agama dan negara
lapan jam sehari (hari minggu tak kira;
hari itu i khaskan untuk mingguan perdana
dan tv sepanjang hari)

i warganegara merdeka:
kemerdekaan negara kemerdekaan i.
kebebasan kapada i hanya satu beban:
apa pemimpin kata
i ikut saja;
akal yang diberi tuhan tak payah digunakan -
kecuali untuk cari makan.

syurga -dunia dan akhirat- dijaminkan
oleh sembahyang lima kali sehari,
amanah saham 50 ringgit sebulan,
dan dallas dan dynasty
seminggu dua kali.

keraguan dan kerinduan
jiwa (jika ada),
i bawa berlari, berlari
dari rumah ke pejabat,
dari pejabat ke rumah,
hingga hilang segala sangsi
dalam bunyi lantang peti tv
tiap-tiap malam hari.
sambil ternganga tengok tv
i menjilat jari -
begitu sedapnya ayam kentucky.

dan i akan lebih tidak peduli.
i mahu hidup begini
seribu tahun lagi."

Salleh ben Joned. Sajak-sajak Saleh. In I. Kuala Lumpur: Pustaka Cipta, 2002.