Lesson 3 : Poetic Devices

Posted: November 13, 2010 in He Had Such Quiet Eyes

Synopsis

The poem is about a persona, a lady who fell for the wrong man. She was fascinated with his ‘quiet eyes’ and believed that his eyes showed his true emotion and feelings for her. The man’s eyes had the power to charm her and made her believe him and be nice to him.

However, the man was actually a ‘pleasure seeking man’, a flirt. As the lady was truly fascinated and charmed by the man, she did not listen or did not want to listen to any advice concerning the man’s true behaviour. In the end, she realized her error and was broken hearted.

 

Bibsy Soenharjo


Bibsy Soenharjo was born in Jakarta on 22 November 1928. Bibsy and her siblings were homeschooled and each was encouraged to pursue their own interests. She had a particular fondness for literature and, after returning home from a four-year stay in Japan, Bibsy began writing her first prose in 1957, and then poetry in the 60s. The Literary Review, an international quarterly published by Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, USA, published her first four literary pieces in their Autumn and Spring Editions in 1967 and 1968 respectively. In 1967 also, her poem, “Jakarta, March 1967” was published in the Australian magazine Hemisphere, while ”Setelah Gerhana Bulan” (After the Eclipse of the Moon) was published in Gelanggang, an Indonesian cultural magazine now defunct.

Her poems have appeared in bilingual anthologies, with her Indonesian works translated into English, Dutch and Japanese and her English poems into Indonesian and Dutch. She continued to write prose pieces in Indonesian that appeared in Jakarta dailies under the pen name Nuspati.

Bibsy Soenharjo now lives in Jakarta with the youngest of her three sons, Haryo, his wife Sutji and their children.

 

LATIFF MOHIDIN

Born on 25 August 1941 in Negeri Sembilan, Latiff Mohidin was educated at Lenggeng, Seremban, Singapore, and the University of Fine Arts in Berlin. This poet and artist has held exhibitions of his works and travelled abroad extensively in the 1960s and 1970s. He has served as Writer in Residence at the Science University of Malaysia, Penang, the National University of Malaysia and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. At present, Latiff is a freelance poet and artist. His poems have won the Putra I poetry Award. Among his books are: Sungai Mekong (1972), Kembara Malam (1974), andWayang Pak Dalang (1977). Garis: Dari Titik ke Titik (1988), a book on the creative process (art and poetry), won the Honourable Diploma Prize at the Festival of International Books at Leipzig, Germany in 1989.

Latiff Mohidin is usually known for his graphic and imagistic experiment. He addresses social themes in his poems, illustrating the all-important concept that poetry serves society. Among the poems he has written are  Dream 1MirrorThe Puppeteer’s WayangWords Adrift on AirThe Legend of the DawnHis Thick Shroud, The Shore of TimeMask of My Name is Rawana and A City, A Grandmother and Death’.

Synopsis

This poem tells of the hardship that a family in a village faces after a big flood. The elders return at dawn in soaking-wet clothes. They go straight to the kitchen. They are probably hungry. Their hands and legs are bruised but they do not show any sign of despair or of losing hope.

After braving the dreadful flood for the last 24 hours, they still can not find their son’s albino buffalo. Despite all the adversities and suffering, the people in the poem do not complain or lament on their misfortunes. They spend time together, enjoying each other’s company. They are grateful for the fact what they still have instead of what is lost. Life goes on with their daily chores of preparing food and habit of rolling their cigarette leaves. They are still able to joke with one another.

SYNOPSIS  ( ACCORDING TO STANZA)

STANZA 1

They returned home at dawn and headed for the stove. Their clothes were soaking wet and tattered. Their bodies were covered with scratches and wounds. Yet, they did not display any signs of being worried.

STANZA 2

They were out in the flood the whole day and night. They were surrounded by dead animals and parts of trees that had been destroyed by the flood. They searched desperately for their son’s albino buffalo but were unable to find it.

STANZA 3

They were born into poverty and difficulty, but they do not complain about their suffer. Instead, they sit in the kitchen, cracking jokes while smoking cigarettes.

SETTING

The setting of the poem is in the house.

THEMES

  • Stoicism in life
  • Family love
  • Acceptance of way of life

MORAL VALUES

  1. We should learn to accept problems in life with a positive outlook.
  2. We must attempt to face and solve problems.
  3. Failure is part of growing up.
  4. Do not despair in the face of failure.

TONE, MOOD, ATMOSPHERE

  • Understanding and sympathetic
  • Dismal
  • Acceptance of situation

POINT OF VIEW

  • Third person pint of view.

LANGUAGE & STYLE

  • Language is simple and easy to understand.
  • The style is simple with no rhyming scheme.

POETIC DEVICES

  • Imagery – Gives picture of poet’s thoughts e.g ‘soaky clothes torn’ and ‘legs full of wounds’
  • Alliteration – e.g. ‘but on their brows’
  • Symbols – e.g. ‘horrendous flood’ and ‘bloating carcasses’
  • Diction – e.g. ‘stove’ and ‘brows