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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ARE YOU STILL PLAYING YOUR FLUTE?




Okay, as we all Malaysian students know, that one of our form 5 Literature Poems is Are You Still Playing Your Flute by Zurinah Hassan. Well, its a translated poem from Bahasa Melayu to English. Its a beautiful poem when its in Bahasa, but when it comes to English, everything went wrong. here, let me show you the ORIGINAL POEM that is wrote in Bahasa. 

Masihkah kau bermain seruling
walau waktu telah terlewat untuk kita bercinta
aku semakin terasa bersalah
melayani godaan irama
lagu yang tersimpan pada lorong halus buluh
dikeluarkan oleh nafas seniman
diukir oleh bibir
diatur oleh jari
dilayangkan oleh alun angin
menolak ke dasar rasa.

Masihkah kau bermain seruling
ketika kampung semakin sunyi
sawah telah uzur
waktu jadi terlalu mahal
untuk memerhatikan hujan turun
merenung jalur senja
mengutip manik embun
menghidu harum bunga.

Masihkah kau bermain seruling
ketika aku terasa mata bersalah
untuk melayani rasa rindu padamu
di kota yang semakin kusut dan tenat
adik-adikku menganggur dan sakit jiwa
bangsaku dipecahkan oleh politik
saudara diserang bom-bom ganas
dunia sudah terlalu tua dan parah.

Di sinilah berakhirnya percintaan kita
kerana zaman sedang menuntut para seniman
hidup di luar dirinya.


see? thats the ORIGINAL poem. now, let me show you the poem that we have in our textbook. :)


Are you still playing your flute?
When there is hardly time for our love
I am feeling guilty
To be longing for your song
The melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo
Uncovered by the breath of an artist
Composed by his fingers
Blown by the wind
To the depth of my heart

Are you still playing your flute?
In the village so quiet and deserted
Amidst the sick rice field
While here it has become a luxury
To spend time watching the rain
Gazing at the evening rays
Collecting dew drops
Or enjoying the fragrance of flowers
 
Are you still playing your flute?
The more it disturbs my conscience
to be thinking of you
in the hazard of you
my younger brothers unemployed and desperate
my people disunited by politics
my friend slaughtered mercilessly
this world is too old and bleeding



see that? now, tell me what you see. what difference can you observe, yes!! you're damn right!! ahaha. pandaipandaii!! :D the last three lines are missing, where'd it go? no, i didn't eat it. =.='' its the KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN MALAYSIA's fault. don't blame me. okee? :) here it is!! i found it!! guess where, yeaa, in my English class. where my Puan Jackie is kind enough to give us this precious information. nownow readers, don't blame her, its true what she says. here, check out the translations of the last three lines. 

Is this the end of our love
time is forcing us, as artists
to live outside ourselves


ahaa, get it? the theme, moral value, and the rest are so wrongg!! for me, its not a love poem!! this poem is not about a lady who is neglected by her lover. ppfftt. =.='' give me a break KEMENTERIANS. i hate it when you make my batch as a victim of your mistakes. okay, heres the meaning from the ENGLISH TEXT.

SUMMARY:
The way I read it, this is a love poem, or at least a 'semi-romantic' poem. It's told from a first person POV, where the persona, a grown up 'girl', finding herself reminiscing bout her 'old-flame' or rather a long-lost lover. She recounted the way her lover played flute in their village. However, she's not merely recounting the romance in the past but actually wondering whether her love are still playing flute, now that they're all grown up. She mentioned her feeling of guilt for missing the beautiful melody of his bamboo flute. She later questioned or rather keep on wondering he's still playing the flute now, since the village is now underpopulated and the paddy field is in very poor condition. She mentioned that nowadays, it is a luxury to be able to spend time relaxing and savouring the  beauty of the nature. In the final stanza, she repeats the same question, and this time around she admits that she couldnt help but feel that it is wrong for her to be thinking of their love at this time of hardship. The hardship is portrayed here as young men are now jobless, people are fighting over politics and countries are facing wars.

THEMES & MESSAGES:

Okay, let's face it, I'm still a novice in decripting themes and messages out of a poem. In doing so, I refuse to depend on any of the literature revision books that are widely avaiable nowadays. Thus, mine would be vastly different that what you have read elsewhere. The first theme for me here is LOVE HURTS or maybe we can put it as LOVE IS COMPLICATED. Hahaha... I'm laughing at myself as I'm writing this because it's getting quite personal. Frankly speaking, this might not be the most apparent theme, but I still can't help but to highlight it here. Let me justify. Firstly, eventhough the tone and mood of the poem is not really romantic, part of the wordings suggest otherwise;

"longing for your song"
"depth of my heart"
"fragrance of flowers"
"thinking of you"

... these are the phrases that no matter how you read them, would still ooze of love and strongly signify romance. But as I say, it's not just simply about LOVE, but the suffering that one has to endure because of love. To say it in brief... if the persona, did not fell in love with the flute-player during her younger days, she would not have suffered the dilemma and guilt that she's facing right now. Does it make sense?

Another theme that I can see here is a little bit more serious. This poem can actually be related to the rough time that we are facing now. Eventhough I'm quite positive that this poem was written decades ago, the struggling and difficulties are something quite universal.  So, it brings up this premise: When we're young and in love, we don't really realize (or we choose not to realize) the realities/hardship that we face. As we got older, all of these difficulties become apparent.


BUT!!!!! the Bahasa Melayu's meaning is this : 

Sajak ini menggunakan gaya percakapan penyair dengan seseorang. Orang yang dimaksudkan di sini ialah seorang yang pandai bermain seruling. Sekali pandang ia seperti sajak percintaan kerana banyak menggunakan perkataan yang lembut dan romantis.
Are you still playing your flute
Are you still playing your flute
when there is no time for our love
I am feeling guilty
to be longing for your song


Tetapi percakapan yang lembut dan romantis dengan pemain seruling itu hanyalah satu cara atau gaya penyair meluahkan segala yang mengganggu fikirannya. Sajak ini bertemakan kemasyarakatan . Keseluruhannya merupakan luahan rasa penyair tentang keadaan masyarakat di negaranya dan antara bangsa yang penuh kemelut dan kacau bilau.
Penyair mengenang sang pemain seruling. Sebenarnya yang dikenang oleh penyair ialah kampong yang sedang tenat.
Are you still playing your flute
in the village so quiet and deserted
amidst the sick rice field

Dia menceritakan tentang keadaan dirinya yang berada di kota…kota yang sakit sedangkan kampong sudah sunyi kerana ditinggalkan oleh anak-anak muda. Apakah pemain seruling itu masih ada di kampong bermain serulingnya? . Ini juga bermaksud adakah sang pemain seruling masih mempertahankan seni dan tradisinya.

Alat musik seruling dipilih kerana inilah alat muzik yang paling dekat dengan alam. Cuma sebatang buluh dan tidak memerlukan teknologi canggih untuk menciptanya. Jadi semuanya balik kpd alam. Balik kepada keaslian.
the melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo
uncovered by the breath of an artist
composed by his lips
arranged by his fingers
blown by the wind
to the depth of my heart

Penyair merasa bersalah untuk melayan rasa rindu kepada pemain seruling itu. Begitulah rasa bersalahnya dia memikirkan sesuatu yang indah seperti seni . Di kota dia sepatutnya sibuk kerana di situ kehidupan berlalu dengan pantas.
while here it has become a luxury
to spend time watching the rain
gazing at the evening rays
collecting dew drops
or sniffing scented flowers.

Seolah-olah dia memberikan masanya kepada perkara-perkara yang remeh sedangkan kehidupan sedang dilanda oleh masalah yang sangat besar. Masalah-masalah ini dipaparkan dalam bait seterusnya. Pada masa itu ramai yang menganggur. Orang-orang kita berpecah belah kerana politik . Dan di merata dunia spt Bosnia dan Palestin, orang Islam sedang diburu oleh bom-bom ganas.

in the hazard of this city
my younger brothers unemployed and desperate
my people thorn by politic
my Muslim friends slaughtered mercilessly
this world is old and badly injured.

Is this the end of our love?
time is forcing us as artists
not to be ourselves.
Ini bukan masa untuk memberi perhatian kepada seni. Ini adalah masa untuk bekerja keras. Apabila seniman tidak dapat melayani kecintaannya kepada seni maka itu seperti mereka dituntut untuk tidak menjadi seniman lagi


hahahaha. see the difference? well, think by yourself. next time, don't do your work on the eleventh hour. or else you'll regret it. im bald enough to write this as i think it was a right thing to do. :) so, the all the people involved. don't make the same mistake again. thankyou. :)

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