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memores acti prudentes futuri

‘Melayu’ – Usman Awang

A master of the well-selected detail and the sharpest metaphor, Usman Awang continues the “protest” tradition which, for some, began in the Sejarah Melayu, or Malay Annals, where injustice was not passively endured by the rakyat.

MELAYU

hang-jebatMelayu itu orang yang bijaksana

Nakalnya bersulam jenaka

Budi bahasanya tidak terkira

Kurang ajarnya tetap santun

Jika menipu pun masih bersopan

Bila mengampu bijak beralas tangan.


gse_multipart26590Melayu itu berani jika bersalah

Kecut takut kerana benar,

Janji simpan di perut

Selalu pecah di mulut,

Biar mati adat

Jangan mati anak.

Melayu di tanah Semenanjung luas maknanya:

Jawa itu Melayu, Bugis itu Melayu

Banjar juga disebut Melayu,

Minangkabau memang Melayu,

Keturunan Acheh adalah Melayu,

Jakun dan Sakai asli Melayu,

Arab dan Pakistani, semua Melayu

Mamak dan Malbari serap ke Melayu

Malah mua’alaf bertakrif Melayu suku_banjar_awal_abad_xxDalam sejarahnya

Melayu itu pengembara lautan

Melorongkan jalur sejarah zaman

Begitu luas daerah sempadan

Sayangnya kini segala kehilangan

Melayu itu kaya falsafahnya

Kias kata bidal pusaka

Akar budi bersulamkan daya

Gedung akal laut bicara

Malangnya Melayu itu kuat bersorak

Terlalu ghairah pesta temasya

Sedangkan kampung telah tergadai

Sawah sejalur tinggal sejengkal

tanah sebidang mudah terjual


pic-no760Meski telah memiliki telaga

Tangan masih memegang tali

Sedang orang mencapai timba

Berbuahlah pisang tiga kali

Melayu itu masih bermimpi

Walaupun sudah mengenal universiti

Masih berdagang di rumah sendiri.

Berkelahi cara Melayu

Menikam dengan pantun

Menyanggah dengan senyum

Marahnya dengan diam

Merendah bukan menyembah

Meninggi bukan melonjak.

nai_mahmud1Watak Melayu menolak permusuhan

Setia dan sabar tiada sempadan

Tapi jika marah tak nampak telinga

Musuh dicari ke lubang cacing

Tak dapat tanduk telinga dijinjing

Maruah dan agama dihina jangan

Hebat amuknya tak kenal lawan

malay31Berdamai cara Melayu indah sekali

Silaturrahim hati yang murni

Maaf diungkap senantiasa bersahut

Tangan diulur sentiasa bersambut

Luka pun tidak lagi berparut

Baiknya hati Melayu itu tak terbandingkan

Selagi yang ada sanggup diberikan

Sehingga tercipta sebuah kiasan:

“Dagang lalu nasi ditanakkan
Suami pulang lapar tak makan
Kera di hutan disusu-susukan
Anak di pangkuan mati kebuluran”

Bagaimanakah Melayu abad dua puluh satu

Masihkan tunduk tersipu-sipu?

Jangan takut melanggar pantang

Jika pantang menghalang kemajuan;

Jangan segan menentang larangan

Jika yakin kepada kebenaran;

Jangan malu mengucapkan keyakinan

Jika percaya kepada keadilan

Jadilah bangsa yang bijaksana

Memegang tali memegang timba

Memiliki ekonomi mencipta budaya

Menjadi tuan di negara Merdeka


Usman Awang, 26 NOVEMBER 1999: source from Kumas

_____________________________________________________________________________

‘The People Poet’  (July 12th, 1929 – November 29th, 2001).

Allahyarham Usman Awang; also known as Tongkat Warrant was born on the 12th of July 1929 in Kuala Sedili, Johore. He had been a farmer, office boy, policeman, proof-reader, and the editor for Dewan Sastera (the zenith of his career). He received the National Laureate Award in 1983, SEA Write Award in 1982, and an Honorary Doctorate in Writing from the University of Malaya in 1983. He produced more than 200 poems and most people would forever fondly remember his plays Tamu di Bukit Kenny and Uda dan Dara.

Excerpt from Kakiseni.com

Usman had produced an anthology called Dari Derita Bangsa (From the Sufferings of a Nation). It contains works from 21 prominent local poets. The most significant thing is that the anthology is closed by two poems by Usman, “Jentayu Yang Luka” (Wounded Phoenix), dedicated to Wan Azizah, and “Saudara Anwar Ibrahim”, for the occasion of his birthday. In them Usman expressed his candid support for their struggle to establish justice, freedom and truth. They were his last poems.

Excerpt from Detik Daily

Usman Awang’s life-long concern for the poor, the oppressed, the marginalised is found not only in his poems but in his short stories, essays and drama as well as his novel. Some of his closest friends may feel that he was a socialist at heart but it is unnecessary to attach a label to a concern for social justice that was culled from lived experiences and not from a political manifesto or party politics. Usman Awang’s “politics” were born of a deep empathy for the suffering of a poor farmer like Pak Utih, or a rebel in the jungle awaiting violent death, or an ice-cream seller hawking his wares in the heart of a busy metropolis. In fact the idealism and, in some poems, the romantic sentimentality, is the very opposite of the hardened practicality which must guide politicians, government and opposition alike.

A master of the well-selected detail and the sharpest metaphor, Usman Awang continues the “protest” tradition which, for some, began in the Sejarah Melayu, or Malay Annals, where injustice was not passively endured by the rakyat. In clever language usage (innuendoes and sarcasms), in subtle acts of defiance or outright accusations (e.g. the peasant women who protested loudly when their cooked rice was stolen by members of the defeated King’s retinue after the fall of Malacca), the people in The Malay Annals, aristocratic or common folk, indict injustice.

Excerpt from Aliran.com

link to Haslina Usman Awang’s website:  Memoriku…My Memoirs

GM: ” Gajah mati meninggalkan tulang, harimau mati meninggalkan belang, manusia mati meninggalkan nama” Elephant died leaving its skeleton, Tiger died leaving its stripe, a human  died leaving his name (legacy).

Filed under: Living Names n Legends, Poetry Songs n Lyrics,

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