Saturday, November 15, 2008

Poems Sacred and Profane

Sajak Sajak SallehPoems Sacred and Profane: Sajak Sajak Saleh by Salleh ben Joned

The third edition of this, arguably, most important collection of modern Malaysian poetry which was first released in 1987. It is too important a book not to be kept in print. Here are some of the reactions from readers and reviewers. Only Salleh ben Joned can traumatise a whole race!

  • "It's like meeting Hang Jebat* on his day off." -- Lat -- *Jebat -- legendary Malay rebel of 15th - 16th century Malacca famous for his amok

  • "...below the wit that withers and wounds is the love he bears his own...poems that mix grief, anger, love; the voice of the poet speaking for and at his race, with the voice of the father, the husband, the lover, the would-be mystic still very much of this world -- and revelling in it...Here is Malay as it is seldom heard, returned perhaps to its original vigour..." -- Dawn Menon, The Star

  • The poems "are unconventional and invigorating and explore with arresting sensuality subjects often confined to the philosophical and personal." -- Traveller's Literary Companion to Southeast Asia (1996)

  • "The appearance of Salleh's book ... was the most traumatic experience for the Malay literary scene." -- Prof Muhammad Hj Salleh

  • "Ini puncak sajak penuh rentak seorang penyair tulen lagi jantan bernama Salleh."-- Latiff Mohidin

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