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Before Dawn

Sapardi Djoko Damono, one of Indonesia’s most productive and popular poets first began writing poetry as a high school student in the mid-1950s. Before Dawn includes poems written by the author over a forty year time span, from 1961 to 2001. Arranged as they are in chronological order, the poems in Before Dawn together form a kind of poetic autobiography.




In “One Night,” written in 1964, the author is a young Muslim boy crying outside the church door as his classmates celebrate Christmas. In the 1967 poem, “For my Wife,” he is a young husband telling his wife that “the earth holds a spray of flowers, just for you.” In the 1981 poem, “In the Hands of Children,” he is now a doting father marveling that “in the hands of children, paper becomes Sinbad’s ship.” Jump to the 1989 poem, “At the Restaurant,” and he is now middle aged and wondering about the constancy of relationships—whether two people can ever truly share an eternal love. And finally, in the 2001 title poem, “Before Dawn,” the poet is a much older man, whose concerns are mental and physical frailty and, of course, death.

Creator / Author:  Sapardi Djoko Damono    

Translator:  John H. McGlynn    

Publisher: Lontar Foundation

Place of Publication: Jakarta

Publisher URL: http://www.lontar.org

ISBN: 978-602-9144-18-5

Created: 2012

Linked data

Lontar Digital Libraryjkpklontar-ldl-4907
National Library of Australia6105634
LC Control Number2005468617
Goodreads7654257-before-dawn
Open Library BookOL3467864M

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Last modified: 2013-04-15 15:55:56