Indonesia Inquiry

Poem – “A Woman’s Portrait 1938”

August 4, 2011 Poetry Travel & Living Abroad 0

LUKISAN WANITA 1938 (Indonesian version)

By Toeti Heraty

Lukisan dengan lengkap citarasa
giwang, gelang, untaian kuning hijau
selendang, menyembunyikan kehamilan

kehamilan maut yang nanti menjemput
luput diredam
kehamilan hidup yang nanti merenggut
goresan dendam
gejolak dan kemelut keprihatinan
gagal direkam
pada sapuan dan garis wajah yang
menyerah, pada alur sejarah

Lukisan dengan sapuan akhir
yang cemerlang, kelengkapan wajah
diperoleh dalam bingkai kenangan

Juli 1989
A WOMAN’S PORTRAIT 1938 (English version)

By Toeti Heraty

The painting conveys her exquisite taste:
ear studs, bracelets, green and yellow selendang;
the sash conceals her pregnancy.

The death she is carrying can’t be disguised.
The life she carries will grasp and cling on.
Yearning, restlessness and the turmoil of fear
are not recorded in the brush-strokes,
pencil outline of a face
surrendering to the flow of history.

The painting, with its final brilliant gesture,
only fully reveals this face
when it is framed by memory.

July 1989

SOURCE: http://www.poetrytranslation.org/poems/179/A_Woman%27s_Portrait_1938/original