Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information

Poetry

The Prayer of the Flame that Sparked the Forest Fire

By M Aan Mansyur
Translated from Indonesian by John H. McGlynn
The poet reflects on death and rebirth. 

Make me more simple. Extinguish
the greater part of my life.

If to burn is my destiny, permit me
to turn to ash the dry leaves at the feet
of trees so that they might one day
become a greater forest.

Tell the sad stories to the sky:
the orchid dying before it blooms; the fruit dropping
before bearing seeds; the bird who, lost in smoke,
lost its nest as well—so as to make her cry,
for her to shed tears. For seedlings to sprout,
to leaf, and for the forest to be green again.

Return me to the garbage heap in the city,
to the hearths of those who hunger,
to the blood of those who shiver in loneliness,
to the husband and wife who sleep
with their backs to each other.

Make me free from pride.


© M. Aan Mansyur. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by John McGlynn. All rights reserved.

English Indonesian

Make me more simple. Extinguish
the greater part of my life.

If to burn is my destiny, permit me
to turn to ash the dry leaves at the feet
of trees so that they might one day
become a greater forest.

Tell the sad stories to the sky:
the orchid dying before it blooms; the fruit dropping
before bearing seeds; the bird who, lost in smoke,
lost its nest as well—so as to make her cry,
for her to shed tears. For seedlings to sprout,
to leaf, and for the forest to be green again.

Return me to the garbage heap in the city,
to the hearths of those who hunger,
to the blood of those who shiver in loneliness,
to the husband and wife who sleep
with their backs to each other.

Make me free from pride.


© M. Aan Mansyur. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by John McGlynn. All rights reserved.

Doa Api yang MembakarHutan

Jadikan aku lebih sederhana. Matikan

sebagian besar hidupku.

 

Kalau membakar adalah takdirku, biarkan

aku hanya mengabukan daun-daun kering

di kaki-kaki pepohonan,agar kelak lebih

hutan mereka.

 

Ceritakan kisah-kisah sedih kepada langit.

Anggrek liar mati sebelum berbunga.Buah

jatuh sebelum berbiji.Burung sesat dalam asap

dan kehilangan sarang.Agar menangis ia.

Tumpah airmatanya. Hutan bertunas

berdaun dan hijau kembali.

 

Kembalikan aku pada tumpukan sampah di kota.

Pada tungku dapur orang-orang kelaparan.

Pada aliran darah orang-orang menggigil kesepian.

Pada sepasang suami istriyang sudah lama

tidur saling berbagi punggung.

 

Jadikanaku rendah hati.

Read Next

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]