lunes, 19 de marzo de 2007

Happy Birthday, O captain ! My captain !

Yes, today (March 20, although it is still one day earlier here in Spain) is the birthday of Indonesia's great poet Sapardi Djoko Damono. I was about to quote the poem of Walt Whitman, O Captain ! My Captain ! but unfortunately, I cannot say that "Our fearful trip is done", since I haven't finished my music (and it IS quite fearful to me ) ! And also, he is still very much alive and creative. So, let me quote some other lines from uncle Walt to describe him :

"I am the poet of the body,
And I am the poet of the soul. ...

I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men. ...

I chant a new chant of dilation or pride
I am he that walks with the tender and growing night ;
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night."

Happy Birthday, Maestro Sapardi Djoko Damono ! We all wish you many, many years to come to you to continue giving us the beauty of your poetry, the poetry of earth. We know you will never stop, because we humans can never destroy beauty, no matter what happens. Art can die, but beauty continues. We humans can be killed, but nobody can kill the passion inside us .

The poetry of earth is never dead :
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead ;
That is the Grasshopper's -- he takes the lead
In summer luxury, --he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. (John Keats)