Four Poems by Chairil Anwar Translated from the Indonesian

To the devoted
My Lord
In awe 
I still call out Your name
Although it’s truly difficult
Remembering You in the fullest
Your light is sacred warmth
What’s left is the candle in the stillness
My Lord
I’ve lost my shape, crumbled
My Lord
I am wandering in a foreign country
My Lord
At Your door I knocked
I cannot turn back

At the Mosque
Di Mesjid
I’ll just call Him 
Until He comes.
Finally we are face-to-face.
From now on He is burning in my chest
All my powers extinguished.
My sweat-soaked self cannot be hurt.
This room
The arena where we go to war.
One is spurned, the other crazy.
To True Christians
That Body
gushing blood
gushing blood
lands on a question: am I wrong?
I saw The Body gushing blood
I am mirrored in the blood
reflected brightly in the eyes of time
immediately swapping into this form
The wounds close 
I rejoice
That Body
gushing blood
gushing blood
If my time has come
I don’t want anyone to comfort me
Not even you
No need for all those tears
I am a beast of wild bitches
Thrown out of his herd
Let bullets pierce my skin
I will still press on
Wounds and poison I carry on running
Until this stinging pain is gone
And I will care even less
I want to live for another thousand years

About the Author
Chairil Anwar (1922-1949) has been called “Indonesia’s greatest literary figure.” Born in Medan, North Sumatra, he moved to Jakarta at the age of 19 where he mixed with the literary circles that would come to be known as the “Generation of ‘45.” From 1942 until his death in 1949 he wrote seventy-odd poems, along with some prose pieces, radio scripts, and translations. Raised as a Muslim, Anwar had a fascination with Christianity evidenced in such poems as “Jesus.” The anniversary of his death is celebrated in Indonesia as National Literature Day. 

About the Translators
Harper Campbell currently lives in Calgary. He has published poetry in Salish Seas: An Anthology of Text + Image (2011), an essay in The Salt Chuck City Review (volume 1, 2019), translations of the Indonesian poet Chairil Anwar in the Columbia Journal (2021) and ezra (forthcoming), and book reviews at the Ormsby Review. He has an honours degree in philosophy and Asian studies from the University of British Columbia.
Christoffer Dharma is a PhD student at the University of Toronto. He was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has published nearly 20 scientific articles in the field of epidemiology; his research interests are in sexuality, mental health, income disparity and statistical methods. He has been a collaborator on numerous research projects, including an international COVID-19 study where he translated an English survey to Indonesian. Over the years, his interest in prose and poetry has grown; he has published a few Indonesian-language poems.

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