Max Dauthendey (1867-1918)

German poet who died in Malang

Written by Nurel Javissyarqi
Translated by Agus B. Harianto

When the man from far away came into the natural tropical of Java Dwipa, believing his existence will be absorbed by supernatural voices.

Attendance of voice crept all over the body and the soul, growth instinct pervaded aura of oddity.

His reasoning was swallowed by the rotation of glory, what he looked for was the trace of essence. The comfort of the life of sincerity spreads well manner and develop well character.

Found the blessing of ancestor on the land he stepped on. The power of been spirit he had been listened, invisible whispered but it was very close, beyond the heartbeat.

Brought to fly to the infinite knowledge, teaching that was not in his country.

Up to believe the fate of his words swelled to present, when children of nation he lived in preserves it.

I present the writer Max Dauthendey, from the book “Malam Biru di Berlin” (Blue Night in Berlin) translated by Berthold Damshäuser and Ramadhan KH, published by PT. Star Motors Indonesia, 1989 (which is retranslated into English would be more or less like below):

He is a poet, the author of impressionistic prose, which often his works background is exotic. He had traveled to Asia twice, the second was in 1914. In the land of Java as the Germans he was captured by the Dutch army, when it was at war with Germany. Because he was forced to live in Java and missed his wife, Max Dauthendey died in the city of Malang. Let’s see one of his poems:


Oh gunung, yang nyundul angkasa,
Puncakmu nyaksikan jaman segala,
Engkau yang abadi, yang tak dapat menjadi tua,
Tahun-tahun yang berlalu tak mengganggumu jua.
Dan abad-abad yang lewat tiada pula kaurasa
Bila kau sejukkan dahi di angkasa.
Kau telah hidup waktu lelaki pertama
Merebut hati wanita yang semula.
Kau tetap akan hidup bila pasangan penghabisan
Lenyap pada peradaban penutupan.

Betapa penting kuanggap kesusahanku.
Betapa penting hari kemarin, hari ini dan esok.
Kau mengajar melihat jauh di atas keseharian,
Kau mengajar untuk percaya pada keabadian.

Garut 1915

Max Dauthendey

Oh mountain, which reaches the sky,
your peak witnesses the era of all,
You are immortal, which can not become old,
The years that passed did not bother you nevertheless.
And the past centuries you didn’t feel either
If you cold your forehead in the space.
You have been alive when the first man
took the heart of previous woman.
You will still be alive when couple of efflux
be vanish onto the civilization of closure.

How important I consider my affliction.
How important the day of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
You taught to see far beyond the everyday life,
You taught to believe in the immortality.

Garut 1915


Read it; engendered me feel eerie and my believe was rising, like the mountain and the ferns earth for the Javanese, have stuck to the end of time.

Like some divine entity makes love that is blanketed by fog of plateau, engenders grains of the faith of life.

Being a legitimate will of reached cloud as shadows in the eyes, to admire the charm of Dwipa.

The standard of the real acceptance of the presented instinct manifested, tapped by him to miss the feeling.

If he came home the days on a boat was countless, crossed the ocean of anguish of the salty salt of space.

Of course he felt the water of this motherland is so pure, like a caress of the mother for her children.

Max was showered by the swift feeling, he forgot as if he was in his own country for a while.

The craved inner shakes feathers, summarizes the overall sense of knowledge.

I saw his eyes gleaming to the village girls. His smile was grounded, his greeting like the banners of the poets of this country.

Incised the words of reddish heart, seeing the lively legs climbed the hills. He was shot and his heart was wriggle, yearning to reach.

Max still solemnly smelled the fragrant of flowers, even though his hands were handcuffed by occupiers in the jail of time.

Devoted all to the beloved country. The wind of Dwipa sent the news of his comfort protected by the gods.

The soft fingers was so polite stroked the paper, in order to scratch a line of story. For all his misery, and it came into my hands.

A wanderer who every day live I follow the breath of words from the spirit of changing the meaning, since the vibrating of soul hatched be ballads.

Max did not recognize me, but I believed that his letter aims to the instinct that is held tight in the heart by this motherland, which is deemed until the end of time.

Are there joy at that times? When he joined in the vibration of my soul. His aura was not less penetrating in every heart.

For the sake to proclaim that this country has the fragrant scent of the wind, the children decorate the stories of the legend.

Max words assert the consciousness of daily that should be interpreted, after it was did for the forging of deed of the true era.

An eagle eyes dredge the understanding, what presented was the fertility of ideology of the flower’s smell of civilization.

Watching the natives fight to the battlefield, for the sake of the pieces of historical memory;

blood and tears of the son of motherland, it will become consideration in the independent life.

Max did not think that his age was just six years (1867-1918) in German, when the great poet of Java land R. Ng. Ronggowarsito (1802-1873) died.

He was as if being watched, his small steps were watched; what have signed this time was the blowing of storied ancestor.

Leaves of tropic were fell and delivered home, golden of dedication was drying, strong trees tell the time of recurrence.

The birds sang the pain in a cage of bitter, his misery to me, and at its top is everlasting.

Sent my respect and my greetings to my teacher, KRT. Suryanto Sastroatmodjo (1957-2007), hopefully you are nice friendly and peaceful at His hand …

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