Sue Responsibility of Authorship of Sutardji Calzoum Bachri

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Written by Nurel Javissyarqi
Translated by Agus B. Harianto

Two essays of Tardji as an attachment is sufficiently to identify his anatomy in the field of literature that deals with “the mantra” from its roots, which is the tradition.

In the knowledge about the mantra in the Java land, there is term ajian panglimunan, it’s useful not to attack, nor fortified from an ambush. Precisely it uses to blurred the view of the enemy in order to pass through or give wrong understanding to those he is dealing with. This deed could create confusion so it is easy to strike back. This spell is usually used in total desperation. If it performed at the beginning, it would be detractors. In the simple way, it calls pretend or deceive.

Ajian panglimunan equals with disappeared from sight. They can not find out the presence of the doer, so it is easy for the user to hit or flee from the arena of fighting. In the other hand, this skill uses to cover or protect the doer to commit other skills, so that the enemy underestimated. Such as he used low skill, but he was dealing with high levels.

The form of this esoteric knowledge has some characters; there is a thick translucent glass, there is a kind of fog, there is also inhabit the location of the void. His opponent is as if facing a ordinary man, without knowledgeable magic.

Those strategies derived from the root of the mantra he used, also shrewdness in using it. It’s related to patience in breathing it. Piles of experience in reciting the mantra, is above understanding its supernatural.

In addition to the above benefits, ajian panglimunan uses to unify several powers of the mantras in a single dealing of practicing. Furthermore, this spell can also accompany other spell he dealt so to those who stroke are difficult to know what type of esoteric knowledge or even the doers.

Let’s take look at my attachment from the essay “Menulis di Atas Mantra” by Tardji, at paragraphs II and IV (because at part III is the describing of part II):

Saya adalah penyair yang menulis tidak dari suatu kekosongan. Saya menulis di atas kertas yang telah berisi tulisan. Saya menulis di atas tulisan. Tulisan itu adalah hasil budaya dari subkultur yang sangat saya akrabi, yaitu budaya Riau berupa mantra.“, (paragraf 2).

Maka menulis di atas tulisan atau di atas mantra bukanlah sekadar menerima mantra sebagai sesuatu nilai yang siap pakai, tetapi suatu pertemuan atau dialog kritis kreatif yang pada akhirnya memberikan upaya perpanjangan makna bagi mantra lewat kemampuan kreatif dari penyairnya.”, (paragraf 4).

“I am a poet who writes not from emptiness. I wrote on papers that is already contained texts. I wrote on the writing. The writing is the result of the culture from the subculture that is familiar to me, which is Riau culture in the form of the mantra.” (Paragraph 2 ).

“Then write out on the writing or on the mantra is not simply accept the mantra as something ready-made values, but a meeting or creative critical dialogue that at the end gives efforts of meaning prolongation to the mantra through the creative abilities of the poet.” (Paragraph 4).

It clearly defines; Tardji’s poems are derivative mantras of the boulder-rock of the tradition that enlivens spiritual nature of Riau. He inserts and grafts aura of the original mantras in Indonesian literature. Like the mantra or the wird of Islamic teachings that are translated, interpreted and collaborated in the Java language, but it still has meaning, has same magical power, equals to the previous bulbs, although the packaging is different.

So from where Tardji claimed that his poems are deeply rooted from the root of mantra that grows in the plains of Riau, whereas the body formation of its rhythm and mysteriousness relies on the similarity without explored a whole or redeveloped its origin spirit? Does this instead affected, coquettish, or even pretended like the clever to spell the old aura through the Indonesian language and failed because no magical power?

If there were criticists who have described the power of Tardji’s poetry, certainly it did not in terms of supernatural powers, but rather placed on the outer function, such as the reasoning of the achievements of his authorship mind findings. At there, I suspected whether it merely subterfuge to explore its uniqueness.

For intelligent, anything can be played, be equaled to, aligned, and interpreted in the considering of reason. This is similar in learning to put the brain in determining causality. So the enthusiasts of logic do not bother to interpret the poetry of the poets, such as Tardji’s poetry. At the lower level, he failed to establish his concept. Ah, I remembered the expression of Mochtar Lubis; “… bim salabim, well … out a rabbit from the hat”.

So far, he’s creative to define the sounds infiltrated into the rhythm of his poems and also to explore the energy of vowels and consonants for his poetry like a mantra. But until more than thirty years, Tardji has not proved successful to transfer the power of mantra into his poetry of mantra. He does not seem powerful enough as the king of mantra in entering in empowered alphabet that used to be called the mantra.

If Tardji performed the alphabet and the mantra as his concept, he should describe letters A to Z on the functions to, such as the weaknesses, the strengths, and things that thwart or made fail if used as a rajah. Here we can see, the first failure of ideas would have been fatal if passed, among the liberating word from the burden of the meaning behind the mantra as the standpoint.

In the realm of science of mantra, it had indeed presented the face of poetic rhythm, line construction of its writing when it used to make the rajah. Those are learned by the buff of tracing along the invisible realm. They were not just reading, listening, recording the cue of learning, but also practicing, exploring the efficacy fro related destination. They were learning from the smallest things, such as motivation of intentions, revealed for those who ever-introspective, sharp sighted and patience, and the terms of sacred feelings. As the spirit of science departs right from the mind through the ladder of life so as not to mistaken for prejudice, doubt nearly ignorance, and blind following.

If it was compared on the poetry of mantra by Tardji, it seems just word games, in the lower level it playful the language, even it nearly disdained traditional values he has been dealing with. And much worse, he claimed that Sumpah Pemuda (Youth Pledge) is poetry, more clearly that he was dealing with an empty carriage with convincing arguments:

Sumpah Pemuda selama ini memang tidak dikenal sebagai puisi. Tetapi jika kita lihat apa yang dikandung dalam teksnya adalah imajinasi yang ditampilkan lewat kata-kata yang padat, ringkas, dan kuat makna. Karena itu, ia memiliki syarat sebagai sebuah puisi, sebagai karya imajinasi yang padat kata dan kuat makna.”

Kami putra-putri Indonesia berbangsa satu bangsa Indonesia, bertanah air satu tanah air Indonesia, berbahasa satu bahasa Indonesia’. Dalam kenyataannya, pada waktu itu tahun 1928 belum ada atau tidak ada putra-putri Indonesia, yang ada putra-putri Jawa, Sumatra, Sunda, Maluku, Sulawesi dan seterusnya. Juga tidak ada bangsa Indonesia atau tanah air Indonesia, yang nyata ada adalah Hindia Belanda. Tidak ada bahasa Indonesia yang ada bahasa-bahasa daerah dan bahasa Melayu sebagai lingua franca.

“The Sumpah Pemuda (Youth Pledge) for this time is not known as poetry. But if we observe carefully within the text, it is the imagination that is displayed through the solid words, compact, and powerful in meaning. Therefore, it has the qualifications as a poem, as a work of imagination that is solid in the words and strong in the meaning. ”

“We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, acknowledge one motherland, Indonesia.

We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, acknowledge one nation, the nation of Indonesia. We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, respect the language of unity, Indonesian.’ (The source of Youth Pledge translation is taken from In fact, at that time, in 1928, there were no sons and daughters of Indonesia or didn’t exist yet, there were only sons and daughters of Java, Sumatra , Sunda, Maluku, Sulawesi and so on. And also there was no nation of Indonesia or motherland of Indonesia, the only exist was Dutch East Indies. No Indonesian language, there were only regional languages and Malay as lingua franca “.

If “… the imagination that is displayed through the solid words, compact, and powerful in meaning. Therefore, it has the qualifications as a poem …”, I think almost all the action of my essay is more poetic than the Youth Pledge. This is the curse for Tardji!

Now, let’s take look at what Asep Sambodja narrated in his book “Asep Sambodja Menulis”, published by Ultimus 2011, in the chapter Peta Politik Sastra Indonesia (1908-2008) “page 13: (And I translated into English that would be more or less like below)

“The spirit of youth emitted by Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana was actually following in the traces of its predecessor who held the Youth Congress on October 28, 1928. In the congress, Muhammad Yamin, who was 24 years old, became a key figure of the Congress, and it was he who codified the composition of the resulting congressional resolution, which we know as the Youth Pledge (Foulcher, 2000: 8). The Youth Pledge codified by Muhammad Yamin read like below:

Kami poetra dan poetri Indonesia mengakoe
bertoempah darah jang satoe, tanah Indonesia

Kami poetra dan poetri Indonesia mangakoe
berbangsa jang satoe, bangsa Indonesia

Kami poetra dan poetri Indonesia mendjoendjoeng
bahasa persatoean, bahasa Indonesia.”

And in the chapter “Epilog: Kronik Sejarah Sastra Indonesia,” page 46, Asep Sambodja attached some explanation, in 1928:

“In the second Youth Congress in Jakarta, May 28, 1928, the youth of Indonesia issued a resolution in the form of the Youth Pledge. Malay language was set to be Indonesian language. And then Novel Salah Asuhan by Abdul Muis was published. Indonesian-language script, Ken Arok dan Ken Dedes, the work by Muhammad Yamin performed at the Youth Congress “.

Then I remembered the words of Taufik Ikram Jamil that here I used to interpret Tardji from his authorship until his desire to enter the text of Youth Pledge as a work of poetry, which he said: “Sebagaimana halnya puisi, kandungan teks Sumpah Pemuda adalah imajinasi. Suatu imajinasi yang diungkapkan dengan bahasa yang ringkas, padat, ketat, dan tangkas, suatu hal yang lazim disyaratkan pada puisi (As the poetry is, the text content of the Youth Pledge is imagination. An imagination that is expressed in the compact, solid, tight, and agile language, a common thing required on the poem)”.

Below is the phrase of Taufik Ikram Jamil:

Untunglah belati yang selalu terselip di kaus kakimu -yang selalu engkau bawa entah untuk apa- tidak sempat “beroperasi”. Di Paris van Java, yang sekarang lebih banyak terdengar cerita-cerita miang membara, orang semula mengenalmu sebagai calon politikus gagal -benar juga, kuliahmu di Fisipol tak selesai. Engkau adalah kata-kata itu sendiri, sehingga ah…”rasa yang dalam”.
“Luckily the dagger that is always tucked in your socks – which you always take for none knows what for – had no chance “to operate” yet. In Paris Van Java, which is now more audible stories about flaring Miang, the people used to know you as a failed political candidate – indeed true, your college in Fisipol never finished. You are the words themselves, so ah … “deep feeling”.

Tardji failed to transfer the power of the mantra into the form of his poetry which he says as poetry of mantra. He just shallow reconstructed the power of the mantra, fall in caulking and forgetting, editing it, as in third paragraph, the activities of describing:

“With or from or on the mantra I wrote. In the activity of writing, sometimes parts of the mantra I strengthened with my writing. Sometimes the mantra instead closed, erased, or forgotten because of my writing is on it. Indeed, one of the roles of writing is an attempt to cover or to forget, which is to forget the values or particulars that are no longer relevant for the present days or for the future, thus it’s more focused (additional meaning) on the parts or the values that are still meaningful to the present days or even for the future “.

After I felt his poetry of mantra that doesn’t have magical power, meaning, Tardji was in rush to search for the concept that is equal with the value of mantra, which is the value of pledge. In this case, he took the Youth Pledge that its rhythm is clear and authoritative and also definitely historical course, than his work.

With the joking ring tone and at the same time seriously can be said, Muhammad Yamin more poets than Sutardji Calzoum Bachri. With this, the concept he has been dealing with firmly fell. His exasperation was obvious, if we drew the correlation of the words of Taufik Ikram Jamil above.

Whether there are still criticists and poets that have minded tail to follow his style. Certainly, if any, they are also lower and could be expressed have no magic power as well, because they do not reach the spiritual tradition and only the worn clothes in use, although the success had shown in entertaining the Indonesian literati.

And so is “my interpretation” to Sutardji Calzoum Bachri, a man who said the God dreams, imagines. In fact, he likes to imagine otherwise, likes to dream. Because the God Most Gracious, then the dream of Tardji became the Presiden Penyair and the Raja Mantra was achieved. But of course, with the quality of doesn’t understand the schools of Ibn Arabi.

* Nurel Javissyarqi, wanderer from the land of Java, Lamongan.

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