Hidupnya Insan

Wak Som in the doorway

My favorite definition of poetry is “Compact Emotion”. So when I found that my translations are mulitiplying the word count at least three or five times, I knew right there I’m losing something. This is the last of the lyrical pieces on the “Pelita Hidup” album, and for me it was the hardest. I think I’ll go back to nursery rhymes after this; it’s more at my level. Anyone know where to get lyrics for “Bangau O Bangau”?

Hijjaz – Hidupnya Insan

Hidupnya insan
Tiada yang abadi
Menunggu saat panggilan azali
Hilanglah nafas tak bergerak lagi
Tanah perkuburan kita bersemadi

This worldly life
Is not forever
Waiting for the moment of the call to eternity
Lose your breath, no more movement
In the cemetery soil we rest

Continue reading “Hidupnya Insan”

More Nasyid Translations

Continuing on with translations from Hijjaz’s wonderful Pelita Hidup album, here is the next in the series, Kala Subuh:

Hijjaz – Kala Subuh

Kala subuh telah bersinar
Daku datang untuk berdoa
Kala sang suria bersinar memancar
Daku datang sujud dan memuja

When dawn has begun to gleam
I come to supplicate
When the sun is pouring out its radiance
I come to worship and prostrate

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Mata Hati

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani

Hijjaz – Mata Hati

Pandangan mata selalu menipu
Pandangan akal selalu tersalah
Pandangan nafsu selalu melulu
Pandangan hati itu yang hakiki
Kalau hati itu bersih

The vision of the eye always lies
The vision of the intellect always errs
The vision of the ego always strays
The vision of the heart will be true
If that heart is pure

Continue reading “Mata Hati”

Malay Contributions to English, pt 2

With the war in mind, here is the next installment: Amok, usually seen as “run amok”. It tends to be used in English to mean out of control, but the dictionary meaning is the same in English as it is in Malay:

In a frenzy to kill; in a violent rage; bloodlust; berserk

Let’s use it in a sentence! “A disgruntled Marine went amok and fragged his superiors’ tents.”

Update: Major Boggs gives us the common American usage, out of control, in today’s New York Times:

“Let’s not get gun happy here,” Major Boggs cautioned the officers under the tarp that was the command center, quickly heating under the midmorning sun. “We are running amok. We’re suppressing him, probably, but we’re not killing him.”