Mohamed Latiff Mohamed (b. 1950)

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1. BIOGRAPHY

2. CRITICAL INTRODUCTION

3. SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

4. SELECTED POEMS

5. SELECTED VIDEOS


SELECTED POEMS

Portet Singapura

                        menghayati rindu dukamu
                  teringat kembali lintasan sejarah
             sultan hussain dengan istananya
        menguliti dara setiap purnama
     kemudian mencandakan maruah rakyatnya
dengan wang pencennya yang tidak seberapa.

                        mendengar kembali suara sejarahmu
                   teringat akan raffles
              mengumpul gurindam pantun dan seloka
          lalu terbakarlah ‘the fame’
       wajah abdullah munshi yang kecewa
    melihat melayu lelap matanya
  setelah terkumpul
padi dan jagung di dapur buruknya.

                        betapa dengkinya sang raja
                    mengumpul gundik dara dan janda
               membunuh siapa sahaja
        berwajah jebat dan cuba menderhaka.

                        mengingati mimpimu
                   teringat wajah tengku
              ahmad haji taff
         tun dr. ismail
    beradu silat mempertahankan wadahnya
maka menangislah singapura.

                        kini merenung lagi wajahmu
                   terbayang geylang serai
               dan kampong wak tanjung
       menjadi ang mo kio
pek ghee dan yishun.

                        merapati dirimu
                    terkenanglah
                rindu pada temasik
             melaka dan selat tebrau
         sambil berjalan di orchard road
       atau masuk ke rumah pangsa
     menghampiri masjid mujahidin
  mendengar ratapan dan impian
mahu ke syurga atau ke neraka.

                        dari majapahit
                             ke malaysia
                        mimpi perawan masih berpanjangan
                             sultan telah mati
                        jebat lama menghilang diri

                             tuah bermaharajalela
                        tun teja hilang daranya.

    istana kampung gelam
        tanda kedukaan
              lambang kemurungan
                   setelah ratusan purnama lemas
                        dalam pembangunan.

by Mohamed Latiff Mohamed
published in Tiga Warna Bertemu: Antologi Puisi Penulis-penulis Singapura, ed. Suratman Markasan. (Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1987)


Portrait of Singapore

                        communing with your longing and sorrow
                  recollecting the historical path
             sultan hussain and his palace
        deflowering virgins every full moon
     playing with his people’s dignity
with his meagre pension.

                        listening to the voice of your history
                   remembering raffles
              collating gurindam pantun and seloka
          subsequently, ‘the fame’ was on fire
       the disappointed look of abdullah munshi
    observing the malay closing his eyes
  after the collection of
paddy and corn in his dilapidated kitchen.

                        how malicious is the ruler
                    collecting virgins and widows as concubines
               murdering just anyone
        masked as jebat and attempts treachery.

                        remembering your dream
                   recalling tengku’s face
              ahmad haji taff
         tun dr. ismail
    armed with silat moves to defend their territory
hence Singapore teared.

                        now, gazing at your face
                   imagining geylang serai
               and kampong wak tanjung
       becomes ang mo kio
pek ghee and yishun.

                        coming close to you
                    reminiscing
                longing for temasik
             malacca and tebrau straits
         while strolling down orchard road
       or entering high-rise flats
     approaching masjid mujahidin
  tuning in to lamentation and aspirations
wanting to enter heaven or hell.

                        from majapahit
                             to malaysia
                        the virgin’s dream continues
                             the sultan is dead
                     jebat has long disappeared

                             tuah rules as he pleases
                        tun teja deflowered.

    istana kampung gelam
         a symbol of misery
              an emblem of depression
                   after hundreds of full moons drowned
                        in the pursuit of development.

by Mohamed Latiff Mohamed
translated from the Malay by Annaliza Bakri
published in Tiga Warna Bertemu: Antologi Puisi Penulis-penulis Singapura, ed. Suratman Markasan. (Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1987)

 

SELECTED VIDEOS >