Spirit of the Keris

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Text of Spirit of the Keris

by Salleh Ben Joned

Spirit

of the keris is written by Salleh Ben Joned,who was a lecturer in the English Department at the University Malaya. His first book was the bilingual poetry collection, 'Sajak-Sajak Salleh' (1987). It was followed by 'As I Please', (1994) and Nothing is Sacred (2003) which compiled his popular New Straits Times columns. His latest book, 'Adam's Dream' (2007) is his third collection of poems.

the idea primal in the mind of the all mighty idea of the Khersonese golden unto the dawn the bright star of morn

the forge (eye of the tiger burning bright in the jungle of the night) the forge (what the hammer? what the chain?)

the forge furnancefusing meltingmerging meteoric iron into the form foreshadowed foreshadowing of the idea archetypal tigerish true to the idea in the loins of the mind of the all foreshadowing foreshadowed

in the smithy of the soul of a race tigerish true to the soul of the keris golden silverish multialloyed multiveined striated with memories of voices ancienturgent

ambivalent multivalent true to the tiger in the mind of the all to the thumbpress of the hand of the allmighty

to the heart of the heat in the liver of the tiger of tigers Keris sinuously silvering silkysleek

unto the lands end thrustingtrusting golden-khersonese-like tiger-true Lighteninglean flame-firmed trusting thrusting into the seas of prophecy spirit splurting with the seeds of a thousand islands of a dream nation envy of all songs of the future

echoing reveberating with the roar of ancestral voices familiar and strange in the bowels of the mightiest of oceans of oneness thisness thusness

Keris

is stated as a very wellknown culture in Malay community and its fame will continue to shine.

Making The

and producing of keris.

burning metal shines brightly.

Keris

maker does not use any modern tools but remains conventionally (hammer and chain).

The

process of making keris. Metal is being fused, melted and merged in the forge. Meteoric iron Main material in Alloy making keris The producing of the keris remains the same as the traditionally idea.

Keris

has its soul. of the keris:

Characteristics

Golden and silverish Multialloyed MultiveinedIn

ancient days, keris has its own symbolises and usages.

FeaturesMighty

of the keris:

Sinuously Silvering Silkysleek

Has

many curves and turns.

When

the enemies came to the land, the warriors with keris will try their best and be brave like a tiger to fight with them to protect their land. new land.

A

Spirit

in making keris. The process of making keris is hard. It symbolizes determination of people.

Free-versed.

rhyme. Divided into 5 stanzas. Number of lines in each stanza is different. Does not have pentameter.Free

Starting

from the first stanza until the last, it shape like from the hulu keris until the tuntung which is the end of keris. This is how, Salleh Ben Joned celebrates the Malay culture by not only using the words keris and tiger in his poem but also the shape of his poem.

Furnance fusing Melting merging Meteoric iron Keris Golden Silverish Mutlialloyed Multiveined

Process of making keris (stanza 3)

Appearance of the keris (stanza 3)

Example:

unto the lands end thrustingtrusting golden-khersonese-like tiger-true Lighteninglean flame-firmed trusting thrusting into the seas of prophecy

(Stanza 5)

Example:

spirit splurting with the seeds of a thousand islands (stanza 5)

(eye

of the tiger burning bright in the jungle of the night)(stanza 2) of the brightness of making keris.

Symbolize

Memories Example:

cannot voice out anything.

striated with memories of voices ancienturgent (Stanza 3)

keris Symbolic

of the strengthen and creativity of Malay community. Symbolic of Malay at that time (not fear to protect their land from the attack of enemies)

spirit

splurting

(stanza 5)

golden unto the dawn the bright star of morn(stanza 1)

of oneness thisness thusness (stanza 5)

Be

brave. Be patriotic. Remain and practise the traditional culture of a race.