Kyai Faizi: As Rendra Said, Poets Must Come Out of a Salon

Kyai Faizi: As Rendra Said, Poets Must Come Out of a Salon

The last afternoon of Joglitfest 2019, Monday (30/09/2019) was so crowded as M. Faizi became the speaker. He was an eccentric figure from Madura who mastered various skills. He was a poet, essayist, a band player, and a kyai. He reviewed the theme Sastra Gunung dan Sastra Pesisir in the Joglitfest’s Literary Market 2019.

Faizi said that the dichotomy of mountain and coastal poets was no longer relevant. The current generation of poets had been detached from observations of the surrounding natural panorama. They tend to prefer non-panoramic themes.

“Poets are now free of that panorama (nature). Free from spatial circles. So, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish mountain poets and coastal poets,” said Faizi.

The topic of panoramas in poetry is not only about beauty. It is not that simple. Faizi explained that the poet’s observation of nature around him involved a social analysis. They are poets who are sensitive to every social change around them.

Faizi cited some poems from Madura. In 90’s decade, Maduranese poetry tended to imitate Zawawi Imron’s. He called it “Zawawian”. Those poetry contain many “salt” and “sea” word. These words were no longer sufficient to describe the natural conditions of Madura. Nowadays, there is natural gas that should also be thought through and included in poetry.

“Madura is not always salt. If the Madura poet talks about it all the time, then forgetting natural gas, for example, it can be dumped by the corporation later. Or, maybe Maduranese poetry always talk about salt and sea so that oligarchs can steal other natural resources. However, it must still be considered to make scientific words such as gas or uranium become poetic,” Faizi said.

For Faizi, poets must be observant in seeing the environment, not to be trapped or just tailing the earlier poets. The poets must adjust. Thus, to be a good poet, a person is not only required to be able to compose poetic words, but also to master other disciplines. The goal is that he is able to make poetry that is comprehensive and includes a variety of social analysis.

“As Rendra said, the poet must come out of the salon, take to the streets,” concluded Faizi. (Translated by Handa Taulan)