Muhammad Haji Salleh Poetry Analysis

Keywords: si tenggang homecoming

Wikipedia identified that self-identity is the mental and conceptual understanding and consistent regard that sentient beings keep for his or her own existence. Quite simply, it is the sum total of your being's knowledge and understanding of his or her self. Components of the self-concept include physical, subconscious, and social traits, which may be influenced by the individual's behaviour, habits, beliefs and ideas. These components and characteristics can be condensed to the general principles of self-image and the self-esteem.

In our own culture and contemporary society, we are trained by our parents and older people to value or own culture and custom and should never feel that were superior to others directly after we had gathered a lot of new knolwedges and experience. We should not change our back again to our own world, roots and land directly after we had been abroad but we have to be proud of our own id. This is exactly what is lacking in the majority of us inside our community. We tend to forget our roots and we are not pleased with being part of a particular culture or contest.

In this research paper, I've choosen to analyze two masterpiece from our Malaysian copy writer. This study is dependant on Muhammad Haji Salleh's poems, which is "si tenggang homecoming" and "the traveler". The overall aim of this paper is to investigate and discuss the portrayal of the theme searching of self-identity. Within this research paper, I will also include both poems implications of using both of these poems towards education.

2. 0 Record of the author

Muhammad Haji Salleh (1942- ) is a well-known Malaysian poet, critic, translator, editor and researcher. He is the sixth Malaysian Laureate. He was created on 26th March 1942 in Taping, Perak. Muhammad had almost all of his education in Malaysia; he received his early education at Bukit Mertajam High School and Malay School Kuala Kangsar. However, he did his professor training at Lodge Educator Training College in Great britain. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Malaya (Singapore), Masters of Arts from the College or university of Malaya in 1970 and a Ph. D from University or college of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States of America in 1973. In 1977, he was a Professor under the Fullbright-Hays programme and trained at the North Carolina State School, Raleigh, USA. He's a teacher at the Department of Malay Characters in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and was once appointed as the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Community Science and Humanities as well as Head of Institute of Malay Vocabulary and Books. Muhammad Haji Salleh is the only real Malaysian poet who is researched in the Books English programme.

3. 0 The Author's Writing Career

Muhammad Haji Salleh commenced writing poetry in 1963 when he was a student at the Malayan Teachers' College, Brinsford Lodge, Britain. Muhammad started writing much preceding but only to the overdue 1960s that he became well known in Malaysia. Muhammad has resided a lot of his life overseas in the United States while he's going after his studies and most of his poems are written in British. As his educational backdrop was devoted to Bahasa Malaysia and British language, he creates in both languages. Later, he committed a lot of his time to write in Bahasa Malaysia. He often translated his own Malay poems and other local Malay poems into British. T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden who he adored influenced the British poems that he composed. The beauty of the dialect and the emails convey in the poems compiled by these two poets had motivated Muhammad Haji Salleh to create English poems.

Muhammad Haji Salleh has received various awards for his works, both at nationwide and international levels. Muhammad gained the Asean Literary Award in Bangkok, Thailand. Several his poems earned various prizes and in 1972, he was given the Asean Literary Prize for his anthology of poems Perjalanan si Tenggang II, which was eventually translated in British in 1979. He was made a Country wide Laureate in 1991 and was awarded the Hadiah Sastera Kebangsaan in 1976, the Australian Cultural Honor to Asian Musicians and artists in 1975 and the Asean Literary Prize (Poetry) in 1977. Writing both in Bahasa Malaysia and British, Muhammad has devoted his life to the development of the Malaysian literary tradition. He is not only well known as a poet but also as a literary scholar.

As a post-colonial poet and a teacher of literature, Muhammad is known for his passionate quest for identification. Actually, the pursuit of id is shown in his poems especially in the outstanding collections of Poems of the Outsider (1973), The Travel Journals of Si Tenggang II (1979), Time and its own People (1978), Poems from the Malay Annals (1981) and Rowing Down Two Waterways (2000).

4. 0 History in the Poems: si tenggang's homecoming and the traveler

Muhammad is known for his passionate quest for personality through his writings. It is very clear that his works explore the real human condition and problems related to personality and community life. Both of these poems: si tenggang homecoming and the traveler are able to portray Malay traditions, culture and beliefs because it deals with a widespread theme, which will be the issue of individuality, selfhood and the fact of being oneself. Both these poems echo the poet's matter for the Malay contemporary society and explore the human condition and problems related to identification.

Muhammad consistently published about the theme of seeking for self-identity because he resided most of his life overseas and inspired by the western world, where he remained there for quite some time but he never forgot that he belongs to the Malay culture; his mom tongue is Malay which is the terms of his indigenous land. Although he creates in English but he still discusses the village life, the city and its own people and the Malay modern culture all together. That is why both of these poem generally contain encourages criticisms or opinions that differ from the Malay culture. It is because traditional modern culture generally will not encourage criticisms or opinions that change from accepted values or those, which have been taken to be considered a way of life.

5. 0 Discourse on si tenggang's homecoming and the traveller.

Si tenggang's homecoming poem consists of six stanzas. Upon nearer study, this can be a representation of si tenggang's experiences as a traveler, who had been abroad for a while and went back to his homeland. The persona is telling the audience that in the process of exploring himself; he has not lost his sense of inheritance and roots. This is seen through stanza 3, lines 31-34,

look, I am just like you,

still malay,

sensitive to what

i believe is good

In si tenggang's homecoming, the persona asserts that he's still Malay in mind; sensitive from what he believes is good for the race. The persona has not turned his backside on his people, his land or roots. On the contrary, after being estranged for a long period, he came back wanting to know the culture that he previously left behind and eager to more about himself. Stanza 3, lines 20-38,

but look,

i have brought myself home,

seasoned by assurance,

broadened by land and languages,

i am no longer fearful of the oceans

or the dissimilarities between people,

not easily fooled

by words or ideas.

the voyage was a dedicated teacher

who as never tardy

in explaining ethnicities or variousness.

look, I am like everyone else,

still malay,

sensitive to what

i believe is good,

and more ready to understand

than my brothers.

the material of these motorboats are yours too

because i've returned.

This shows the persona needing to cope with a myriad of difficulties besides getting rid of touch with traditional customs and manners that self put emphasis on admiration, politeness and self-discipline. The persona feels that his personality has been enriched by his experience overseas. He has become more confident and it is no longer worried of venturing in to the mysterious, which is away from what's safe and familiar. He has changed and chose to get back. He hasn't grown away from his people, in simple fact what he has learned from his journeys has broadened his prospect and he is therefore ready to discuss his knowledge along with his people. He has brought house with him his knowledge and broadened viewpoints which may benefit his people. In stanza 6, lines 55-68,

i am not a new man

not very different

from you;

the people and cities

of coastal ports

taught me not to brood

over a overseas world,

suffer difficulties

or fear choices.

i am you,

freed from the town,

its soils and ways

independent, because

i have found myself.

The persona has come to simply accept the fact that the globe is a very big place and its full of various kinds of individuals. He has learnt to cope in different situations. The persona has learnt that there are many new ideas that seek to make clear things in an entirely different perspective. He does not accept what the original culture provides but questions them and look for further description from the elderly. He's more open-minded and an adult man. Although he has improved, he is still very much the same. He's still area of the family and community he had left behind for a while; but he in addition has learnt to be an individual, to be himself. He hasn't grown from his people. He's still quite definitely one of them except that he has become more self-employed and liberated in his thinking. Hence, instead of blindly following a ways of his people, he questions and is aware of what his culture has to offer him.

This poem is written in the first persona. It signifies the point of view of the persona, si tenggang. Additionally it is displays the poet himself, who has also spent some years in another country while pursuing his studies. The poem also depicts circumstances of mind where the persona displays on his situation to be home again after having journeyed aboard. Despite having gathered an abundance of knowledge and experience through exposure to new ideas, a person should never reject his/her culture, custom, means of live and philosophy.

Our outlook often changes even as we grow, but our roots must always be part of us as our customs and traditions are incredibly treasured to us. Through visibility, new ideas and attitudes can sometimes issue with our traditional beliefs; hence the necessity to be selective whenever we take up new ideas. Finally experience, knowledge and learning should not make us an arrogant person.

This is a talk taken from Muhammad Haji Salleh's talk through the Malaysian Laureates service. He said that although someone got went abroad to help expand his studies or working. They will always get back to their own roots because that is where they belong. They should not turn back to their own roots once they have gained new knowledge and experiences.

This is where they ought to return. Nevertheless, my very own experience took an extended journey and I went back after journeying very good- at this point. I feel this is a move that is although not a loss. A article writer ought to go back to his culture before or after his departure.

(Muhammad Haji Salleh's conversation, "Our people must sail the seas of the world")

The traveller poem includes only four stanzas a shorter poem compare to si tenggang's homecoming poem. The traveler generally reflects the life span of the persona view to start his mind and answering his uncertainties of attempting to are in the village and in the city. The persona methods to life as a traveler in constant search of his self-identity in the city. It is evenly true with the poet himself where the need to travel as it provides him a much better view and broadened one's brain. It also helps the poet to obtain new knowledge and activities. Cruel avenues are symbolic about voyage of life, the hardship that the persona has to face while he was in the city searching for him and adapting to the lifestyle in the city.

The traveller poem uses an emotional first person tone to explore the links between identities, so this means and the metropolitan living. This poem demonstrates a common problem, which encounters by almost all of us in the culture in looking for our self-identity. Thus, this is also the problem face by the persona himself seeking of his individuality in the town. The persona wished to belong to the city in the city. This can be seen through stanza 1, lines 1-5

for i am only a traveller finding my way

among the roads of your brand-new town,

i have other areas to go to.

i shall someday workout a map of this city

and traverse it by walking, someday.

The persona views the town as the source of riches, comfort, entertainment and a place called home. High buildings, modern technology, vehicles, neon lighting are what he views as offering him pleasure. The persona migrated from the village to metropolis to find a luxury and comfortable life that can't be within the village since there is no modernization in the community. The poet is eager to live in the location and being aside of the metropolitan city. He thought that surviving in the town would give him anything that he wanted and dream of the modern and luxury life in metropolis but he was all wrong, he does not know what the town has to offer him, and it had not been what he expected he city that he wants to belong as part of the community of the city people and explore the city life that has been considered fun and thrilling where the town has nothing to offer compare to the best city which have everything. This may seen through stanza 2, lines 10-14

for I will haven't any home here,

among the dreary hard buildings

where the heart and soul cannot stay.

for I am only a traveler

on my way, to anywhere further than here.

The persona cannot find his sense of belonging in the city. The persona allows the lack of emotional attachment among the list of occupants of city life where he says in stanza 3, line 19-21

i must go, someplace.

somewhere, where they can know me;

can recognize that i am a man.

The persona attempts to squeeze in the location but failed because the town has taken away his manhood and his self-identity. Finally, he knew that the village is where he belongs, where his origins are. The persona selects to go back to the village and settle down there because there is where he discovers his self-identity. Within the last stanza, brand 22-28 when the persona says

some nights when the city is asleep

i'll go out silently along your cruel streets

through the suburban border and in to the dawn forests

somewhere, perhaps near where the sun increases,

i can sit down,

and sometime perhaps, I could tell myself,

here, i am a man.

6. 0 Similarities and differences between Si Tenggang's homecoming and the traveler.

Both of these poems, the poet include the facet of humility. Muhammad uses small capital words throughout his poetry. What "i" is showing that the poet is humble. As Ruzy Suliza Hashim claims, "certainly humbleness is one of these because a lot of Muhammad's poems show an "i" persona who's unassuming and self-effacing. " (Ruzy S. Hashim, 2003, p88). Muhammad uses the first person persona to permit greater reader participation. Most of Muhammad's poetry does create recognition in his readers on the problems that are impacting them especially evolves of the Malay contemporary society. It also avoids using irony and uses serious shade. Its have a unique mixture of happiness and sorrow, which is one of the feature characteristics of Malay culture, that Muhammad's uses in writing both these poems. Besides that, these poems also lacked a flowery display and a manifestation of emotions. It handles the intellectual, not sentimental where in fact the poet presents his poems sets an emphasis on the mind and not the heart. The choices of words used by the poet are incredibly immediate and non-emotional.

Both of these poems written in the first persona where in fact the traveler poem voices the links between identities, indicating and urban lifestyle while si tenggang homecoming presents the idea of view of the persona, si tenggang. The persona demonstrates the poet himself, who has also put in some years overseas while going after his studies. The poem also depicts a state of mind in which the persona displays on his situation to be back again to his homeland after being in another country for a while.

The poet uses icons such as ocean, village and fatherland. "i am no more frightened of the ocean"(stanza 3, series24) refers to the obstacles that si tenggang must overcome while he's planing a trip to gain encounters and knowledge. I assume that only through vacationing a person can gain knowledge and extend his/her views. The hurdles that he had been through had educated him a great deal and have been a fervent professor where he increases knowledge about different cultures and outlooks of life. Village identifies si tenggang's Malay culture and his roots, "which comes back me to my village"(Stanza 4, range 46). It shows that although si tenggang has been in another country for a long time but has never ignored about his culture and roots. "transport of the personal from a fatherland" (Stanza 1, series 3 ). It identifies the local land where si tenggang originated from. This refers to si tenggang who has transferred from homeland to foreign land to get new knowledge and experiences.

The poet also uses personification such as "the quest was a dedicated professor who never tardy" (stanza 3, line 28-29) which identifies the voyage that si tenggang had opted through had been a dedicated and passionate teacher to him while he was abroad. "in the country that alienated me" (stanza2, line 14 ) identifies the indigenous land has rejects si tenggang. I personally feel that the culture cannot accept the changes that they have observed in him where his views and he is brave enough to voice out his viewpoints. That is why society perceives him as a rude person and has go against the Malay culture.

The differences that can be entirely on both poems are si tenggang homecoming is where the persona hasn't grown from his people, in truth what he has learnt from his trips has broadened his outlook and he is therefore prepared to reveal his knowledge with his people. He has brought home with him his knowledge and broadened view that may profit his people. The persona has learnt that we now have many new ideas that seek to explain things within an entirely different perspective. Although he has modified, he is still very similar, still Malay. However now, he has become more liberated in his thinking. He's still area of the family and community he previously left behind for a while; but he has also learned to be to be himself. He has not grown from his people.

In the poem the tourist the persona migrated to the location and in search for his himself but at last he noticed that the location was not what he called "home". The persona cannot adjust to metropolis life because metropolis has taken everything from him, his personal information as an individual. The town is forcing him to be aside of them however the persona just do unfit and change himself with the town life. Thus, along the way of learning about himself in the city, he has lost his sense of his own heritage. The persona has lost his self-identity, "where the heart and soul cannot stay" (stanza 2, range 12). This implies that the persona does not belong to the city and he wished to get back to his homeland, the land where he found the substance of being himself.

7. 0 Conclusion

From both poems, we observe how Muhammad conveys the theme of searching for self-identity. The poet manages to work with the language of the former oppressors to set free his new selfhood. The colonialism has helped Muhammad to unravel our personality and culture. In the wake of the post-colonial theory, Muhammad's work can be regarded as a "vibrant and powerful mixture of imperial dialect and local experience"(Childs, 1999). His roots encourage him to sketch readily after a history relatively intact, flourishing and kept authentic because our Malaysian community shares it. Though pressed by political, economic and interpersonal changes, the fundamental Malay culture keeps its powers of education through wide sweeps and by how its details form themselves in the average person life.

Both of these poems offer with the common problem that confronted by individuals inside our modern culture. Muhammad is highlighting this problem through his writing. His work certainly displays the vocabulary and the Malay culture. In addition, it depicts the process of a person growth in looking for his/ her identity in our multiracial contemporary society.

8. 0 Implications for Education

Education takes on an important role to form students to become an educated and who are intellectual, spiritually, psychologically and in physical form balance specific. Besides that, it is through education that professors should instill valuable ideals to students so that students will be able to contribute to the world and region.

Si tenggang's homecoming and the traveler have a lot to offer in conditions of valuable announcements that may be conveyed from the poem itself to the students. It also acts as an real text, which allows students to use the values of being very pleased to be oneself to their real life situation. It shows the students not to forget their roots and be proud of whom they can be. It also helps to make students alert to their own self-identity and through the experiences and knowledge they have, should not make sure they are very pleased and egoistic.

Both of the poems provide chance for highlighting universal beliefs such as value one's self-identity. It includes becomes a means of enhancing inter racial understanding and exposing to our students to the Malay culture that is depicted in si tenggang homecoming. In addition, it helps to create better understanding among Malaysians. Professors can also help to expose our students to different civilizations in our own country.

Most students have little fascination with the English terminology. By producing Malaysian authors and their works to the students, it'll give a more familiar setting up and also present ethnic elements that are familiar to the students or at least are not totally alien to them. It would encourage the students to learn local literary works, as they might easily and much more readily to recognize the problems and characters that can be found in the written text.

Lack of students' awareness about the value not to ignore their roots will lead them to become a very pleased citizen and will not appreciate one's uniqueness of being a Malaysian. Muhammad's poems help to educate students not to abandon one's tradition and lose one's identity. Therefore, students should have the capability to maintain one's individuality while remaining as an associate of one's modern culture irrespective of competition and colour. They must affect a balance. In search for selfhood, students shouldn't forget their roots while there are embracing new knowledge and encounters. Furthermore, the students should also be educated to understand their culture, custom and roots. They should be proud to be always a person in the world as a Malaysian irrespective of race, colour or creed and reside in harmony in our multiracial country.

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