si tenggang’s homecoming
the physical journey that i traverse
is a journey of the soul,
transport of the self from a fatherland
to a country collected by sight and mind,
the knowledge that sweats from it
is a stranger’s knowledge,
from one who has learnt to see, think
and choose between
the changing realities.
it’s true i have growled at my mother and grandmother
but only after having told of my predicament
that they have never brought to reason.
the wife that i begun to love in my loneliness,
in the country that alienated me
they took to their predecisions
i have not entirely returned, i know,
having been changed by time and place,
coarsened by problems
estranged by absence.
i have brought myself home,
seasoned by confidence,
broadened by land and languages,
i am no longer afraid of the oceans
or the differences between people,
not easily fooled
by words or ideas.
the journey was a loyal teacher
who was never tardy
in explaining cultures or variousness
look, i am just like you,
sensitive to what i believe is good,
and more ready to understand
than my brothers.
the contents of these boats are yours too
because i have returned.
travels made me
a seeker who does not take
what is given without sincerity
or that which demands payments from beliefs.
the years at sea and coastal states
have taught me to choose,
to accept only those tested by comparison,
or that which matches the words of my ancestors,
which returns me to my village
and its perfection.
the ways of the rude
to hold reality in a new logic,
debate with hard and loud facts.
but i too am humble, respecting,
man and life.
i am not a new man,
not very different
the people and cities
of coastal ports
taught me not to brood
over a foreign world,
or fear possibilities.
i am you,
freed from the village,
its soils and ways,
i have found myself.
1. What does “physical journey” refer to?
2. What does “A journey of the soul” refer to?
3. What do lines 5 & 6 mean?
4. What has this knowledge helped si tenggang to do?
5. How do his family members feel about the new si tenggang?
6. Who understood and accepted him?
7. si tenggang feels he has “not entirely returned”(line 16). Why is this?
8. How has he been changed?
9. What does “the contents of thee boats are yours too” mean (line 37)?
10. 25. Why does si tenggang say that he is “still malay”(line 32)?
11. 26.What is si tenggang’s journey compared to (line 28-30)?
12. 27.Why does he say he is “not a new man?”
13. In the last stanza (line 55-68), what does he say he has learned?
14. What do lines 64 to 66 mean?
15. What does he say he has become in lines 67 to 68? What does he mean?