Saturday, January 22, 2011


The poem is about a persona, a lady who fell for the wrong man. She was fascinated with his ‘quiet eyes’ and believed that his eyes showed his true emotion and feelings for her. The man’s eyes had the power to charm her and made her believe him and be nice to him.
However, the man was actually a ‘pleasure seeking man’, a flirt. As the lady was truly fascinated and charmed by the man, she did not listen or did not want to listen to any advice concerning the man’s true behaviour. In the end, she realized her error and was broken hearted.


Bibsy Soenharjo was born in Jakarta on 22 November 1928. Bibsy and her siblings were homeschooled and each was encouraged to pursue their own interests. She had a particular fondness for literature and, after returning home from a four-year stay in Japan, Bibsy began writing her first prose in 1957, and then poetry in the 60s. The Literary Review, an international quarterly published by Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, USA, published her first four literary pieces in their Autumn and Spring Editions in 1967 and 1968 respectively. In 1967 also, her poem, “Jakarta, March 1967” was published in the Australian magazine Hemisphere, while ”Setelah Gerhana Bulan” (After the Eclipse of the Moon) was published in Gelanggang, an Indonesian cultural magazine now defunct.
Her poems have appeared in bilingual anthologies, with her Indonesian works translated into English, Dutch and Japanese and her English poems into Indonesian and Dutch. She continued to write prose pieces in Indonesian that appeared in Jakarta dailies under the pen name Nuspati.
Bibsy Soenharjo now lives in Jakarta with the youngest of her three sons, Haryo, his wife Sutji and their children.

He had such quite eyes.

He had such quiet eyes
She did not realize
They were two pools of lies
Layered with thinnest ice
To her, those quiet eyes
Were breathing desolate sighs
Imploring her to be nice
And to render him paradise

If only she’d been wise
And had listened to the advice
Never to compromise
With pleasure-seeking guys
She would be free from ‘the hows and

Now here’s a bit of advice
Be sure that nice really means nice
Then you’ll never be losing at dice
Though you may lose your heart once or

Bibsy Soenharjo

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