Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Black River

Black River

By W. S. Rendra

(Kali Hitam)

Black river passing with a sigh,
Flowing from a nameless land.
Black river running through valleys,
Black river cutting through my breast.

It flows. Flows. Who knows from where?
A hermit secret, a secret grief.
Loneliness born of too much asking.
How it runs, with its poisonous tongue!

Translated by Burton Raffe

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Summer 1962), p. 112


a photo of W. S. Rendra

W. S. Rendra (1935-2009) was an Indonesia dramatist, poet, activist, performer, and director. He was the author of several books of poetry and the recipient of many awards, including the National Literature Prize BMKN and the Southeast Asian Write Award.

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