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The Starling - Si Jalak

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The Starling - Si Jalak

Poems by Putu Oka Sukanta


Paperback / softback

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The Starling - Si Jalak by Putu Oka Sukanta
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Arrested as a leftist-activist in 1966, Putu Oka Sukanta was imprisoned until 1976. In The Starling, originally published in 1986 as Tembang Jalak Bali (Song of the Starling), he speaks of the terrible degradation of humanity and the inner strength and solidarity of comradeship which emerge in the extreme conditions of imprisonment. The poems go on to explore the painful steps in the reconstruction of life and social meaning after the prison gates have opened. Putu once referred to himself as a starling (jalak Bali), a bird endemic to Bali. ""A starling,"" he said, ""is an annoying, ugly bird that no-one likes and is always causing trouble. But it's a great survivor.

Author Biography

Putu Oka Sukanta was a political prisoner from 1966-1976, following the military coup that brought General Suharto to power. Since his release, he has been invited overseas to conduct theater performances, poetry readings, and literary conferences in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, Malaysia, Germany and France. His works include children's books, three poetry collections, and two volumes of short stories. He works as an acupuncturist and has written books on alternative medicine.
Release date Australia
December 30th, 2013
Translated by Keith Foulcher
Lontar Foundation
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