The Jakarta Post
Sindhunata reads his poems at the Art Gallery Dialektika in Malang, East Java, on Dec. 27, 2019. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)
Words have the power to deceive. Words are also how water flows and follows its stream.
Those words were uttered by Gabriel Possenti Sindhunata, a Catholic priest who has published a number of books on literature and poetry. His newest collection of poems is titled Air Kejujuran (Water of Honesty).
"I used to think that words were water, and water is like honesty to me,” Sindhunata said at his book talk at Art Gallery Dialektika in Malang, East Java, on Friday.
The 67-year-old man also presented Air Kata-Kata (Water of Words), his poetry book published in 2003, as a gift to the people of his hometown of Batu, East Java.
The books were launched on Saturday with a number of activities, including a writing class for children and adults at the Batu Library.
In the evening that day, a poetry reading was scheduled at the Batu mayor’s residence, where residents, artists and Batu Mayor Dewanti Rumpoko took turn reading poems.
True to his heritage, Sindhunata wrote several poems in the Javanese language. “The poems were made out of my impressions after meeting marginalized people, along with themes found in pieces of art,” he said.
It explains why the book includes works of some artists, such as Ki Soleh Adi Pramono, who is in charge of the Mangun Dharma Tumpang Art Workshop in Malang, and traditional theater ludruk artist Marsam Hidayat.
Poet Herman Aga of Batu said he found the book captivating as the poems were a reflection of Sindhunata.
“It could be the start of reinvigorating the literature and art world of Batu,” he said. (wng)
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