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Jakarta Post

Dina Oktaviani: The lost biography of a young poet

  • Daniel Rose


Jakarta   /   Sun, May 11 2008   /  12:37 pm

(JP/JB. Djwan) City lights picked me up/and we tried to forget all the things/that had shredded the solitude back in that room//we may never understand/why old calendars/could change history/as easily and quickly as a highway rush How do you feel after reading the lines above? How would you feel if you were told that the verse, an excerpt from a poem titled Silent Calendars, was written by a 15 year old? Dina Oktaviani composed it in February 2001. She had never before submitted her work to a national publication, but a year after Silent Calendars was written, Media Indonesia decided to print it in its Sunday edition, along with her other poems. And how did she feel about it? "I was happy about the pay," she said, laughing. "But seriously, back then, I had to pay my own school fees, and I enjoyed spending money. My parents were proud too. They said th...