Humility

By: Muhammad Syarif Fadhlurrahman

Today, I beheld a greatness

A grandeur in style and form

An eloquence highly exceeding

That of mine, which over-shadows mine

Indeed, I do realize how stale is my style

How unimaginative, poor, and formulaic

The mode by which I write, so rigid and plain

Long have I been aware of this

Yet, still, still this overwhelms me!

How free his mind dives into the seas of words

Till I can not perceive him again under the rich depths,

Flying above the skies of sound as graceful as an eagle

So high and higher still, the silvery clouds veil him from me

How new and fresh the vitality radiated from his works

While I dimmed like a decayed star, an impotent star dust

Liberated from the shackles of ancient norms

While I sit cross-legged bowing before the keraton* of meter

Truly, his art doth amazes me

What can I do but feel humbled?

Note: * keraton is a Javanese style of sultanate palace, from the Old Javanese word 'raton'(king). Cognates with 'raden'(nobility title); 'ratu'(Javanese: king/queen; Indonesian: queen)