Notes on the poems
‘Berdiri Aku’ was first published in October 1933 in Pujangga Baru I No. 4, and subsequently in the collection Buah Rindu, published in June 1941 in Pujangga Baru VIII No. 12.
‘Hanya Satu’ was first published in November 1937 in the collection Nyanyi Sunyi in Pujangga Baru V No. 5.
In stanza 4 of the first section, the inner calm and ‘boundless freedom’ of God’s beloved Noah in the midst of the archetypal cataclysm may be contrasted with the inner disquiet and uncertainty of the poet surrounded by the serene beauty of the created world in stanza 4 of ‘Berdiri Aku’.
The ‘fair sons of Father Abraham’ in the first stanza of the second section are Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, traditionally regarded as the prime forefather of Christianity, and Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar, who holds an analogous position in Islamic tradition.
‘Turun Kembali’ was first published in November 1937 in the collection Nyanyi Sunyi in Pujangga Baru V No. 5.
Stanza 3 hints at the metaphorical comparison (drawn more explicitly elsewhere in Nyanyi Sunyi) of God to the puppet master of the Javanese shadow play.