Today’s Doodle honors Sapardi Djoko Damono, the Indonesian poet who revolutionized lyrical poetry.
In 1940, Damono was born in Solo, Central Java. He began writing poetry while attending Surakarta high school, where he spent his childhood reading every book he could find. Damono went to graduate school to study Indonesian literature after earning a degree in English from Gajah Mada University. He began to take his poetry more seriously during this time as he worked as a theater assistant and radio broadcaster.
Damono published his first collection of poetry, dukaMu abadi (Your Sorrow Is Eternal), in 1969. Damano’s groundbreaking debut reflected on the human condition at a time when the majority of Indonesian poets focused on societal reflection and ideas. Damano was hired as a literature professor at the University of Indonesia as a result of the book’s success.
Before receiving the Southeast Asian Write Award for poetry in 1986, which was sponsored by ASEAN, Damono published three more collections of poetry in his straightforward and reflective style. He established the Indonesian Literary Scholars Association with the intention of promoting the art form throughout the nation and held the position of chairman for three consecutive terms. One of Damono’s most well-known translations of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is an Indonesian translation of other authors’ works.
Hujan Bulan Juni (A June Rain), a collection of some of Damono’s best poems, was published in 1994. Several musicians were inspired to create compositions with similar themes by this work. Damono was elected dean of faculty at the University of Indonesia, and a poetry recital was held in 2010 to honor his life’s work.
Later in his vocation, Damono acquired esteemed respects remembering the Achmad Bakrie Grant for Writing for 2003 and the Akademi Jakarta Grant in 2012. His poetry, which serves as an ode to the next generation of writers, is still read all over the world today.