Chairil Anwar, Indonesia’s famous and arguably favorite poet, who died in 1949 at the young age of 26, wrote a poem in 1943 (during the Japanese occupation) about the Javanese historical figure Diponegoro. It has the famous couplet:
Sudah itu mati
A moment of meaning
Chairil’s poetry is known for its directness and fresh use of the Indonesian-Malay language. In this poem, which is written not in Diponegoro’s...