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He Had Such Quiet Eyes
Transcript of He Had Such Quiet Eyes
by Bibsy Soenharjo
Bibsy Soenharjo or Nusupati.
22nd November 1928, Jakarta.
Develop interest toward literature.
First exposed to poets in her father’s library – Edgar Allan Poe, Matthew Arnold, W.B. Yeats and Vachel Lindsay.
First write poem in 1957 after her 4 year stay in Japan.
Currently lives in Jakarta.
Bilingual anthologies poems.
Indonesian works translated into English, Dutch and Japanese.
English poems into Indonesian and Dutch.
Jakarta March 1967 -
Setelah Gerhana Bulan.
Significance of Title
• The overall poem talks about a woman deceived by a man who she found has the quiet eyes or literally meaning man that has the ability to cover their intentions by showing innocent behaviour.
tells us about the poet pouring her thoughts of regret for putting trust to the man. She thought that the man is nice based on his appearance.
, the poet tells us her frustration of not being wiser and listens to the elderly advices of not to put trust easily on men, especially the one that acts too nice.
, the poet advices the reader especially women to be cautious of the man behind the mask.
Point of view
• The poet use third person of view when in his poem describing the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’. (Stanza 1, line 1-2).
• The persona in this poem is most probably a sensible person who is aware of ‘pleasure-seeking guys’. (Stanza 2, line 12).
The poet talks about the betrayal of a young girl’s feelings for a man.
She believes in his sincerity to her as he had pleaded to her surrender to him. She is taken in by his quiet eyes.
If she had listened to advice about men who seek pleasure, she would not be in this situation.
The poet advises all young girls to be careful and not be betrayed by men.
The persona thought that the man needed someone to love as she looked into his eyes. She did not realize any harm from the man and grows her feel of passionate towards him.
It portrays the events in life. Socializing is one part of life events that will teach people to be better. We will not know a character of a person until we socialize with them.
The persona feels an atonement of her by not being wiser and listens to the advice. She regrets of her wrong thought that she grew fondness towards him.
The lesson is learn and it tells that we need to hold on to principles and advices given by the one with experiences. However, our own experience makes us a better person in the future.
The poet recommend that women should consider a person’s character sooner than make attempt to get involved in relationship. Nevertheless we will get broken a few times before met a sincere relationship.
The advice is rather open to all women and men as it can happen to both gender sides in relationship. Therefore, precautions are ought to be made to avoid serious outcomes. Affection is not something that anyone can take granted on.
Set in the present, the world around us now. Highlights the fact that the people around us are not always sincere and may have ulterior motives towards us.
In the case of the woman in the poem, the man only wanted to have sexual pleasure from her. However, she saw him as a man in need of love and consolation.
The poem puts forward the need to practice caution when we deal with the people around us.
Strong Moral Values and Self-Respect
The woman in the poem got herself into a difficult situation and was cheated by a man because of his pleading and insincere lies.
If a man has respect for the woman he loves, he too would not ask her to do what is morally wrong.
Deception in Appearances
Do not judge a person’s character by his appearance.
As can be seen in this poem, a gentle and kind-looking man can actually be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Listen to Advice
The woman in the poem poured out her disappointment, frustration and hurt in this poem and wished she had ‘been wise’.
The young readers should not be impulsive in their actions and listen to the advice of their elders so that they would not end up full of regrets.
Tone, Mood and Atmosphere
Tone : Reflective
Reflect on the events happened and decisions taken those days. The poet is giving advice to the reader.
Mood : Sad
Sad of the betrayal, but gained moral values from it and make woman more cautious.
Sympathies the fate of the woman.
Language and Style
1. Simple and easy to understand.
2. Simple style with rhyming scheme.
Ends with the “ice” sound each line.
e.g. ‘pools of lies’, ‘layered in thinnest ice’.
e.g. ‘quiet eyes’ = innocent face/behaviour portrayed by the man, ‘dice’ = making decisions.
e.g. ‘lies layered’
e.g. The eyes were ‘breathing the desolate sighs’ as though he was talking charmingly to her.
Avoid being mistaken by looks or appearance.
Do not be naive and believe in everything we are told especially in matters of the heart.
Be wise when choosing friends.
Falling in love is normal but one should be careful.
We must learn from the experiences of other people.
He had such quiet eyes
She did not realise
They were two pools of lies
Layered with thinnest eyes
Were breathing desolate sighs
Imploring her to be nice
And to render him paradise
If only she'd been wise
And had listened to the advice
Never to compromise
With pleasure-seeking guys
She'd be free from "the hows and whys"
Now here's a bit of advice
Be sure that nice really means nice
Then you'll never be losing at dice
Though you may lose your heart once or twice
Versification and sound patterns
Simple style with rhyming scheme.
: Ends with the “ice” sound each line.
Free verse form
The first stanza has 8 lines
The second stanza has 5 lines
The concluding stanza has 4 lines