Sutardji Calzoum Bachri

Sutardji Calzoum Bachri, known as Tardji,[1] (born 1941 in Rengat, Riau) is a well-known Indonesian poet. A native Malay speaker,[2] he successfully launched a credo of 'freeing words of their meanings'.[2][3]

He was nicknamed the "bottle poet" for a preference, early in his career, for accompanying readings of his work with bottles of alcohol.[1] He was also known once as 'The President of Indonesian Poets'[1][4] His style of reading has been compared to the incantation-like quality of the old Indonesian dukun, chants stemming from Indonesian pre-Islamic shamanistic practice, still used today.[5]

The style of Tardji's poetry has been described as that of a mantra.[2] He has been quoted as saying that the mantra is the true use of words.


  1. ^ a b c Agusta, Leon (24 December 2007). "Sutardji Calzoum Bachri: from bottle-poet to Sufism". Jakarta Post.
  2. ^ a b c Jennifer Lindsay, ed. (2003). Babel or behemoth: language trends in Asia. NUS. p. 52. ISBN 978-981-04-9075-1.
  3. ^ Hill, Hal (1994). Indonesia's new order: the dynamics of socio-economic transformation. University of Hawaii Press. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-8248-1660-5.
  4. ^ "Medy Loekito: silent poetry, lonely poetry". Jakarta Post. 30 October 2009. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010.
  5. ^ Muhammad Haji Salleh (March 1991). "Oral elements in contemporary Indonesian poetry". Indonesia and the Malay World. 19 (54): 3–18. doi:10.1080/03062849108729752.

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