Saturday, July 2, 2011

Poem - The Dead Crow by A. Samad Said

The author

The Dead Crow is a poem written by Dato' A. Samad Said, whose real name is Abdul Samad Muhammad Said.

Dato' A. Samad Said

A. Samad Said was the first Malay author to successfully unite craft with art in his writing. The literary excellence of his work is a product of his consciousness in craftsmanship. He pioneered a new style of writing, simultaneously continuing the idealism of the Generation of the Fifties and renewing its approach to literature.

Born in Malacca in 1935, A. Samad Said is great Malaysian writer and has been honoured with the title of Sasterawan Negara (National Laureate). He has worked as a writer and journalist and now devotes himself completely to writing. The English translation of his novel, Salina (1975), achieved international recognition.

A. Samad Said was awarded national recognition as a Literary Pioneer in 1976 and received the Anugerah Sastera Negara (National Literary Award) in 1985.

The Poem

The Dead Crow

He saw a dead crow
in a drain
near the post office.
He saw an old man
gasping for air
and a baby barely able to breathe
in a crowded morning clinic.
This land is so rich.
Why should we suffer like this?

I want clean air
for my grandchildren.
I want the damned fools
to leave the forest alone.
I want the trees to grow,
the rivers run free,
and the earth covered with grass.
Let the politicians plan how we may live with dignity,
now and always.

The Dead Crow vs Earth Song
What are The Dead Crow and Michael Jackson's Earth Song have a lot in common? The song has an environmental theme, showing images of animal cruelty, deforestation, pollution and war. Jackson and the world's people unite in a spiritual chant—"Earth Song"—which summons a force that heals the world. The strong messages about loving and protecting the nature are portrayed in The Dead Crow. Watch the following video clip from the song. 




What is the poem about?
The Dead Crow discusses what will happen if the environment is damaged. The persona is sad because people become ill and have breathing problems although their country is rich. The people are sick because the air is dirty and the environment is destroyed. If the people in that country are ignorant, selfish and continue to pollute and damage the environment, they may not be able to continue living in it.


Haze in Kuala Lumpur

Air pollution from a car exhaust

A crow is used as a symbol in this poem. A crow is a tough bird which feeds on rubbish/wastes and is able to live in a dirty place. In this poem, the persona found a dead crow which died due to a very bad environment. This shows that the country where the persona lives is badly polluted and can cause even a tough crow to die.

A crow

The future generations are represented by the baby and the older generations by the old man.The persona hopes that everybody should play their role to protect the environment.


The literal meaning of the poem (The Paraphrase)


He saw a dead crow
in a drain
near the post office.
MeaningThe persona saw a dead crow in a drain near the post office.

He saw an old man
gasping for air
Meaning: The persona saw an old man who need to breathe clean air


and a baby barely able to breathe
Meaning: The persona saw a baby who had problems to breathe easily.


in a crowded morning clinic.
Meaning: The persona saw the old man and the baby at a clinic in the morning. The clinic is full with patients.



This land is so rich.
Meaning: The country where the persona lives is wealthy because it is rich with natural sources.

Why should we suffer like this?
Meaning: Even though the country is rich, the people are ill due to environmental damage and pollution.



I want clean air
for my grandchildren.
Meaning: The persona wants clean air which is free from pollution for the future generation




I want the damned fools
to leave the forest alone.
Meaning: The persona wants the irresponsible people who cut and burn down the trees to stop destroying the forest.  

I want the trees to grow,
Meaning: The persona wants to see the trees to grow, 

the rivers run free,
Meaning: The persona wants to see the rivers flow freely without water pollution,

and the earth covered with grass.
Meaning: The persona wants to see the earth covered with green grass.



Let the politicians plan how we may live with dignity,
now and always.
Meaning: Let the politicians / authorities plan how the people in the country may live with dignity by taking steps to protect the environment.



To download the booklet on this poem, click the following link:
Form 1: Poem Booklet for PMR 2011


References:
  1. Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (2005) Selected Poems And Short Stories Form 1. Kuala Lumpur. Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka.
  2. Mac, Yin Mee (2006) Extreme PMR Notes Literature Component Form 1. Selangor. Sasbadi Sdn. Bhd.
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Song

Source of pictures (according to the appearance in this post)
  1. http://addin77.blogspot.com
  2. http://shu1229.blogspot.com/
  3. http://photos2848.myblog.it
  4. https://naturalunseenhazards.wordpress.com/
  5. http://www.cfsbc.ca
  6. http://wwwqismis.blogspot.com/
  7. http://www.stockphotos.ro
  8. http://www.buzzle.com
  9. http://storyformydoctor1.blogspot.com
  10. http://www.inriodulce.com
  11. http://nigeldickinson.photoshelter.com
  12. http://www.dynamicclimate.ca
  13. http://mynewshub.my
  14. http://nigeldickinson.com
  15. http://lyrfutures08.wordpress.com/
  16. http://www.asiaexplorers.com
  17. http://ranirofika.blogspot.com
  18. http://derqdnl.blogspot.com
  19. http://www.nidokidos.org
  20. http://www.vocnederland.org
  21. http://www.brainquotient.com



4 comments :

GREENfriends said...

Thank you, Cikgu Nuha.
A good piece on a great poet.

Cikgu Muthu

Teacher Nuha said...

Thanks for the comment Cikgu Muthu :)

Anonymous said...

I love this poem.

Teacher Nuha said...

Me too :)

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