He had such quiet eyes

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Information about He had such quiet eyes

Published on April 6, 2014

Author: valsoon

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1 He Had Such Quiet Eyes He had such quiet eyes She did not realise They were two pools of lies Layered with thinnest ice To her, those quiet 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 Bibsy Soenharjo-1968 The poem discusses how the eyes of a man can be alluring, seductive and dangerous. The message here is actually an advice for young girls not to be fooled by appearance and that „looks‟ can be deceiving. In the first stanza, the quiet eyes ‘were two pools of lies, layered with thinnest ice„ suggest that the man‟s eyes are very profound, calm, peaceful, but very deceiving. Like the thin ice on the surface of a lake, it looks tranquil, peaceful, very calm, alluring and also welcoming, but as soon as you set foot on it, it will break and you will drown in the deep, dangerous freezing water and you will not be able to breathe. As for example, the man may say something like “I love you, and if you love me, prove it!” In the poem, the young lady was deceived. She was deceived by the look in his eyes, and thus, she feels obligated to be nice to him. She wants to prove that she loves him too. This is definitely the effect that he intended. In being nice to him, she will do anything that he asked, in order to make him happy. So in the second stanza, after the girl has given the boy her everything, all that remains are questions left unanswered. She is thinking and asking about the hows and whys, “how could you do this to me?”, “how could you leave me after all that I‟ve done for you?”, “how could I ever trust you?”, “why did you do this to me?”, “why did you walk away?”, “why is this happening to me?” She is unable to stop wallowing in self pity and blaming herself. It describes how young women are usually too gullible, naïve and easily influenced, especially in matters of love and emotions. Thus, the advice is not to compromise with the wrong man. This is because “the hows and whys” is actually the art of seduction that will entangle the woman in its webs for a long time. The dangerous man with this knowledge will not only destroy a woman dry emotionally, but also physically, financially and then discard her. The man uses her to fulfill his needs and then abandons her. The last stanza reminds us to ensure that the “Nice” means nice with no underlying intention, truthful and honest. Then you’ll never be losing at dice: love is a risk taken by both side, they take turns throwing the “dice of life” and if the woman is smart, she will be safe in the relationship. Though you may lose your heart once or twice: this is the risk in love, although a broken heart can still be mended, there are things in a girl that once broken it will be forever gone. In other words “be sure that nice really means nice” meaning that if a man is being nice to you, make sure that he does not have any hidden agenda. Do not fall into his trap. The last line sums it all up beautifully. It is alright to be heartbroken, to lose love once or twice, but there is something in a girl that once she has lost it, she will never get it back.

2 ********************************************************************************************************* Are You Still Playing Your Flute? Are you still playing your flute? When there is hardly time for our love I am feeling guilty To be longing for your song The melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo Uncovered by the breath of an artist Composed by his fingers Blown by the wind To the depth of my heart. Are you still playing your flute? In the village so quiet and deserted Amidst the sick rice fields While here it has become a luxury To spend time watching the rain Gazing at the evening rays Collecting dew drops Or enjoying the fragrance of flowers. Are you still playing your flute? The more it disturbs my conscience to be thinking of you in the hazard of you my younger brothers unemployed and desperate my people disunited by politics my friend slaughtered mercilessly this world is too old and bleeding. By Zurinah Hassan Discussion: The poem uses a conversational style- as if the poet is speaking to someone. The person intended here is someone who is very good at playing the flute. In a glimpse- it looks like a romantic poem as the diction tends to show romance. But the use of soft, romantic words spoken to the person who is playing the flute are actually one way or style for the poet to express whatever that is playing in her mind. The theme of the poem circulates around society. Overall, it is an expression about the conditions of the people in her country and other countries around the world going through crisis and that are chaotic. In actual fact, the poet is reminiscing about her village that is pain and exhausted! She recounts on her condition in the city…the city that is ill, whereas, her village is quiet… the younger generation has left the village! And what about the boy who plays the flute? Is he still playing the flute? Does this mean that he is trying to defend the art and tradition? The musical instrument chosen is the flute as it is the closest musical instrument to nature. It is only a piece of bamboo and it does not need any form of sophisticated technology to create it. So, everything comes back to nature. Everything comes back to originality. The poet is guilty and tries not to show that she yearns to see the flute player! She is feeling guilty because she is thinking about art! She should have been very busy attending life in the city as life in the city is very fast paced.

3 It is as if she is spending time on trivial matters, when life is being beset by larger problems. Many at that time are unemployed. People are disunited due to political issues. In countries such as Bosnia and Palestine, Muslims are being haunted by wild bombs. This is not the time to be giving attention to art. This is the time to work hard. When an artist is unable to entertain his love for art, he claims not to be an artist anymore! ********************************************************************************************************* Exercises: Practice 4: He Had Such Quiet Eyes He had such quiet eyes She did not realise They were two pools of lies Layered with thinnest ice To her, those quiet 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 Bibsy Soenharjo-1968 a. What does the phrase „thinnest ice‟ imply? ……………………………………………………………………………................................................................ b. In this poem, 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 to surrender to him. Write the two lines depicting this. ……………………………………………………………………………................................................................ ...................................................................................................................................................... c. What is the main theme in this poem? ……………………………………………………………………………….............................................................. d. What did you learn from this poem? Explain. ……………………………………………………………………………….............................................................. ………………………………………………………………………………..............................................................

4 Practice 5: Are You Still Playing Your Flute? Are you still playing your flute? When there is hardly time for our love I am feeling guilty To be longing for your song The melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo Uncovered by the breath of an artist Composed by his fingers Blown by the wind To the depth of my heart. Are you still playing your flute? In the village so quiet and deserted Amidst the sick rice fields While here it has become a luxury To spend time watching the rain Gazing at the evening rays Collecting dew drops Or enjoying the fragrance of flowers. Are you still playing your flute? The more it disturbs my conscience to be thinking of you in the hazard of you my younger brothers unemployed and desperate my people disunited by politics my friend slaughtered mercilessly this world is too old and bleeding. By Zurinah Hassan a. Who is the persona in the poem? ………………………………………………………………………….................................................................... b. Write one line from the poem that depicts that people are jobless. ………………………………………………………………………….................................................................... c. Provide three phrases that depict the message of cruel realities of a nation in uncertainty of its future. ……………………………………………………………………………….............................................................. ……………………………………………………………………………….............................................................. d. In your own words describe why the poet used the word “sick” to describe the rice fields. …………………………………………………………………………………........................................................... ……………………………………………………………………………….............................................................. vslm/eng/2012/smkbb

5 Practice 4 a. dangerous b. To her, those quiet eyes Were breathing desolate sighs Imploring her to be nice c. Deceit d. We sometimes encounter people who have ill intentions towards us. We should take precaution against them. Are You Still Playing Your Flute? Practice 5 a. a very perceptive and reflective woman. b. my younger brothers unemployed and desperate c. my people disunited by politics my friend slaughtered mercilessly this world is too old and bleeding. d. Perhaps the yield is not rewarding/ the harvest is destroyed due to bad weather.

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