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OR “IN-SIGHT-MALAYSIAN POEMS” Question: 1. Choose a poem from any of these anthologies and write an explication of the poem. If you choose a short poem (eg 1 stanza), then write on two short poems. (15 marks) 2. Write a critical analysis of the poem. (15 marks)




1.0 Introduction „Fallen‟ is one of the poems that is written by Jaja Mysara Mustafa which can be found in the antologies Poetry of Life: Ecstasies and Anxieties. In this paper, I will study this poem based on three aspects that are interpretation of poem, theme and issues raised. 2.0 Interpretation of poem In the first stanza, the persona conveys to the readers that she learns to accept any problems that she has with an open heart and she does not allow herself to be defeated by them. She also tries to be strong and patient in enduring all of the hardships that life throws at her along her journey of life. At the same time, she attempts to mend her heart which has been tortured by all of the confusion, disappointment, anger and sadness that she has been through in life. It is also vividly portrayed within this poem that it is hard to accept all of the mistakes that have been done and sins that have been committed in the past. In that moments of desperation, „there‟s nothing left to be done‟ except convincing herself that everything is going to be fine and in time she will manage to pass all of the hard phases of her life. It is completely usual for people to hope for the best in their lives although during the worst times in their lives. With every morning that comes, people wish that it brings along the ray of hope and chances for them to change to be a better person and having a more contented life. In the second stanza, the persona expresses her disappointment on some people who are selfish and not understanding other people‟s pains including hers. When she is in problems, most of her friends and people around her tend to leave her

alone and refuse to offer helps what more to understand her situations. The persona also tries to forget all of the bad things that other people have done to her and she does not mind about that anymore. This is conveyed through these lines that personify „soul‟ and „spirit‟ that are, „My weary soul has been left, And my spirit has taken over my destiny‟. The persona also realises that life is not always on the bed of roses. The third stanza depicts that there will not always be luck and fortune in life as sometimes people have to go through hard times as well as experience unfortunate things. In the fourth stanza, it is shown that as the expressions of regret after something bad has happened or doing mistakes, people will tell themselves that they should have done the right things at the very first place. However, as human beings, people are born with lots of weaknesses and limitations which make them vulnerable to any forms of temptations as well as making faults. In the last stanza, the persona tries to make the readers realise that people should not deny the fate that has been destined on them by God. Human beings are powerless to go against fate and there is nothing they can do about it except accepting it with a rational mind. People are granted with abundance of time as well as opportunities to achieve their dreams and make the best out of their lives but in the end, everything depends on God whether to make it happen or not. 3.0 Theme This deep in meaning poem is beautifully written on the theme of regret on the mistakes and sins that have been done in the past. According to the lines of this poem, it can be said that the persona feels regret and remorseful on the wrongdoings that she has committed in the past which keep haunting her up to the present time. She asks for forgiveness and seeks for refuge from God on the sins that she has committed. She has repented on her past sins, changed for good and hoped for the best in her life in the future. However, her journey to redemption is full of hindrances as it is hard for her to accept the reality of her mistakes and sins. This is enlightened within these lines, „It‟s not easy to take, When you face your worst mistake‟. Her past mistakes teach her to be

a better, stronger, wiser person. She promises to herself not to repeat the same mistakes and learn her lessons on the mistakes that she has done. Perhaps it is true that experience and mistake are the best teachers in making people thinking and taking actions in the more matured ways. 4.0 Issues raised One of the issues that has been raised in the poem „Fallen‟ is being strong in going through hardships in life. All of the past mistakes and wrongdoings have taught the persona to be a more persevered person in facing life. She learns to continue her precious life with lots of patience and determination although sometimes life can get too tough and she succumbs into despair once in awhile. This is put across in the two lines at the very beginning of this poem, „I learn how to fall and crushed the floor, With no pain to feel‟. However, she takes the obstacles as the challenges which make her stronger and wiser in undergoing her life. From all of those hurdles in life, she learns to mend her heart and stand up tall again. As a result, she is ready to face life again with a more matured mind and heart. The next issue raised in this poem is hoping for the best in life. Every sane people wants the best for their lives but not everything turns out to be good and the way it is hoped to be. Therefore, while it is totally fine to expect for the best in lives, people should always be prepared mentally and physically to endure the worst phases of their lives as the saying goes, live life for the best and prepare for the worst. The persona is optimistic that her past mistakes can be mended and her wrongdoings will be forgiven by God after she repents as well as feels regret about them. She also realises that it is not an easy thing to „face your (her) worst mistake‟ but she believes that she deserves the second chance to move on with her life. She „keep(s) telling yourself (herself) a new life shall begun‟ and she will manage to leave behind all of the bitter memories in the past. Although she knows that she cannot fully eliminate all of the past mistakes as they are a part of her present life, she takes them as the lessons which make her more careful with the decision she makes from now onwards. She really hopes that her life will be better as time goes by.


Another issue that is raised by the poet in „Fallen‟ is people‟s selfishness. When people are happy and blessed with lots of good things, they will be surrounded by many people who hope to gain a bit of their „lucks‟ whereas when they are in troubles no one would even wants to come closer. Perhaps the loved ones will always be there for them to offer a helping hand but in the end, people are all by themselves to solve their problems because no one understands them more than themselves do. In that moments, they will realise who are the friends in need and who become their friends just for pleasure times. The persona thinks that nobody understands her and all of them leave her alone when she really needs their helps. Her disappointment and depression of being alone in bearing her feeling of regret are evoked in this line, “No one can save me, no one ever will”. The fourth issue that is pointed out by the poet in this poem is unfortunate in life. She makes it clear to the readers that sometimes life can be pleasing and some other time people have to go through rough terrains in their lives. Life can be kind and cruel at the same time. As „There are things less fortune‟ in life, all they can do are put their efforts to fix things up and make the best out of worst. Whenever people feel like they are already in the worst situation, remember that there are other people who are more unfortunate compared to them. Hence, people really should be thankful to God for granting them the strength to solve the problems and turn out to be a more persevered person. The fifth issue raised of the poem „Fallen‟ is human beings‟ vulnerabilities. As human beings „are born with lots of speck‟, people cannot afford to escape from doing mistakes and committing wrongdoings. As the God‟s creations, people are weak and prone to any forms of destruction such as death, disasters, diseases, loss and miseries. It is undeniable that at the end of the day, people are just the „heroes in thin air‟ who are fighting a hard battle of life and find ways to survive. The line „Without suits and armors, we are bare‟ signifies that people are born without any protection which makes them vulnerable and fragile against the bad things that they might stumble upon in their journeys of lives.


The last and the most significant issue that is raised in this poem is God‟s power on His creations. The poet mentions that there is nothing can be done to change the fate that has been destined by God on anyone. No matter how much they put efforts and how badly they hope to achieve what they want in lives but without God‟s will, it will not happen. However, God is very loving and generous towards His creations. When people do not get what they want and lose someone or something precious in their lives, God will replace them with something better. God‟s plans work in the very mysterious ways. Although people are given all sorts of chances and opportunities to prevail in lives but in the end „All the rights belong to Him‟ which means everything depends on God to make it happens or not. 5.0 Conclusion When I read this great poem, it makes me realise that everyone deserves a second chance to change and turn a new leaf. The act of continuously dwell on the past mistake will restrict life and bring us nowhere. The things that can be done about that are make amends on the past wrongdoings, never repeat the same mistake and move on with our lives. We must bear in mind that God is compassionate to His creations, thus we should be kind and gentle with ourselves as well. We should not be too hard on ourselves and we should show ourselves some compassion.


REFERENCES Lajiman Janoory & M. Sidik Ariffin. (2011). Poetry Of Life: Ecstasies And Anxieties. Selangor, Malaysia: Persatuan Penulis Budiman Malaysia. (n.a.). April 26, 2012. How to overcome serious regrets. Retrieved October 20, 2012 from Finley, G. (n.d.). Go beyond guilt and regret to realize a new you. Retrieved October 20, 2012 from Jacobson, E. January 12, 2012. How to stop regretting past mistakes. Retrieved October 20, from Thriveworks. (n.d.). How to forgive yourself: letting go of past regrets. Retrieved October 20, from (n.a.). January 12, 2012. No more regrets: how to stop regretting past mistakes. Retrieved October 20, from