Malay Sketches

By October 21, 2015Recent Posts

Editor’s note: We are delighted to bring to our readers today another outstanding experience of bilingual creativity, the poem Malay Sketches by Sydney author Aisyah Shah Idil, a runner up of the 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year competition. Bilingual writing is even harder to publish than monolingual writing because it lacks the ready-made audiences that standard languages enjoy. Australia has an immense pool of bilingual multicultural talent and we are proud to be able to feature Aisyah’s poetry along with Sadami Konchi’s visual art, Voices of African-Australian Youth, or migrant poetry.

Author’s note: ‘Malay Sketches’ charts the poet’s gain/loss of language following the British colonisation of Singapore. Mirrored in three columns, the first poem’s silence presents her ignorance of the Jawi script; the second mourns the gradual loss of her Malay mother tongue, while the third celebrates childhood scenes in Lakemba, Sydney. Words that are obscured she has no current knowledge of.

Malay Sketches

Author Aisyah Shah Idil

Aisyah Shah Idil is a Malay-Australian writer, poet and student. Featured in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Islamic Museum of Australia, Love Haqtually, and the Digging Deep Facing Self anthology, her writing seeks to shed light on the fluid grey of the public/private and its many faces in life, loss and love.

More posts by Aisyah Shah Idil
  • Sofie

    The dark blocks like moving desert consumed diverse roads to the beautiful oasis of thought.

  • Laura Smith-Khan

    It sounds like you are adding some poetry of your own, Sofie. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful poem – and a part of yourself – with us, Aisyah.