A Semester’s Farewell Macapat (Javanese poetry) by Sarah Weiss, Graz – Austria

Sekar Macapat or Tembang Macapat is a form of Javanese poetry.  The word macapat is related to the Javanese word to read (baca).  Most forms of Javanese poetry are designed to be ‘read’ out loud, that is to be sung. Macapat can be used to tell narratives, report and record events, or convey descriptions and accompanying emotions. Each verse form, of which there are many, has a prescribed number of lines each with a specific syllable count. In addition, the vowel sounds at the ends of each line are also pre-determined by the verse form.

Dr. Sarah Weiss, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Ethnomusicology, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, has written a macapat stanza in the verse form called Pangkur.  The structure of the 7 line pangkur is as follows:

Line 1: 8 syllables ending in the sound – å (aw)

Line 2: 11 syllables ending in the sound – i (ee)

Line 3: 8 syllables ending in the sound -u (oo)

Line 4: 7 syllables ending in the sound – å (aw)

Line 5: 12 syllables ending in the sound – u (oo)

Line 6: 8 syllables ending in the sound – å (aw)

Line 7: 8 syllables ending in the sound – i (ee)

 

A Semester’s Farewell Macapat

I sing you macapat Jawa   (aw)

a newsy form, courtly, solo poetry.  (ee))

Counting syllables, must you do. (oo)

How it works? No time to talk! (aw)

Semester’s end, it’s once again the month of June  (oo)

We have not met, thanks, Corona!  (aw)

The Zooming’s done, now say good bye. (ee)

by Sarah Weiss, Graz – Austria (23 June 2020)

 

Please click on the following link to listen to A Semester’s Farewell Macapat and Sarah Weiss’ words of farewell to her students at the end of the semester:

Semester’s Farewell Macapat by Sarah Weiss June 2020