Umbu Landu Paranggi

by Kadek Sonia Piscayanti

A Living Poetry

When I was young, I didn’t know such poetry life existed. I knew a lot of poets, the dead poets, but barely knew living poets. I didn’t know they are there, somewhere, made a life out of poetry.

For some reasons, I treated poetry just as poetry not life. Not even dare to guess what kinda life behind a poet. When I was young, I was too naive, I read poetry because I was chosen to read. I was asked to read. Then day by day, I learned poetry is magic, not only the words, but the meaning behind. However, imagining a world with poet or living with a poet was never in my mind. I never imagine it. Until one day.

A man came to my life when I was in my 18. He introduced me to real poetry. Poetry that is real. Poetry that can be talked with the real poet. He introduced me to poetry lives. A life of his and his friends, his community and his forever passion. I am stuck in the middle. Thinking that, what was this.

Where I was now. I never imagine such life exists. Then I heard a name. Umbu Landu Paranggi. 3 words. Powerful words. Poetic. Lively. Strong. Imaginative. Shining.

He was a myth, like I heard his name coming from my man’s mouth (that ‘a man’ became my man) like a God of poetry. His devotion to this name is too strong. I didn’t ask who he was for my man explained everything. His myth covered all over our poetry relationships. My man adored his Mahaguru so deeply, madly, and beautifully.

One day, finally we met. He was not only strong in vibe, but also mysterious. He hid his face behind his hat, and never made an eye contact to anyone at that time. And that very night, I felt like a tiny tiny creature, I was nobody, no name, no nothing, zero. I didn’t utter a word. Not even make an intro.

So time went, I got married with my man, have kids, and Mahaguru Umbu recognized us both deeper. We met sometimes, in Singaraja, in campus, in an event, many times. I came once to visit him when he was sick, and he invited us to come over to meet him, but still I never talk in person. I always regard him as extraordinary human, and I think we still have a distance.

Until a month ago, he asked me through my friend, to buy him a Balinese tenun ikat, which can be made a shirt, with his preferred colour, blue and purple. I ordered and designed his shirt by a help of my friend, a designer. And got it done. And sent to him just two weeks ago, before he was gone forever.

It was his last request, a sign, or a goodbye, I barely know. But he is not less than a poetry that will be remembered of all time. His words, his dedication and totality to poetry made him a poetry himself. Nobody will ignore his legacy, his living values, his power no one can copy. No one.

This is a writing to say thanks to get me into this poetry life, thanks to make my man a man with poetry, who by good chance meet me through his poetry journey. We forever thankful for your presence, for the poetry you shared, and for the legacy you leave us with.

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