Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim- REVIEW OF BETWEEN STOLEN GLANCES BY ADZIAH ABD AZIZ

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REVIEW OF BETWEEN STOLEN GLANCES BY ADZIAH ABD AZIZ

A Brief Biography.

Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim was born in Penang, Malaysia. She graduated from University of Science, holding Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Drama in 1977 and then pursued her study further at University of Sydney . She also obtained Post Graduated Diploma in Translations from Institute of Translation and Books in Malaysia. She had her share in contributing her knowledge as lecturer for about 20 years before retiring early in 1998 to be a fulltime writer. She started to be known as prolific as her poems and short stories were published by mainstream literature magazines and newspaper since 1987. There’s also a collection of articles and bi-lingual anthology of her poems entitled Catharsis (2015), News from Strasbourg (2017), Peace Be Upon You Davos (2019). She translated and published bi-lingual poems by Shaip Emerllahu titled, Apples of Tetovo, Jeton Kelmendi’s Love in a war time, Prayers for Aisha Lulu and Between Stolen Glances all are published by Kultura Snova, Zagreb, Croatia

Between Stolen Glances by Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim, has an array of 50 beautiful multi-theme poems which consist of many different personas and former lives including a grasp of poetic dimensions which leads to define the genre of the poet and her epoch. In truth, the central themes of this book are more likely focusing on life that circulate around her and within her reach (that can attract others to analyze). Since a particular pattern of different metrical feet constitutes its identity, the chosen lines in some of the poems have a strong emphasis in each syllabus that brings out the thoughts and poetic ambitions within the writer and readers.

Reading this its identity book is bringing certain mode and feelings of understanding the process of living in and out of breath: it can either being understood by ease or having conflict in mind. Yes, it’s true that what arises in one’s thought has its own meaning and flows which can be revealed widely. As a prolific writer, Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim had shown the ability to create acknowledgement of finding the strength and beauty of inner feelings within her readers. This can be interpreted through her poems…

 

BETWEEN STOLEN GLANCES

Thank you                                                                                                                      For spelling out directly                                                                                                                                     Beauty                                                                                                Intoxication                                                                                                                   And the silky thread of love                                                                                            Between stolen glances
And cruel jokes                                                                                                                                                                  Which you used to pour out                                                                                                                                                     In poems                                                                                                                                                                                     All these while                                                                                                                                                                                     That sparked                                                                                                                                                                           Inter-continental fireworks                                                                                                                                            While I am still dazed                                                                                                                                                            With disbelieve  

Fathoming                                                                                                                                                                            Your pains and wounds                                                                                                                                                                 I can’t help feeling guilty                                                                                                                                             Remembering stories                                                                                                                                                            Of heroism and heartbreaks                                                                                                                                                 Grandfathers of Gallipoli    

 

Through every line the throwback of a silence interaction can be plumbed according to the readers assumption and in the end the realization of war history is hooked by the name Gallipoli. It brought back the urge of finding the roots of heroism and heartbreak mentioned here. The blended emotions of love and survivor retells the motion of hidden feelings that can provide clues to each reader.

 

 While I am still dazed                                                                                                                                                            With disbelieve  

Fathoming                                                                                                                                                                            Your pains and wounds  

Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim had brilliantly woven the present and the past as a splendid capture in lovers conflict mind whilst also open the door to historic cultural acknowledgements

Remembering stories                                                                                                                                                            Of heroism and heartbreaks                                                                                                                                                 Grandfathers of Gallipoli    

No doubt the world of technology had already widen and moved fast just by the click of fingers and enable everyone to venture more information. The Gallipoli war took place in the first world war and eventually became the victory and pride of the Turkish people. In another word, part of spirituality in this line is showing the facts beyond the readers comprehension.

Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim is popularly known as a world peace poet and a human right activist so it is obvious that many of her own invented stanzas use the multiline-lengths, with the similar rhyme pattern consist of a series bite of lines related to the issues of Palestine, Rohingyas, Kashmir, Syrian war etc. These can be seen in her poems: I Am Sorry, Mir Rahman, Peace Upon You Davos, Ballads of A Little Rohingya Girl etc

Reading Love In The Times of Al-Nakba’ She writes:

in waves of thorny obstacles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ocean of fire and non-stop missiles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      we are still there                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          as how you want it                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   as how I want it                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as what we promised                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 during the most beautiful  fall of yesteryear  

Here, the sense of excepting life and pain during Al-Nakba (catastrophe that refers to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 when the states of Israel was formed) is bringing back again acknowledgements to questions why the expelled Palestinian populations and their diaspora still living as refugees until now?”

In the poem ofAt Time Like This’ it can be seen how the Palestinians was mentioned again and the hidden sympathy is thrown in all the stanzas.

 Palestine oh Palestine!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Since young I heard stories of your pain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and we grew up                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        approaching sunset                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               with your tears and blood    

                                                                                                                                      And in ‘Prayers For Aisha Luluthe style is the same.

 

Today Aisha Lulu, 5 years old                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An orphan from Gaza                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Died alone

Ah! The small martyr    

Nobody from her family                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Allowed to follow her to hospital in Jerusalem                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Because that’s the rules                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Of check points soldiers of  Zionist                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Though Aisha Lulu was fighting for her life                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          From chronic brain tumor  

 

As these issues are affecting everyone and still on going whilst the Middle East and Muslim communities embroiled in arm conflicts, wars and facing persecutions and genocide: as a human right activist, Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim willingly took the effort trying to stop the wars, conflicts and to profess the importance of peace in her poems and enlightened everybody to never forget these dreadful tragedies that touch humanities…

Oh my!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Where is humanity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           What is humanity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Of the Chosen ones?

Getting to know Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim as a person helps to understand her poetry. Anyone who does research on Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim will learn that she is a very charming writer with a strong mind and amour of spirituality. Her Poems: Actually, The Smell of Musks, Thank You My God, Existence, This Journey, etc have a visual imagery of constant motion. Nouns, verb and tenses appears in stanza after stanza and lends her poetry energy and richness of contentment, mindfulness and spiritual self.

Actually

So in the peaceful white nights                                                                                                                                                                            accompanying prayers                                                                                                                                                             and more prayers                                                                                                                                                                 I cut off that string of feelings                                                                                                                                                            because I was very affected                                                                                                                                                          seeing wounds in yourself  

 

THE SMELL OF MUSK

Times and times                                                                                                                                                                             You tried to kill me                                                                                                                                                                       And times, I did not die                                                                                                                                                                          In fact, I am becoming fragranced                                                                                                                                                            The smell of musk                                                                                                                                                                      They said 

 

 THANK YOU, MY GOD

Oh God,                                                                                                                                                                                     my happiness today                                                                                                                                                                              is at its peak                                                                                                                                                                            

In my opinion, her poetry is full of declaration within the questions and hidden explanation. Her poetry is universal and any readers can claim to themselves, that how it should be…

Literally, Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim’s poetry can be related to our daily life and helps readers to express their own thoughts, dreams and ideas. As a daughter or mother, she let us see the world the way she experiences and see. Readers can love her poetry immediately when reading the words before finishing.

There is a raw emotion, straightforward storytelling, clearly related to the daughter-dad relationship and also the conflict within in ‘Like Daddy’. Father is daughter’s first love and sometimes his words are the words of principles that must be followed. In this poem, we know that life usually has its own price.

Like daddy                                                                                                                                                                                        you said                                                                                                                                                                                      don’t trust                                                                                                                                                                                       anyone                                                                                                                                                                                                                      no matter what they said                                                                                                                                                                sounds very true   

 As in ‘Poem for A Little Brother’ Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim showed us the passion of love among siblings with free verse stanza that pulled us to a healthy relationship in family.

Son

That’s the only sibling you have

So be patient with him

When mum is no longer around

Between Stolen Glance, is a beautiful compilation of poems that are wrapped up with wisdom of a prolific writer, talented and easily reaches into the heart of readers. This poetry collection perfectly expresses the passion of woman’s love reaching out to her beloved ones with the conjunction feelings of a patriotic to strive for peace. The collection is accessible for anyone wondering about human rights, environmental issue, identity, pandemic, distance relationship, love, imagination, conflict and war. The poems contain lively lines, heartbreaking memories, while being entirely comfortable reading… still have to go through stanzas and learning to understand them…

This book is highly recommended

 

Thank you,

Adziah Abd Aziz, Malaysia.

ADZIAH ABDUL AZIZ

Adziah Abdul Aziz was born and raised outside the city of Kuala Kangsar, in  beautiful Chandan Valley in state of Perak, Malaysia. Growing up, she was addicted to reading books and this exposure leads her to venture into genre of reading and developed a passion of ideas. As a freelance-tutor, she loves to engulf herself in writing paperwork, journal and articles which brought her towards accessing lots of info .Adziah became a fulltime writer since 2014 and most of her poems was published together with other poets from Malaysia and ASEAN in series of anthology included a few of them were in bi-lingual (Malay-English-Korea). she had also actively participated at an International Conference (2014 -2020). Currently, she is still striving in writing children’s book and plan to dedicate her life to share and publish more of her thoughts and experiences as a woman, daughter, mother, friend, scholar and writer…

 

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