Rokia Hashim


A brief biography of Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim; known to be born in Penang, Malaysia in 1959. She graduated at University of Science, Malaysia in 1977 and University of Sydney in 1984. Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim is also a fulltime writer after retiring in 1998 and had her collections of poems and short stories published by mainstream literature magazines and newspaper since 1987.  What caught my interest are her articles and bi-lingual anthology of poems entitled Catharsis (2015), News From Strasbourg (2017), Peace Be Upon You Davos (2019), Apples of Tetovo (2019) published in Zagreb, Croatia (credit to Kultura Snova)

THE SANDS of SRI LAVENDER, is a collection of 20 poems by Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim and was translated into Albanian by Ariola Jarazi Mani and published by Naim Frasheri Foundation for       Ditet E Naimit Festival 2019, credit to the director of the festival, Shaip Emerllahu a well-known poet and lecturer in Tetovo University, North Macedonia. Congratulations to all involved in this inter-cultural exchanges through translations.

To me as a fan, Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim portrays herself as a knowledgeable poet and her writing has a beautiful range of rhyme and meter that capture our hearts. She turns scene and feelings into tender, soft and vulnerable sways of pattern; retelling her blooming love and also pouring raw conflicts and shadows in life. Overall, the main types of imagery that Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim used in her poetry will give the readers a clear and vibrant description that appeals to senses, emotion and imagination.

I am more in love with The Sands of Sri Lavender because in a way it represented a life of a traveller who has to grab the chance to escape whilst longing to be back again time to time.

I bring a handful of sands with me
To strengthened my spirit
When living you Sri Lavender
Also, for me to always pray
That one day

I will go back
To be under your sky
Before I leave this world eternally

Along the escape that start from line one, then others too have provide themes that engulfed feelings and mind to reality of being a runaway citizen. To me, loves, hopes and memories will always knock the door as a lingering whistle that can hurt deeply…

The Sands of Sri Lavender provide a meaningful and inspiring words that’s healing as in line 4,

Also, for me to always pray…
It is such a symbolical meaning too which make me remember a quote by Rumi,
‘You were born with wings
why prefer to crawl through life’


Sometimes one would hesitate to move on but then its alright if taking a break once in a while as in line five and six…
That one day
I will go back
To be under your sky

In Remembering Mother, Grandma’s Words, Srebrenica That I Knew, Missing Mum, Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim had the opportunity to touch the readers’ heart by her poems that scattered loves and tribute to her dear ones. A rather devoted writer telling others how she misses them, the demise family and friends. (Having thoughts of her being such a strong character especially as a world peace poet).

In Circus 2, Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim mention about an old wizard acts in a circus but then she brings up the mere shadows of someone who has a power to behold. This figure of speech is such a good choice of irony in poems to attract readers and woven them to dive deep and lost in an entangle of thoughts…

That old wizard
Playing circus again
All his weird acts started
Supposedly amazing
But it’s not more
Then recycle acts
To save his skin

      In poem Between Stolen Glance, she captivated the readers commemorate and open the door to historic cultural acknowledgments. In her concern of love and peace through her poems, she brings a certain mode and feelings of understanding the whole process of life and death by either reading with ease or having conflict in mind… Nevertheless, the simple meaning within the line tends to leave the hidden message that can be understood according to readers assumption in realization of war history in the end.


Thank you
For Spelling out directly
And the silky thread of love

Managing Revenge is another of Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim’s poem that hooked my focal point in reading. I find the rare style of personification that is there,quite hit me with envy of how she barely twisted her words to perfection in handling the plot of revenge, yes indeed revenge is sweet!

… which you could barely climb
And you could only bark profanities for years
Like a lice infested dog…

Do Yo,u All Know? is a poem that point out about the leader and his ways to pave along a circle of people. I can see a bit of political touch here…

Do you all know?
And old friend once told me
during a state election in that old leader’s time
he was flown in a helicopter
accompanying a plane load of money
to buy votes…

Peace Be Upon You, Davos is one of Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim’s master piece which revealed the passion and hunger for peace as Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim is truly a human right activist

Peace be upon you, Davos
What about my friends
Osama from Baghdad
Mohamad from Jericho
Dunya from Syria
Shaif from Iraq
Ibrahim from Kosovo
Also, Rahman from Rakhine…

Although all her poems didn’t seem to follow similar patterns of rhyme, meter and order yet she delivers and share some of her thoughts which shows her ability in reaching out to her readers. Furthermore, she can bring out with ease any topics and themes connected with life, people, freedom, conflict, loves and etc.

In my view, reading this poem book, I can see that her message is clear and although there are not much of anaphora, metaphors, personification, hyperbola but paradox in lines, imagery within, simile and understatement are there which I notice.

Pages of Love, paradox in line two and three …

I ignored you a lot
While I observed…

Untangling Feelings, paradox in stanza 5, line five and six…

… and maybe being away from you
because actually we never parted…

Give Me A Little Space, Irony in second stanza, line three and four…

Give me a little time
To catch my breath
And find buds of honesty
Amongst heaps of rubbish…

This Journey, personification in line one and two…

Isn’t this journey
A small boat
In the open sea… 

About Us, personification in stanza three, line four…

While you were
Sent all over the places
By circumstances
And pages of painful wars…

Missing Mum, understatement in first stanza, line three…

As Kak llah
Grows older
The more she looked like mum… 

In Your Restlessness, stanza three, line three…

My man
Please stop hurting yourself
When inflammation of jealousies engulfed you
I am worried it will burn you…

Reading a few more poem of hers will enlighten the readers to hold on until out of nowhere, like a chant it perpetually can create goosebump!

Sands of Sri Lavender… Beautiful! Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim’s collection of simple short and long poems have the word choice that support the hunger in  readers…

Reading throughout Sands of Sri Lavender, will reveal the true self of Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim that challenges readers to be open and eccept a lively new-coming-themes narrative that brings freshness in a world of literature.

This book is highly recommended!

Thank you.
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 were published in anthologies together with other poets from Malaysia and ASEAN countries in series of anthology included and  few of them were in tri-lingual (Malay-English-Korea). she had also actively participated at 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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