for the poet, muhammad haji salleh.
“all things are ‘poetic’ to me, all are legitimate subjects for this wonderfully flexible verse form. things and events that i live with and experience, whick touch me visually or emotionally, light up certain frames of existence, insight or meaning. they are recreated as the centre of these poems. the place may not important - it may be the laterite road in a rubber estate, the london underground in which a chinese canadian sits unhappily wearing all the badges of his identity , or boys playing football in a field in ouzazad, up in the morroccan atlas mountain, or rice merchants in north luzon or batik vendors in jogjakarta.
what is important is that they are a meaningful part of the life of the poet, and throws a light on what is means to be a human being. in this way the poet is blesses and enriched by the worlds that he has been endowed with and the journeys he has travelled.
it has been more than 52 years since i began to write in 1963, in the cold of wolverhampton, england, over the years i have tried to describe the numerous experiences and reactions to people, places and situations and carve them out in images and sketches on the palate of emotions.
many of them were seized from the real sorrow and tragedy of everyday life, others still from elation and happiness of the moments, such are the stuff of poetry.”