Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of short improvised poem in vogue among the Malays.

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  • A traditional Malay quatrain.

    One which was recited to me by a funny old fish-seller called Wak James was as follows:
    Kalau ada jarum patah
    Jangan disimpan di dalam peti
    Kalau saya salah sepatah
    Jangan disimpan di dalam hati


    Translation (though I am not a Winstedt):
    If a needle should carelessly break
    Pray, set the fragments safely apart
    And if my tongue hath carelessly spake
    Keep not the harshness within your heart.

    A very concise discussion of pantuns is here.

    December 7, 2007