tahun baru, kearifan lama

Havel dan Kafka,

Saat remaja, aku pernah membaca sebuah puisi terjemahan. Mungkin di Hai (Arswendo masih di sini, Rendra suka menulis kolom, Butet Kertaredjasa mulai diperkenalkan lewat pementasan Teater Gandrik); mungkin di Gadis (Bens Leo masih di sini, feature-feature-nya asyik, banyak foto dara cantik). Yang pasti, puisi itu dikutip dalam feature tentang kegiatan pencinta alam.

Di pengujung 2007, puisi itu kembali melayari lautan ingatan. Agaknya lantaran aku menyimak esai Bondan Winarno ini.

Berkat Google, bukan membongkar laci memori, aku menemukan versi asli karya Douglas Malloch (1877-1938) itu:

Be The Best of Whatever You Are

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley – but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass –
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun, be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail –
Be the best of whatever you are!

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tahun baru, kearifan lama

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