He Had Such Quiet Eyes Bibsy Soenharjo He had such quiet eyes She did not realise They were two pools of lies Layered with thinnest ice To her, those were quiet eyes Were breathing desolate sighs Imploring her to be nice And to render him paradise If only she’d been wise And had listened to the advice Never to compromise With pleasure-seeking guys She’d be free from “the hows and whys” Now here’s a bit of advice Be sure that nice really means nice Then you’ll never be losing at dice Though you may lose your heart at one or twice
An Indonesian poet, well-versed in Indonesian, English, French and Dutch
Her poems are characterized by rhymes , wit, verbal puns and alliteration
Her imagination draws the readers into the world of fantasy and surprises
Her sense of humor is engaging.
The poem deals with the issue of deception in society, especially in matters of the heart.
It is about a woman who has been deceived by man ‘with quiet eyes’.
The woman was blinded by the man’s quiet eyes who actually wants to have pleasure with her only.
Readers are advised not be deceived easily by outward appearances
A place where a man can charm and seduce a lady Language : free verse; flows gently and freely as the poet narrates. Ryhmes Personificaton Metaphor THE CONCEPT MAP OF THE POEM
Sadness and regrets due to unwise actions.
Didactic: when the persona gives advice in stanza 3.
Do not be fooled by outward appearances or ‘ sweet talk’
Listen to advice
Learn from mistakes
Appearances can be deceptive
The love trap
The Third Person (Stanza 1&2)
The Poet (Stanza 3)
He Had Such Quiet Eyes SETTING PERSONA THEMES MESSAGES MORAL VALUES TONE AND MOOD OVERVIEW LANGUAGE AND STYLE
He Had Such Quiet Eyes STANZA 1 He had such quiet eyes She did not realise They were two pools of lies Layered with thinnest ice To her, those were quiet eyes Were breathing desolate sighs Imploring her to be nice And to render him paradise
He Had Such Quiet Eyes STANZA 2 If only she’d been wise And had listened to the advice Never to compromise With pleasure-seeking guys She’d be free from “the hows and whys”
He Had Such Quiet Eyes STANZA 3 Now here’s a bit of advice Be sure that nice really means nice Then you’ll never be losing at dice Though you may lose your heart at one or twice
No specific physical setting.
It can be a quiet place in town or city, where a man charms a lady into believing him and to fall in love with him.
Probably a quiet evening .
Set in the present.
Middle-class, young working people .
) Stanza 1 & 2 :
the persona is the third person ( the one who observes the folly of the young woman being seduced)
the persona is the poet.
From this poem, a young woman is lured by the insincere charm and romantic pretences of a man.
The young woman is deceived by a man who deliberately sets out to woo her to satisfy his own bad intentions and not because of love .
THE LOVE TRAP
This is a twin theme which snares the unwary and the innocent.
Taken in by the charms of the opposite sex, many people fall in love, only to be duped.
This theme is portrayed in the poem.
One can learn from one’s mistake and learn to discern right from wrong.
It is the beginning of maturity.
It is also wise to listen to good advice to prevent us from making too many mistakes in life.
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY APPEARANCE OR SWEET TALK
We must be careful about whom we trust and how much we can trust them.
We must be alert with someone’s outward appearances, personality or disposition as they can be very deceiving.
We cannot simply believe a person at face value, as this means that we are gullible and thus easily deceived.
LISTEN TO ADVICE
A wise person will always listen to advice given.
Seeking counsel and advice helps a person to make the best decision or choice .
A good advice will save from doing unwise actions and time.
Appreciate that people have good intentions when they give advice.
TONE AND MOOD
SADNESS AND REGRET
* This is based on Stanza 2.
*The persona sounds sad and regret due to the unwise taken by the woman.
*The woman in the poem also sounds sad and regretful of what had happened to her.
*This is based on Stanza 3.
*The persona sets a didactic tone when she gives advice to the woman and to the readers
*the tone is also gentle throughout the poem.
LANGUAGE AND STYLE
Free verse and speaks in a conversational style.
The lines flow gently and freely as the poet narrates the poem.
The man’s eyes become alive as they ‘ were breathing desolate sighs’ , like a human being.
The sad and pleading look the man gave the victim tugs at her heart and she gives in to him.
The poet describes the man’s eyes as “two pools of lies”. We can almost visualize the man’s eyes as two inviting clear pools of water, charming the young woman into believing everything that he says.
“ layered with thinnest ice” indicates that the man hid his true intentions well that the woman was totally deceived. In real life, when the ice breaks , it may cause a lot of damage to the victim.
“ losing at dice” refers to the gambles a person takes when making a decisions. The poet compares making wrong or harmful choices in life to throwing the dice in a board game.