Massive Religiosity in Indonesian Poetry vs. Scarce Divinity in American Poetry


As revealed by earlier research (Kadarisman 2008 and 2016), Indonesian poetry strikingly differs from American poetry in terms of massive divine presence in the former vs. divine absence in the latter. The present research moves on further to find out (1) how Indonesian poets express their religiosity, and (2) whether or not, with newly collected data, God is truly absent in today’s American poetry. Upon closer examination of Indonesian and American poetry, the research has come up with the following findings. First, most Indonesian poets express their religious experience with reverence and solemnity, although a few of them do so with complaint and humor. Secondly, it is true that there is no divinity in American poetry in today’s academia; but religious poems keep surviving in church communities. Briefly, religiosity is always there in poetry; but it differs across both countries in terms of degree, as determined by different socio-political systems and cultural beliefs.

Keywords: massive religiosity, scarce divinity, Indonesian poetry, American poetry

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