are you still playing the flute

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  • 1. By Zurinah Hassan

2. Are you still playing the flute.docx 3. Date / Place of birth : 13 June 1949, Alor Setar Kedah. Permanent address : No.2, Jalan Pinggir, 8/1L, Seksyen 8, 40000 Shah Alam since 1974. Academic Qualifications : B.A.Hons (Universiti Sains Malaysia), M.A. (Universiti Putra Malaysia). Doktor Falsafah, Akademi Pengajian Melayu, Universiti Malaya. Awards : Anugerah Penulisan Asia Tenggara (S.E.A. Write Award) 2004 Book Category Award I - Pujangga Tidak Bernama, Hadiah Sastera Perdana(1994/1995) ii - Memoir Zurinah Hassan Menjejak Puisi, Hadiah Buku Perpustakaan Negara 2002/2004) iii - Memoir Zurinah Hassan Menjejak Puisi , Hadiah Sastera Perdana 2002/2003. 4. This poem is about a persona who reminisces the time he/she spends when in a village. There are many things that are now luxury to her such as listening to the melody of the flute itself, gazing at the evening rays, collecting dew drops, or enjoying the fragrance of flowers. The village is now unpopulated as many have moved to the city. Now that she has moved on with her life, she wonders whether the flutist is still playing the flute. This is because, there are many challenges in the world today such as the world is dying, the unemployment issue and the people are disunited because of different political views. 5. Stanza 1: In life, we sometimes have to change our way of life due to work or family circumstances. From a lifestyle filled with values and traditions like in the village, we may find ourselves embracing a totally different lifestyle in towns. However, we may sometimes long for our previous life with its unforgettable moments. 6. Stanza 2: We may wonder if the values and traditions we believed in and practised are still observed in our former villagers. Many people have migrated to towns or adopted an urban way of life where such traditions may not be so well-ingrained. In these places, life is fast paced and they do not have the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life they used to. 7. Stanza 3: These people may think back to their days in the rural areas with guilt. Traditions and the old values may seem trivial compared to their present circumstances. There are economic, political and social problems to be faced. Some of these problems have become personal as they affect people who are close to them. 8. Values and traditions have an important role in our life. They teach us to live correctly and to hold on to our principles in life. We learn to value life, family and friends. A society without values and traditions is colourless and loses its direction. 9. Nothing stays the same forever and that includes life. Life changes over time. These changes affect every aspect of our lives and may have positive and negative consequences. 10. Everyone has family commitments, whether it is to our immediate family members or extended family members. Be aware of these commitments as they bind a family together. 11. There are important and unimportant things in life. Learn to differentiate them and make plans accordingly. 12. Nature surrounds us and the beauty of nature offers us the simple pleasures of life. The rising sun, the moon and stars, the rainfall and dew are some of the pleasures that nature offers. Enjoy them and enjoy life. 13. When we are really interested in a hobby, we will become passionate about it. It helps us to mature as this passion helps us to stay focused. We learn to be creative too. But, we should not let this passion become an obsession. 14. We should learn to appreciate the values and traditions of society and family. They give us balance in life and help us to differentiate between the good and the bad. We face changes in life every day. Learn to accept changes but only if they are for the good of society. If they are beneficial, work around them for the general good. Our family is the most important thing in our life. We should put their interest and safety first before anything else. Show consideration for one's duties within the home and carry out family commitments responsibly. We should know our priorities in life and be aware of them at all times. Don't get so taken in by our interests that we forget our priorities. Passion for interests should not be at expense of family happiness. There is a time for work and a time for play. 15. The poem is the first point of view. The person is addressing another person and describing a situation to him. 16. Rhetorical question Descriptive and questioning Simple style and no rhyme 17. Sombre and regretful Serious atmosphere 18. Imagery e.g. blown by the wind, depth of my heart Alliteration e.g. fragrance of flowers Symbol e.g. flute, song Repetition e.g. Are you still playing your flute? Figurative Language Metaphor e.g. The melody concealed in the slim hollow of bamboo Personification e.g. sick rice field 19. - sick rice field - the rice field is personified as a human who is not feeling well - this world is ...bleeding - earth is personified as being wounded 20. - flute - symbolises a thing of the past, something tradition - song - symbolises the simple pleasure of life 21. - 'Are you still playing your flute?' - repeated at the beginning of all three stanzas to reinforce the emotion behind the question and to create a dramatic effect. 22. - Are you still playing your flute? - the persona asks a question to which she does not expect a reply. 23. - 'the melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo' : The song seems to be hidden in the bamboo when it is actually coming out from the playing of the flute. - 'the world is too old and bleeding': The world seems to have aged due to war and the sufferings caused by it. 24. a) imagery of sight: - 'so quiet and deserted': This gives a clear picture of a lonely village with hardly anyone around. - 'slaughtered mercilessly': Many lives were lost in the war. 25. - 'depth of my heart': The persona feels deeply and wants to hear the song played by the flautist. - 'longing for your song': The persona has a deep desire to hear songs. 26. - 'collecting dew drops' - someone is putting their hands together to collect dew drops to feel the water 27. - 'enjoying the fragrance of flowers': The flowers are emitting fragrant scent. 28. -'playing your flute' - The music comes from the flute - 'blown by the wind' - The sound of wind and music 29. 1. What did the persona mean when she said deserted? 2. Why is the persona feeling guilty? 3. Why is the question Are you still playing your flute repeated as the starting line of all the stanzas? 4.In your opinion, is this a romantic poem? Provide reasons for your answer. 30. 5.Who is the persona in the poem? 6. Write one line from the poem that depicts that people are jobless. 7. Provide three phrases that depict the message of cruel realities of a nation in uncertainty of its future. 8.In your own words describe why the poet used the word sick to describe the rice fields. 31. 1.the villagers have left/migrated 2.Feeling guilty as she is enjoying the music when the nation is plagued with problems 3.This is to stress on the activity as something that should not be done when the nation is facing so much trouble 4.No, it is not a romantic poem. It is poem that shows the irony between a leisure activity and problems faced by the nation at the same time. 32. 5.a very perceptive and reflective woman younger brothers unemployed and desperate 7.a. my people disunited by politics b. my friend slaughtered mercilessly c. this world is too old and bleeding 8.Perhaps the yield is not rewarding/ the harvest is destroyed due to bad weather


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