Exploring the Art of Talibun: A Unique Form of Indonesian Poetry


Indonesia is a land of diverse cultures, traditions, and languages, each with its unique flavor and charm.

One of the most intriguing forms of Indonesian poetry is Talibun, a blend of two words, "Talik" and "Bunyi," which means melody or rhythm.

Talibun is a form of traditional poetry that combines elements of Arabic, Malay, and Javanese poetry and is often used to express love, devotion, and wisdom.

This article explores the world of Talibun, its structure, history, and relevance in modern times.

Read more: Understanding Personification: Giving Life to Inanimate Objects

What is Talibun?

Talibun is a unique form of Indonesian poetry that originated in Java and has evolved over time. It combines elements of pantun, syair, and gurindam, which are other forms of traditional poetry.

Talibun consists of four lines, with the first two lines in Arabic and the last two in Indonesian or Malay. The lines alternate between 8 and 12 syllables, and each line has a distinct rhythm and rhyme scheme.

Talibun often conveys a message or moral lesson, and its beauty lies in its melody and meaningful content.

Read more: Review Text: Definition and Example

Structure of Talibun:

Talibun follows a strict structure that includes the following elements:

1. The first line consists of two Arabic words that rhyme with each other and convey a specific meaning.

2. The second line also has two Arabic words that rhyme with each other and relate to the first line's meaning.

3. The third line contains two Indonesian or Malay words that rhyme with each other and express a complementary message to the first two lines.

4. The fourth line has two Indonesian or Malay words that rhyme with each other and conclude the poem with a moral or philosophical message.

Read more: Exposition Text | Definition and Example

Example of Talibun:

Here is an example of a Talibun to help you understand its structure and meaning:

Kau hadir, ku hadir,

Bersama di dalam cinta,

Terluka, luka hilang,

Seirama kebahagiaan.


You are present, and I am present,

Together in love,

Pain is lost when we are hurt,

In harmony with happiness.

Read more: Habit Tracker: A Powerful Tool to Achieve Your Goals

The History of Talibun:

Talibun has its roots in Arabic poetry, which spread to Southeast Asia during the Islamic Golden Age.

Indonesian poets adopted the form and infused it with their cultural and linguistic elements, creating a distinct form of poetry.

Talibun became popular during the 19th century, and many famous poets, such as Ranggawarsita, wrote in this form.

Talibun's popularity waned during the 20th century due to the rise of modern poetry, but it has made a resurgence in recent years due to its unique style and meaningful content.

Read more: Persuasive Text: Definition and Example

The Relevance of Talibun in Modern Times:

Talibun is still relevant in modern times, as it offers a glimpse into Indonesia's rich cultural heritage and linguistic diversity.

Talibun is often used in religious ceremonies, weddings, and other cultural events, where its melody and meaningful content can inspire and uplift people.

Talibun has also gained a following on social media platforms, where young poets showcase their talent and creativity in this traditional form.

Talibun's relevance in modern times is a testament to its enduring beauty and significance.