Morphology of Desire gives a generous introduction to the full range of writing by the internationally acclaimed Indonesian poet, Dorothea Rosa Herliany, from the 1980s to the present day. Through a distinctive mix of striking imagery and boldness of voice, the poet sets out to destroy many of the common assumptions about everyday life and human relationships. As a woman and a poet, she is doubly an outsider. Her blatant departure, in form as well as content, from the accepted conventions of society (which intensifies through the progression of her work) is remarkable, not only in its personal and political ramifications, but in its emotional and imaginative tenor, as well.
The British poet, Linda France, has praised “the energy and violence (which) run through Dorothea Rosa Herliany’s work like a ruptured vein, fragile and vulnerable, but necessary for survival. Underneath this troubled surface, there is so much tenderness and openness …” The Australian poet, Judith Rodriguez, has suggested: “Herliany’s poetry presents texts of exceptional difficulty and exceptional interest. Her work is highly colored, morbid, even shocking, and significant for its metaphorical tours de force and paradoxical glories of unwilling illuminations”.
Morphology of Desire is a book that will speak to readers who are interested in Indonesia, women’s writing, and in poetry in general.