Toeti Heraty

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Toeti Heraty
Toeti Heraty at the International Conference on Feminism, 2016-09-24 01.jpg
Heraty in 2016
Born(1933-11-27)27 November 1933
Bandung, Residency of Preanger, Dutch East Indies
Died13 June 2021(2021-06-13) (aged 87)
Jakarta, Indonesia
OccupationThe Rector of the Jakarta Institute of the Arts
Language Indonesian
Genre Poetry
Subject Literature
Notable works"Sajak-Sajak 33" (1973), "Nostalgi=Transcendensi" (1995)
SpouseEddy Noerhadi

Toeti Heraty (also known as Toeti Heraty Noerhadi-Roosseno; 27 November 1933 13 June 2021) was an Indonesian poet. She has been singled out as the "only woman amongst the leading contemporary Indonesian poets".



Toeti Heraty was born in Bandung, Java on 27 November 1933. Her father was a well-known engineering expert Roosseno Soerjohadikoesomo and her siblings all work in the hard sciences. [1] Following her family tradition, she pursued medicine at the University of Indonesia (UI) from 1951 until 1955. [2] Then she took an advanced degree in psychology in 1962 and wrote her thesis on Simone de Beauvoir. At Leiden University, Netherlands she took her degree in Philosophy and produced a dissertation on "The I/Ego in Culture" or "Aku Dalam Budaya". [2] While living in the Netherlands, she met her future husband, the Indonesian biologist Eddy Noerhadi. They married in 1958. [2] Heraty completed her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Indonesia in 1979 with a thesis on "The Self and Culture". [2]

Despite her studies in hard sciences, she found her inclination towards arts and literature. Besides being a poet, she was a philosopher, an art historian and a human rights activist. [3] She first began to write as a college student and since 1966 has been a frequent contributor to Indonesia's leading cultural and literary journals. She has since then occupied herself actively in the academic world. She taught in the Faculty of Psychology at Padjadjaran University. She co-founded (along with Soerjanto Poespowardojo) the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Arts at [UI] and served as a lecturer. She also remained the chairperson of both the Department of Philosophy and the post-graduate program for Philosophy Studies. Heraty also served as dean of the Lembaga Pendidikan Kesenian, Jakarta Institute of the Arts, and as acting professor at the Faculty of Arts at UI in 1994. [4]

Bulantrisna Djelantik portraying Calon Arang in a Balinese dance drama based on Heraty's version of the story Satua Calonarang performance by AyuBulan Legong Dance Group, International Conference on Feminism, 2016-09-24 02.jpg
Bulantrisna Djelantik portraying Calon Arang in a Balinese dance drama based on Heraty's version of the story

Toeti Heraty has been singled out as the "only woman amongst the leading contemporary Indonesian poets". [5] Her poetry has been described as difficult to understand, combining a "deliberately cultivated ambiguity" with an "often unexpected, purely associative kind of imagery". [5] But it is possibly her effective use of irony to highlight the unfavorable position of women in a patriarchal society that sets Toeti's poetry apart from that of her peers. [5] She released her first major collection of poems, "Sajak-Sajak 33" (Poems at 33) in 1974, including "Dua Wanita" (Two Women), "Siklus" (Cycle) and "Geneva Bulan Juli" (Geneva in July). She released her second volume of collected poems, "Mimpi dan Pretensi" (Dreams and Pretenses) in 1982. She has also edited a volume of Dutch and Indonesian poetry, and a collection of poetry by women. [6] Her poem, "Calon Arang: the Story of A Woman Victimized by Patriarchy", a book-length lyric, provides critical insights into the standard perception of Indonesia's great archetypal figure, Calon Arang. The poem presents a three-dimensional picture of a woman who stands against the repressive, patriarchal society, but unfortunately is perceived as a legendary witch. [2]

Heraty is considered to belong to the first generation of Indonesian feminist thinkers and has written extensively on issues of importance to women. [2] Heraty's poetry reflects not just her feminist stance, but also her love for arts. Her house in Menteng, Jakarta, doubles as a gallery, housing a number of paintings by prominent painters, among them Affandi, S. Sudjojono, Srihadi Soedarsono. She also headed the Yayasan Mitra Budaya Indonesia, (YMBI, Foundation for Lovers of Indonesian Culture) in 1998. [7] She was the founder of Jurnal Perempuan, a feminist magazine that raises issues concerning women. [8] Heraty also offered her services to a non-government organization, Suara Ibu Peduli, that works for the empowerment of women. [9]

Heraty died on 13 June 2021 at the Metropolitan Medical Center Hospital in Jakarta. [8]


Related Research Articles


  1. Wilson, Juliana, ed. (2004). On the Record Indonesian Literary Figures. Vol. 3: Toeti Heraty. The Lontar Foundation. pp. 24–37.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 McGlynn, John H. (2003). A Time A Season: Selected Poems of Toeti Heraty (in English and Indonesian) (First ed.). Jakarta: The Lontar Foundation. pp. 104–107. ISBN   979-8083-51-2.
  3. "Toeti Heraty". Poetry Translation Centre. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  4. "Heraty Toeti Noerhadi Rooseno, 70 years, Launches Books". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 Teeuw, A. (1979). Modern Indonesian literature. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN   90-247-2308-6.
  6. Bianpoen, Carla (27 November 2003). "Toeti Herarty Lives a Full Life". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  7. "Artikel "Toeti Heraty" - Ensiklopedia Sastra Indonesia". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  8. 1 2 Media, Kompas Cyber (13 June 2021). "Toeti Heraty, Pendiri Jurnal Perempuan Sekaligus Guru Besar UI Meninggal Dunia". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  9. "Politik Representasi Suara Ibu Peduli". Jurnal Perempuan. Retrieved 13 June 2021.