Before we go in depth with the poem 'He Had Such Quiet Eyes' we should know the poet background first!
Bibsy Soenharjo was born in Jakarta on 22 November 1928. Bibsy and her siblings were homeschooled and each was encouraged to pursue their own interests. She had a particular fondness for literature and, after returning home from a four-year stay in Japan, Bibsy began writing her first prose in 1957, and then poetry in the 60s.
The Literary Review, an international quarterly published by Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, USA, published her first four literary pieces in their Autumn and Spring Editions in 1967 and 1968 respectively. In 1967 also, her poem, “Jakarta, March 1967” was published in the Australian magazine Hemisphere, while ”Setelah Gerhana Bulan” (After the Eclipse of the Moon) was published in Gelanggang, an Indonesian cultural magazine now defunct.
Her poems have appeared in bilingual anthologies, with her Indonesian works translated into English, Dutch and Japanese and her English poems into Indonesian and Dutch. She continued to write prose pieces in Indonesian that appeared in Jakarta dailies under the pen name Nuspati. Bibsy Soenharjo now lives in Jakarta with the youngest of her three sons, Haryo, his wife Sutji and their children.