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THE BIRTH OF A POEM

February 12, 2013

The other day I sat with a pen and a piece of paper to write a poem and the result was futile as I could not write one. All the thoughts which keep gnawing at my mind all the time were there willing to be expressed but the very action of writing them down did not seem to come about the way a poem is created. Then with a wry smile I recalled the words of the worst critic I have ever met that a poem could not be written if I was not in conflict with me. A sense of regularity, according to him, was not suitable for writing a poem as poetry was not of the genre of something we are used to in the normal way. He said in a prophetic manner that it had to be created in a profusion of mental turmoil even when there was a perceptive clarity. I do like the way he presents his ideas but I have a fear of his intellectual superfluity as these seem to be too ornate to be real. He said that the best way to say one’s prayer was when one was at peace with himself but when it came to writing a poem he had to be in conflict with his mind to craft the magical perfection of words, extracted from the turbulence of the mind. I could not understand what he said, though pregnant with something that made me feel heavy and uneasy, I went on muttering some abstract lines to my mind as if to assure it that I was in harmony with it.
The problem is that the awkwardness of a stray crow on the parapet, the helplessness of an immensely popular leader struggling to hold on to his charisma and making a fool of himself in the eyes of the people who once cheered him, adding fuel to the media to scald him, the agonized smile of a decrepit old man after having done a flight of stairs are among some of the images which have coalesced into the words and sense of my poetry. When they spilled on the pages, I did not feel like I was writing something of substance with my mind focused on something I was desperately looking for. In the mean time, I did enough of trying to be infused with a romantic penchant to produce something which they say forms the core of poetry to be applauded without any effort. Even as I was tottering on the verge of romantic affairs, I meticulously tried to salvage whatever I could but by the time I carried it to the page ,it had been substituted by a sort of stoic indifference spawned by a feeling of bitterness, concealed in the layer of my prosaic imagination.
Once again I was prodded to the curious life and feelings of an industrialist seeking to switch over to the life of a farmer. But I was not satisfied with what I wrote and decided to concentrate on the turmoil of the mind. The more I tried to look deeper into the caverns of the mind, the more I seemed to be haunted by the image of a moron, lying across the page of what looked like a poem. I was clueless about what should be the themes of my poetry when I felt stabbed in the heart, receiving a series of regret letters rejecting my submissions to some humble publications. I decided to give up the mind for the heart as it seemed to be too volatile, having a flair for lampooning me as a poet probably influenced by the follies I had committed as a human being, the latest being a loss of a five thousand rupees that I had given to a fish seller on the promise that he would give me a part of his profits. Today when I came back from the market place, my mind was filled with the news of the way the man had duped me of my money by running away with the daughter of vegetable seller. What I gathered from my little talk with the other vendors was that he was not going to return soon, as the man ostensibly to be forced as a father in law, was carrying a sharp knife with him all the time to use it on the fugitive. Getting over the shock, when I was planning to write another useless poem on the subject that had been a little less stormy for me, I could hear the sound of a chuckle growing into an explosion, threatening to spew into the innocence of the heart. That very moment saw me convulse with a sort of restlessness that I had never experienced before and I began to mock the mind with a sort of strife I had learnt to borrow from it.
I rang up the girl who had jilted me a couple of days ago and told her that I did not need her. There were many other scores to be settled including the case of the fish seller, though my mind mimicked my heart and told me to part with the amount as a gift on their prospective wedding. My restlessness began to grow and I smoked a number of cigarettes finishing with a bath. Then as I sat down at the computer table to record the strife of the mind, I found the first two lines of the poem as the figure of a man, who had been curved due to protracted illness slowly but steadily leading him to death, but the smirk on the face told that the curve of the body was a bow to all of those who had deceived and hurt him to encourage them to go on doing so to add to the variety of the world sustained by the gullibility of the mind. The mind which was now free and far more genial told me in a whisper that the friendly critic had knocked at the door when the poem was finished, only to be told that the poet was dead.

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5 Comments
  1. Sreyasi permalink

    I think sir you should apply for writing columns in telegraph

  2. its v.nyc!

  3. All of you seem to be highlighting your admiration from a personal point of view. I look forward to an honest assessment of my writings.

  4. Aditya Chakraborty permalink

    after reading it,i am too amazed to make a sane comment on your highly intellectual words…its too tough to do it…

  5. Aditya Chakraborty permalink

    so let me begin the honest assessment:”Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”-ROBERT FROST

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