Tuesday, May 15

Poetic Influences

Happened to click a random link on Shekhar's blog ( I love reading this man's blog - more than anyone elses. Other than him being good at writing and other blah - the most important factor that leads me back to his blog is the element of genuinity and truth in it. The humble pride in it, which makes even a sentence like " I woke up at 6 AM" so true and touching.)
Aah, anyways, I happened to reach here. My first impulse was to write a comment about how much I love the poem too; as I was writing the first few words, poems just came gushing through the mind... and this post is born.

I absolutely love the The mind is without fear that Shekhar's put up there;
I have a print out of Rudyard Kipling's IF which forever eggs me on, to lead a life not of judgement and bias, but of harmony with oneself. I always relate this to the Gita and wonder if there really is a connection - if Kipling knew of the Gita when he wrote this.

You can safely estimate that Ive read this poem atleast a couple of couple hundred times already and everytime, it never ceases to amaze me, the amount of strength you can derive from a few lines.

Robert Frosts poem Mending wall on relationships always makes me stop and think - the line in which Frost says

What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall

never stops fascinating me, always making me think with a myraid of emotions, the walls I have around me, and the walls people have around them - all to protect that small tiny thing lurking in the ribcage.

When he writes The Road Not Taken , He writes for each one of us, the inner need to take the road not taken and chart our own foot prints there in that untrodden path.

Another of Rabindranath Tagore's ( sorry Shekhar - I aint a Bengali) poems that made me wonder as a child was this Prayer... as the years have gone by, this poem has accquired many many shades to it in my understanding.
Funny how words like 'penury' can develop in understanding as you see life go by.
and Funny, how sentences like
"And give me the strength to surrender my strength to Thy will with Love"
can become the basic mantra you live by.

In fact Tagore's Geetanjali, in itself is a spiritual text that appeals to the mind, heart and soul ... moves the reader from sympathy to empathy, from inaction to action and/or action to inaction; worldly to Godly.

How can I leave out Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening when on a topic like poetry? So many times, in life have I wanted to stand and watch the flowers, and the poem has urged me on - miles to go before I sleep

Poetry for its sheer beauty has always entrances the audience. Romance* holds the unsuspecting reader in sway; emotions and the subtlites of the human heart always never ceases to attract - drawing the reader in the imagination which blurs literature and reality, material and the spiritual.

Little surprise then, when I say Lord Tennyson's The Brook made me yearn for the freedom and the permanence that the brook enjoys.

Shelly's Ode to the West Wind is another strong contender in being adequately dark and alluring.

William Wordsworth conjures up such beauty and romance in his words that it is so impossible to write about poetry and not about him; his words transport to an alternate realm of nature, beauty and romance ... be it The Solitary Reaper which all CBSE kids have read at school or his other poems such as I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.

Nearer home again, we've had such a bounty of Indian poets , writers and playwrights, that I could list out the names until sundown and yet have an incomplete listgreats such as Sarojini Naidu, Subramanya Bharati, Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Gulzar, Amrita Pritam, Mirabai, Kabir, Tulasidas, Kamala Das, C. RajaGopalachari .. oh, the list is unending.

Poetry, is one form of communication, which appeals to the soul, rather than to the senses. That feeling of goosebumps one gets while reading a poem is because the writer's soul plunges within the readers and touches the spiritual cords that make up the inner most cords of man.

Poetry, which forms the base for music - is a form of bhakti, karma and jnana - a way to meet the Supreme - who in fact lurks within each of us - gaana seva - as it is called in the Indiann tradition - is a way to travel inward, and in the journey, re-discover ourselves in a totally new light.

* - Romance - not the bollywood boy runs across the fields of punjab with a silly feather stuck on his head to please a dark skinned girl dressed in a very silly white outfit.
If you have reached until here, I guess you have a fair idea as to the usage of the word.


Sakshi said...

Made my morning, reading through all that. I need to dig my Romantics out and read through once more..

Phoenix said...

Cool one prof :D

Anonymous said...


has lots of poems by Mirabai and their spiritual implications as well.