Arun Raghavan

Extremely pithy tagline here

TAG: poetry

In another life, maybe …

… or so I would like to tell myself. From the Blogerazzi’s blog (reminds me of Mrs. Bose (any FAPSians out here?), English class, Hamlet, and wasted days (in a mostly good sense)):

Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive – “Nonsense.” “Please!” “HA!!” – that kind of thing. I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like why wrote “Don’t be a ninny” alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page. One scrawls “Metaphor” next to a stanza of Eliot’s. Another notes the presence of “Irony” fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths. “Absolutely,” they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. “Yes.” “Bull’s-eye.” My man!“ Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have manage to graduate from college without ever having written ”Man vs. Nature“ in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird signing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake’s furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer. I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents’ living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- ”Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.“

 -- Billy Collins

Poetry is the gateway to the soul … not!

This was a reply to someone who asked the general public for a love poem


Tiger, tiger, burning bright, I’ve got butterflies in my tummy, Pitiful, how pitiful, is my plight, I’ve got the tongue of a mummy.

Oh what limpid pools — her eyes, And her hair smells a little like litchi, My head, oh gods, it’s full of mice, Not all is well and peachy.

Today, I must, I can, I will, Lay bare to her my 130/90 heart, Will she say I fit the bill? Or just call me a boring fart?

Here she is, I will, I must, Unveil my true love true, My love for me, my love or bust, I hope she says “I do”.

‘Tis done, at last, ’tis said, I admitted and self-consciously laughed, She smiled and said, “Oh, dear, sweet Ted, Don’t be daft.”

Nimma Deddy Yaaru?

A black void infinite, A thousand million points of light, Perhaps six times that, Would they would shine.

But, Each, if at all, Glows feebly, Weakly, gently, dropping light, Not an arms length away.

To compound, Each is captured, Enraptured, By it’s own undazzling non-brilliance, (Oh, I’m so pretty!) Never realising, That it exists to blind.

Iteration is stupidly human, Recursion is bovine, Infinite moo.

Corrosion

A worthy read, this. God save them from us plebes. He calls them fish, and I call them sheep.

Also, therefrom, …

A Dream Deferred — by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Stolen from <a href="http://treeland.rediffiland.com">gaya tree</a>

A Note

Life is the only way to get covered in leaves, catch your breath on the sand, rise on wings;

to be a dog, or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events, dawdle in views, to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance to remember for a moment a conversation held with the lamp switched off;

and if only once to stumble upon a stone, end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass; and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes; and to keep on not knowing something important.

– by Wislawa Szymborska

And don’t miss her Nobel Lecture either.

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