I don’t remember that day very clearly, to be perfectly honest. I was a nine year old, short, fair, plump kid with an army cut, because that made my father very happy. I didn’t find it strenuous to get my hair cut extremely short but I think that was because I was nine. I had visited Kolkata to meet my Thakuma, my grandmother, and I was reaping the benefits of being her only grandchild. A fabulous lunch had me leisurely moving to the bedroom for my afternoon siesta. I was about to retire when I saw a stray diary lying on the bed. Glancing through blank pages was a particular pleasure for the nine year old me and I picked it up slowly to see the myriad labelled blank pages. I saw a cap-less pen just lying on the dressing table. With great gusto I got up, fetched that pen and started writing on the page earmarked for the 1st of January. Various thoughts of trees, nature, love and heaven swirled in my mind and I wanted to capture them all. With my tongue sticking out only slightly, I tried to make every even sentence rhyme without them sounding too forced. A free flow of emotions restrained by literary gusto of a nine year old me helped me write 12 lines on that diary. I lifted it with great pride and read it to myself. It felt good. I ran out with the diary to show it to Ma, to show her my very first poem.
It is very interesting to look back upon your poems. That same freedom which I experienced that day 12 years back is why I write poetry. People tread past their lives, often searching for their passion. I know what my passion is, my passion is Poetry. The randomness of the verses, the fluidity of the dictate is enthralling and exhilarating. You need no motivation to write one and that is enough incentive to write one. I think that I am different. The pleasure that one receives in exploring new locations, the thrill that one derives in the sweet disposition of companionship and the amusement that one derives from the ecstatic world of an extrovert, I derive from writing a simple poem. It is a pleasure that only a fellow poet can contemplate. A well-paced poem which captures the rambling of mine perfectly make my day.
Poetry is often ignored by many because of the mere complication of verses. It is sometimes difficult to control your sentiments when you write a poem. We tend to over-emote through the words which might sometimes be a hassle for the reader but for a person who appreciates poetry; these cryptic lines are bliss. The more I can derive from a poem, the more satisfied I feel. I remember a particular poem which was included in our curriculum, “An Ode to the West Wind” by the masterful poet P B Shelley. The complexity of the verses, the elaborate picturization of the amazingly describes landscapes and the hidden messages of revolts and revolutions, made it a student’s nightmare. The same poem blew me away. The gentle pace towards the beginning and the gradual hastening towards the end is like a moving ballad. Moments like those taught me about the sanctity of the written word.
Another major reason people keep themselves from writing poetry is due to a misconception that it has to have a proper rhyming. Although a fan of symmetry, I believe that a perfectly moving piece of poetry need not have any rhyming at all. Rhymes do add to the lyrical value of a poem but the essence of any poem lies in the alliterations, feeling and layers that a poet adds. Sylvia Plath is an amazing American poetess. Her poetry was often bereft of any rhyming but her emotions and elegiac depth made them magnificent. A great idol of feminism, her poetry is like staring into a mirror of predispositions and looking at your flaws, capricious and starkly nude. This is her work, Mirror.
Mirror inspired me to write something on similar lines.
Life’s aesthetic persona
Lies in its many shades
The ever valuable beauty
Is the earliest quality that fades.
The bride watches in vain
As mind numbing years pass by
It’s the not the same any more,
The constant hue and cry.
What seemed like yesterday,
The compliments, passionate and wild,
Is now replaced by mere social decorum,
Deceptive politeness mild.
Her gaze seems more selective now,
That falcon gaze which could spot any blemish,
Now searches for the beauty,
In the ageing famish.
Someone who cared for herself only,
Now spins the yarn for someone,
That beauty that lies in its rising,
That has become the law, the red sun.
It’s not years that changed her,
It’s not magic, no deceptive measure,
It’s just that life has many fringes,
She just learnt that the dark one are the true treasure.
The world is crowded with like-minded individuals striving to stamp their marks of originality. My originality and personality is reflected in my poetry. It allows me to experiment, it give me the prospect of failure so that I can look back, reflect and write something better. In a lot of ways, writing a poem is like life itself with a tinge of mellow, a shade of elation and lots of love. I want the readers to get up, take a page and write something random on it. Don’t try to rhyme it. Just try to put as much thought in it as possible and keep on it till you write something substantial. Then read it. A free flow of sentiments written intently on that piece of paper will teach you something about yourself that you might not have known earlier. That, dear readers, is pure happiness.