Part 09

Poetry first arrived
like a sparrow at the window —
brave enough, sometimes, to
reach for grain, to sing a note,
retreating at the slightest

I was emulating verses
taught in school: Wordsworth,
Frost, Davies, Shelley. Not
knowing the context, not picturing
the landscapes, not hearing the
intonations. Just syllables chasing
each other through burgundy
synapses, kicking up inexplicable
waves of joy. This is how the poet
must have wanted to be read. Or
maybe the poet never imagined so
distanced a reader. Or any reader.

I can frame my own space
now, hear my own voice. But the
universe still reveals no premise for
why something is, why it wants, why
it is denied and why it grieves into
poetry. There is also no explanation
for why a monsoon sky is the colour
of a sonnet, why a heart breaks in
the way day doesn’t, why a moment
shapes the poet when the poet shapes
the moment, but in the reverse
direction, as if time and poetry
are mirror reflections staring at
each other from opposite worlds.

There is also no explanation for
why the road less travelled by
turned out to be a dead end.


19 thoughts on “Part 09

  1. The poem has so many unforgettable lines! The merry and playful sparrow image of poetry at the beginning has a rough end, almost reflecting the lines “why a heart breaks in / the way day doesn’t,”. Poetry is indeed enigmatic; will never fully reveal itself.
    It’s always a treat to read your lines, Rajani.


  2. How I love those opening lines! Wonderful! They drew me right into the poem. The monsoon sky the color of a sonnet is an amazing image, and I love the progression of the poem to its conclusion. Really fine writing, Rajani.


  3. Well if there were no blogs most of us wouldn’t know if anyone read our poems or not.If a reader slips into the heartbeat it’s a bonus but I don’t think readers should be the raison d’etre for writing….you should write anyway


  4. i very introspective piece, and some interesting points. i think a lot poets start poems as conversations with themselves, which makes some (or much, depending) of what they said seem so alien to us as readers. but i’ve always enjoyed that, pondering the riddles. i wouldn’t want it to be too easy, or the rewards isn’t all that rewarding, know what i mean? wonderful poem, enjoyed very much


  5. I love how this describes the joy of experiencing poetry and all the new questions that just naturally start flowing from that discovery. It’s interesting to look back now, remembering how a poem hit me one way when I first ran into it, and how the meanings take a different resonance based on our life experiences.


    1. I believe that the reader projects their own story on the poem and therefore every poem has a million interpretations, all valid. Our story keeps changing and with it the poem… I suppose the old classics are what they are because they remain relevant no matter when we read them. In different ways!


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