Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I've realized just recently how potent a poem can be. If done right, a poem says so much more than a work of prose. Something in a verse form that makes it a literary dynamite if done right. So small, and yet so much to say. I was discussing about poetry with a friend of mine and I remembered how I completely abhored poetry in my growing up years (except the works of Kusumagraj and Chandrashekhar Gokhale, both of whom in their own ways revolutionized the Marathi literature). I thought of poetry as a very pseudo form of expression. Also a form which is very processed, and maybe that's why less appealing. Also poems and verses were for sissies. But I think the fault wasn't just with me. Many of the poetry books that were lying around the house were absolutely pathetic. Every other person in our circle had tried her/his hand at it sometime or the other and the house littered with these souvenir copies. I didn't realize that these were below average poets who just went for the art of verbal minimalism to appear someone that they are not. Their work didn't seem real. It was all so fake.

These adolescent presumptions disappeared one day as I bumped onto some hidden away tattered copies of Bhavani Prasad Mishr's poems. I picked it up solely because the book seemed to have been published by a professional publishing house. Also coz he was grandpa's friend, everyone talked about him so much and he was held in great respect by everyone in the family.

Many of his poems were incomprehensible. I just couldn't understand what he was trying to say. But the ones I understood, made me realize that this is not some fake poet trying to recreate the renaissance magic. He was simple, his choice of words was apt, and that he was giving a new meaning to whatever he was touching...even the most inane things in day to day life had been given a new perspective. I fell in love with his writing.

I wrote everything that I liked in the notebooks I kept.

I was 12.

One of the first poems that I read was sarvamsahaa, meaning one who endures everything. I am putting it here (hopefully without violating any copyright laws).

सब कुछ
तुम्हीं पर नहीं है निर्भर
भाई सूरज.
यह रज भी एक चीज़ है,
सारी सज-धज
उसी में से अंकुरी है.
धुरी पर अपनी
वह घूमती है,
तुम नहीं.
निष्क्रिय हो याने तुम
सक्रिय वह है.
प्रिय है इसलिए
वह तुमसे ज्यादा
तत्त्वों को.
पानी उस पर
बरसता है
बहता है.
वातावरण छाया की तरह
उस पर छाया रहता है.
ठीक हो तुम
ठीक है तुम्हारी गरमी
नरमी उसकी भी तो समझो ज़रा
क्या कर सकते थे तुम
होती नहीं अगर
होती नहीं अगर सर्वंसहा हमारी धरा!

- Bhavani Prasad Mishr


Anonymous said...

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie—
True Poems flee—

Emily Dickinson

Just as good poetry is few and far between, a good poetry can only be appreciated by a good audience. often we read our incomprehension as the poet's incompetence. BTW someone has said..

Pigs and poets are appreciated only after they are dead :)

to me reading/writing poetry is a reflection of being myself and being so all alone.


A said...

And reminds you of your grandpa right? The Gulzar connection there...