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Archive for the ‘Poem’ Category

Poetic Fridays

I know I have blogged about this poem before, but no amount of re-reviewing makes me forget how close to life its message is. Leisure is a poem by W.H. Davies and it talks about how futile our life is. The past few months of never-ending work, and stress have made this poem close to heart. Indeed, a poor life this is of ours, full of stress and no time to stand and stare.

Leisure

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

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Poetic Fridays

I have been missing for a while now, but I have good reason to be. I was busy reading the rest of the Twilight series and I have a LOT to say. But more(much much more) on that in another post. Today’s poem is by Ogden Nash and is called This is going to hurt just a little bit. It is about the poet’s view on visiting a dentist. Why do I like this poem enough to post it here? Well, for starters, it is well written and clear. I like the fact that the lines are so simple and normal, yet it conveys the fear and disgust of the poet well. (It could well have been the husband narrating the poem, and it would still convey the same feelings, thanks to his thousands of dental appointments).

This was the time in school when my classmates were all getting dental braces and had only horror stories to narrate. I needed one too, thanks to my crooked front tooth, and I held out as much as I could against  it, and was almost going to give up to my mom’s earnest appeals to see a dentist. (somewhere deep down she was worried my worth in the marriage market might dwindle thanks to my not so perfect teeth….hehe). Then when I read this poem the day we got new textbooks, I decided firmly that I was NOT going to let a dentist bore into my teeth EVER AGAIN! I had learnt a nice word – vicious circle, and I used it as an armor and told my dad I don’t want to get into that vicious circle of seeing the dentist to keep my teeth perfect so I won’t have to see a dentist etc, and he bought it! And I have crooked teeth till today and am still contemplating getting an adults’ dental brace(but cosmetic dental work costs a bomb!) For now, enjoy the poem!

This is going to hurt just a little bit

One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.

And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopen.

Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,

But the one that is both is dental.

It is hard to be self-possessed

With your jaw digging into your chest.

So hard to retain your calm

When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or some other important line in your palm;

So hard to give your usual effect of cheery benignity

When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity.

And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on.

And it is all cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam rollers and there isn’t a nerve in your head that you aren’t being irked on.

Oh, some people are unfortunate enough to be strung up by thumbs.

And others have things done to their gums,

And your teeth are supposed to be being polished,

But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.

And the circumstance that adds most to your terror

Is that it’s all done with a mirror,

Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,

But all the same how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other he won’t get mixed up, the way you do when you try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa?

And then at last he says That will be all; but it isn’t because he then coats your mouth from cellar to roof

With something that I suspect is generally used to put a shine on a horse’s hoof.

And you totter to your feet and think. Well it’s all over now and afterall it was only this once.

And he says come back in three monce.

And this, O Fate, is I think the most vicious circle that thou ever sentest,

That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition

when the chief reason he wants his teeth in good condition

is so that he won’t have to go to the dentist.

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Do I love my food or what?

Life was a cake walk for 21 years,

a time with no fears

of love handles or the growing waistline,

and food was on mind all the time.


Gokul was the place of choice

to eat mirchi bajji for that extra spice.

Then come home to a cup of tea,

and polish off some avakaya annam with ghee.


Summers were the fun months,

and the days of indulgence.

Days of eating to beat the heat,

with icy rasna and ajji’s thalipeeth.


The exhibition was another place to stuff,

yummy pav bhaji and hot curry puff,

and wash it all down with ganne ka ras,

then pop a pan while in the bus.


Then I moved to Mumbai,

the home of vada pav and cutting chai.

Now there were so many friends to meet

and myriad avenues to eat.


Order in some pizza from smokin joes,

or let us go out and get our dose,

of sev puri-dahi puri

and eat it all guilt-free.


Sigh now when I think about food

I remember it does no good

And only accentuates the waistline

No choice but to curtail the wine and dine!


Growing up changes your perspective.

Are we living to eat or eating to live?

Graduating from the former to latter,

we hope life’s taken a turn for the better!

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Here is a kavita by Nagarjun that I distinctly remember from my school days. These words warm my heart as I read it. Though the language is very simple and the construction very rudimentary, this poem speaks clearly of the emotions of a girl’s father.

Gulabi Choodiyan

Private bus ka driver hain tho kya hua
saat saal ki bachchi ka pita tho hain

saamne gear ke upar
hook se latka rakhi hain
kaanch ki chaar choodiyan gulabi
bus ki raftar ke mutabik
hilti rehti hain….

jhukkar maine pooch liya
kha gaya mano jhatka
adhed umr ka muchchad robila chehra
aahiste se bola: haan sahab

laakh kehta hoon nahin maanti muniyan
taange hue hain kai dino se
apni amanat
yahan abba ki nazron ke saamne
main bhi sochta hoon

kya bigadti hain choodiyan
kis jurm pe hata doon inko yahan se

aur driver ne ek nazar mujhe dekha
aur maine ek nazar use dekha

chalak raha tha dudhiya vatsalaya badi badi aankhon me
taralta haavi thi seedhi sadhi pragna par
aur ab ve nigahen phir se ho gayi sadak ki or
aur maine jhukkar kaha

haan bhai main bhi pita hoon
woh tho bas yun hi pooch liya aapse
varna kise nahin bhayengi
nanhi kalaiyon ki gulabi choodiyan

Please go here to read it in hindi.

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Leisure by W.H. Davies

This is one poem I always think about when I have too much to do and too little time. I also think about it when seasons seem to change overnight.

Leisure

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

– W.H. Davies

source

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