A few weeks ago, when my dad was visiting, he left his pen here. It’s a nice pen, though nothing extraordinary. It is black in color and has that sleek and elegant air about itself which most expensive pens project these days. On the night that followed his visit, I found the pen lying on the table, next to a book of poetry. Almost on a whim, I fished out this little notebook made out of hand made paper my dad had once got for me from Thailand. Since that night, I have been penning some of my favorite poems in that note book every now and then. I don’t have much recollection of my thought process while I started doing this. Probably the sight of a pen stirred up a sense of novelty, since I hardly use any between typing on my laptop, Ipad and smart phone. But I am glad that I did as this exercise is pleasantly calming and stimulating. I plan to fill all the pages with all my favorite verses ever and keep the note book with myself for the rest of my life. It would be kind of a ready reckoner of comforting, inspiring and passionate words.
I thought of writing down a couple of verses from Pablo Neruda’s vast treasure today. I decided to start with my favorite from this great poet, “Poetry”. I remember when I had read this poem for the first time, I was bewildered with the helplessness as well as candor with which Neruda had awakened and submitted himself to creating soulful poetry. He had found his calling. I learned that poetry is much more than knowing one’s rhyme and meter. It is about being captivated by the joys, tragedies and mysteries of life and discovering it’s beauty and wonders. Here is my favorite part of the poem.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
Neruda’s words seldom fail to inspire me to find poetry of my own. I had once clicked a photograph of a window in a decrepit and largely forgotten fort in Patiala, Punjab. It’s obscurity had made me sad for a while. I penned these lines today when I saw that photograph again. I call this little poem “Window of Oblivion”
Abandoned walls, the tales cast away.
My glory forgotten, to time am another prey.
Nights of mirth, those days of thunder,
Swallowed into space, silent, unremembered.
Birds scrape away my beauty, my lone solace.
My visage being plundered, oh what a disgrace.
To history I submitted, but was shunted from its vision,
Lost in its mighty pages, thrown into the window of oblivion.