The Patriot. Robert Browning. Appreciation.

19.

The Patriot. Robert Browning. Appreciation by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 13th May 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/1i9q667s/
Posted in Wikinut  Poetry,

 

Browning was a skilled poet, an expert in creating frantic situations in poetry. In the Pied Piper of Hamelin it was mysterious loss of all children from a town due to a word not being kept. In My Last Duchess it was killing of a long line of innocent duchesses by a jealous duke, the story being told without even presenting a second character. In The Patriot, it is adoration by people immediately followed by chaining, dragging through the streets, stoning by crowds and execution in the gallows.

Majestic portrayal of fall from authority and subsequent condemnation.

Young Browning. A Painting.

Robert Browning in his poem ‘The Patriot’ describes the different treatments the same man receives from the same people within a course of one year. First he was received by the people royally like a patriot. After one year he was dragged through the streets by the same people and given a scornful send-off to his death as a condemned man. The poet does not tell exactly what crime was committed by such a famous and worshipped man to be sent to the gallows within one year. Perhaps he might have turned a traitor to his country or people, or might have done much favouritism and corruption for his friends while he was in power, or else people might have made a serious mistake in judging him.

People’s applause and esteem is but a momentary bubble soon to explode.

Royal reception of a popular hero.

We have examples of a Caesar returning victoriously after an Egyptian Tour, received jubilantly by people inRomeand declared by Senate as the Dictator for the entire Roman lands and after that, within days, assassinated by a senator in front of all senators fearing for the likely chance of him declaring himself as an Emperor of Rome. We also have before us the example of the Oracle of Delphi proclaiming none was wiser than Socrates and then Socrates being assassinated by the City Council of Athens for a puny charge of corrupting their youth. Execution of Sir. Thomas Moore, the modern day Socrates also is vivid in our memories. History is so full of such admonition messages from the past that now we all know that people’s applause is but momentary and that their admiration shall not be taken into account in assessing a man’s real worth.

We have fetched the Sun for you: Need anything more?

Only moments would be needed to change this mood.

When the patriot was received for the first time by people, they went mad and spread on his path roses mixed with evergreen laurels. House roofs were filled with people just to have a glimpse of their worshipful hero. Lights burned all night and flags fluttered freely in churches. Sweet sounds of bells filled the atmosphere. People seemed to be such loyal to and eager to please their hero then that had he asked for the Sun, it would immediately have been fetched and they would have asked him, if he needed anything more.

In the rain, hands fettered, stoned all the way, dragged to the death-post.

Price of ethereal love paid in earthly blood.

We learn from the poem that the patriot did many impossible things for the people which made them pleased. ‘Nought man could do, have I left undone’, the poet writes. The patriot did everything for his people that a man could do. All of a sudden people turned against him and decided to hang him publicly as a punishment for his crimes committed during one year. Everything he did during one year had become crimes when viewed from another angle. Now we see him hands fettered, suffering in rain, stoned all the way, being dragged to the death post. And now there is nobody on the roof-tops to watch the spectacle. All have gone to the death-post at Shambles’ Gate to witness the best sight of hanging him. What an unpredictable twist of human attitude!

A condemned and executed man is received to the merciful hands of God.

Crucified for delivering the message of love.

We have seen this exact scene in history a few centuries before, in the mountains of Gagultha. A human representative of the creator and moulder of mankind, an innocent carpenter, was executed on the cross for the crime of loving mankind. On his way to death, the patriot has a few such consoling thoughts. A man honoured in this world may most likely have to suffer in heaven. But a man who is unjustly tortured and punished in this world is sure to get God’s love in the other world. Thus, though on the brink of his death, the patriot is solaced enough at the thought of being really safe in the hands of God within minutes.

________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

________________________________

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

Appreciations, British Poets, English Literature, English Poems, English Poets, English Songs, P S Remesh Chandran, Poetry, Reviews, Robert Browning, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Songs, The Patriot

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Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Comments

Sara
27th May 2011 (#)

Thanks for this really useful article.

Rathnashikamani
17th Jun 2011 (#)

Excellent analysis by an excellent editor.

PSRemeshChandra
17th Jun 2011 (#)

Browning painted such an excellent and majestic scene with words that it was very easy for me to remember it and redraw. Moreover I did an experiment with this poem. When I functioned also as a journeyman lecturer, I taught this poem while reading it for the first time. My first thrill of reading, actually singing it for the first time could therefore be transferred somewhat to the students. They said it was a pleasant new experience for them, but they never knew I was reading the poem for the first time. Therefore I still remember vividly my analysis of the poem then. Another time I did the same thing with a famous short story, Anton Chekhov’  ‘The Bet’. Me and the whole band of learners were carried away and could not speak or look at others for several minutes. It is not the skill of the reteller but the excellent editorial powers hidden in the writer that make readers spellbound.

 

 

Waterloo. Lord Byron. Appreciation.

18.

Waterloo. Lord Byron. Appreciation by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 26th Apr 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/3.ub8mva/
Posted in Wikinut  Poetry

 

The maps of Europe were drawn and redrawn many times during the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth centuries. Countries became nations and empires which in no time were reverted back to nations and countries. It was not uncommon for people of those times to lay down spoons and forks in the dead of night and take muskets and pistols to brave war. Lord Byron in his famous poem portrays such a scene from the European arena.

Political thought should be followed by political action.

Byron in Albanian Dress.

George Gordon Noel Lord Byron was born in England in the Eighteenth century and lived through the Nineteenth century. He was a lame person and so he could not take part in the active moments of his nation. Because of this handicap, he possessed exceptional vigour, strength, courage and force at least in his writings. He believed that political thought should immediately be followed by political action. He had firm political opinions which could not be uttered in his century which naturally made him to turn himself into an irresistible revolutionary poet. His name stands brilliant and great among the star line of English poets. The Vision of Judgment, The Prisoner of Chillon and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage are his most famous poems.

Spoon and fork lain down to take musket and pistol.

Vast Belgian halls where rich and famous assembled

Childe Harold means the child of Harrow University which was the poet himself. Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage is a long poem in which Byron describes his European travels. There are perhaps only two other famous poems of the like in English literature. They are Matthew Arnold’s ‘The Scholar Gipsy’ and William Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey Revisited’. These three constitute the University Trio in English poetry. Waterloo is a famous section from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

The war of English and the French enters Belgium in the dead of night.

A ball in Brussels in 1815.

In Belgium he attended a midnight ball of the rich and famous in Brussels, the capital city. It was at that time that the French and English opened war which soon reached Belgium. The midnight revelry was broke down by cannon fire but instead of the expected chaos, Byron could not help but admire what he saw of the quickness with which the Scottish soldiers there responded to the sudden attack. Due to graphic descriptions of contradicting scenes before and after the outbreak of sudden war, this part of the poem became memorably fine and specially noted in the poem.

Heavy cannon fire shatters the sound of midnight revelry.

Battle in Brussels. Formed in ranks of war.

All the brave and beautiful in Brussels were assembled in that ball room in a large mansion to celebrate night. There were not less than a thousand people gathered in that vast hall. Lamps shone bright everywhere and soft music filled the atmosphere. It was not just opulence and extravaganza of the rich and powerful. Belgians thought and did everything great and magnificent. Electricity in the atmosphere could be touched with hands. Loving eyes exchanged glances. All went merry as a marriage bell until the deep sound of a cannon struck.

Youth and Pleasure chase the night with flying feet.

Austro-Bavarian-French Battery Charge.

In the midst of the revelry, most of them did not recognize it to be sound of French guns. Some said it was wind and some said it was chariot passing through the stony street. The midnight revelry continued. People had decided to sleep not till morn. Youth and Pleasure had decided to chase the night with flying feet. Personification of Pleasure here is delightful and apt, resembling Milton’s personification of Laughter in his University poem L’Allegro. The aristocrats, government officers, soldiers, students, lovers and lazy personages all reverted back to merriment and carnal festivity. Then the heavy sound was heard once again, this time nearer and louder. Now there was no doubt it was the opening roar of cannons.

Midnight carnival turns into a carnelian carnage.

The Scotts riding to battle.

The noble Duke of Brunswick was sitting in a niche in the festivity hall, passively nursing his drinks. He was fighting on the part of the English and had anger towards the French for taking away his power and authority. He was a soldier head to heel, was always alert and was the first to recognize the sound as a cannon’s roar. When he said it and said it was near, the others laughed. But he knew the sound too well which had stretched his father, a great Chieftain, on a bed of blood years ago. His desire for long awaited vengeance was immediately roused; he rushed into the field outside and fell fighting foremost as a hero. The Duke of Brunswick’s reaction to the sound of cannon heard in the distance was a forewarning to the massacre and carnelian carnage that was to follow. War was at their door step. Byron’s description of the reverberating din of merriment in the hall and the heart-rending rush to his death by the Duke of Brunswick are equally classical.

Love or lust or wine, the Scottish soldiers are duty-bound.

Byron Abroad. His Reception at Missolonghi.

It is interesting to note how this sudden crisis affected the Scottish soldiers present. Death of the Duke of Brunswick confirmed that it was not a joke but actual war. No one had thought such awful a morn could rise upon such sweet a night. Dancing stopped and partners parted. Some wept, some trembled, some sighed and all were pale. Many doubted whether they would ever meet again. The civilians all were dumb struck and silent, but the Scottish soldiers in the assembling were the first to recover. Love or lust or wine, they proved once more that they were duty-bound.

Squadrons and chariots swiftly forming in ranks of war.

Reenactment of Battle of Waterloo 1815.

They soon began to prepare for the war. There were hurried movements everywhere. Horses were quickly mounted; squadrons and chariots rode out with impetuous speed and all swiftly formed in ranks of war. Horns and trumpets were sounded which roused all soldiers into action. Famous Scottish war songs trumpeted through Scottish bagpipes resounded through the columns and ranks of the armies and thrilled even the enemies. The famous song, ‘Cameron’s Gathering’ rose high and wild and echoing through the Albion’s Hills, and reached the Anglo-Saxons as well as the French. In no time the soldiers were marching away to the battle field.

The Ardennes Great Woods shed tear drops over the unreturning brave.

Ardennes shed tears over the unreturning brave.

Byron stood apart and watched the soldiers marching away to Waterloo. This last part of this portion of the poem is his reflections on the soldiers marching away to their death and glory. It is not possible that many of them may return alive to their land. As the English army marched away through the Ardennes Great Woods, trees waved their branches and shed tear drops over the unreturning brave. It was nature’s send-off and lamentation for her dearest of sons.

Morning noon and night, and morning day again.

Artificial hill raised on the spot of Waterloo.

This lamentation of the woods is a fine and memorable scene in the poem, an achievement of Byron’s poetical diction and imagination. The brave soldiers who are now treading the grass might be dead and lying cold and low beneath the same grass before evening. The descriptions go through the calendar of activities of the day: Morning, evening, midnight, morning and day again; how quick and unexpected was the transformation from the peak of happiness to the depth of distress! But death would show no distinctions to man or beast. When the thunder clouds of the war clear away, the Earth would be uniformly covered with dead soldiers from both sides. Nature shows her kindness and justice by allowing the rider and horse and friend and foe to share and enjoy the same red burial ground which is grand and majestic after a war. 

________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

________________________________

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

Appreciations, British Poets, Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, English Language And Literature, English Literature, English Poems, English Songs, Gordon Lord Byron, Literary Criticism, P S Remesh Chandran, Poems, Poetry Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Songs, Waterloo

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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The Lotos-Eaters. Tennyson. Appreciation.

17.

The Lotos-Eaters. Alfred Lord Tennyson. Appreciation by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 24th Apr 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/1f8a7337/
Posted in Wikinut  Poetry, Drama & Criticism

 

The great veil of Victorian hypocrisy was lifted by Alfred Lord Tennyson and was shown to the world the lovely English mind behind it that was his. The Lotos-Eaters is the world’s greatest poetical experiment synchronizing sublime music with the changing moods and fancies of the exotic, psychedelic intoxication of a band of marine soldiers marooned on an island that nowhere existed.

Failure of musical geniuses in exactly imitating changing moods of the exotically intoxicated.

Alfred Lord Tennyson was a Nineteenth century English poet. He is considered the greatest poet and true representative of the Victorian Era. In Memoriam was his masterpiece. The Lotos-Eaters is a memorable poem in which he describes the arrival of Ulysses’ Greek soldiers on theislandofLotos Eaters. They are a lazy philosophic lot who do not like hard labour of any kind. Once the sailors in the ship are given the lotos fruit, leaf and stem and they have eaten them, they too are such transformed that they no more wish to sea-travel and see their homes. Sublime music and selected words create an atmosphere of languor, laziness and sleepiness in the poem which is Tennyson’s unique achievement and craftsmanship. This is the poem in which Tennyson experimented with music changing with the moods of each action, each bit of music perfectly reflecting the corresponding change in mood. Attempts to perfectly orchestrate this song have more or less failed through years due to failure of musical geniuses in exactly imitating the changing mind and moods of the exotically and psychedelically intoxicated.

A land of mountains, rivers, valleys, wind and waves, and Lotos plants.

A Portrait of Baron Tennyson.

Greek hero Ulysses and his band of soldiers had spent ten years in the Trojan War. Returning home they were lost in the sea and had to spend a few more years in roaming the sea. At last they sighted land. It was the land of Lotos Eaters. From the height of their anchored ship they could see far into the interior of the island. It was an island of mountains, rivers, valleys, wind and waves. Streams and falls were everywhere. Green woods and meadows ornamented plains and hills. It was a land where all things always seemed the same. No signs of cultivation or other human activities were to be seen anywhere there.

Lotos: Personification of exotic, psychedelic intoxication of human mind.

Then the mild and melancholy eyed island dwellers appeared and they silently approached the ship. They bore branches, leaves and stems of that enchanted plant of Lotos as presentations to visitors to their island from which they gave to each. Before Ulysses could prevent, his soldiers one and all had eaten them. Once they tasted this magical herb their attitudes and outlook dramatically changed. The once-courageous and strong mariners and soldiers all seemed tired suddenly. Those famous soldiers who fought bravely beside Ulysses in the fierce Trojan War now no more wish to bear the burden of sailing their ship through turbulent seas. Whoever tasted that magical herb given by those islanders became exactly like them. They seemed to be deep asleep yet all awake. The voices of nearby persons seemed to them thin voices from the depth of grave. Even their own heart beats resounded loudly and musically in their own ears. So now we see the Ulysses’ famous soldiers all sitting on the yellow sand, begin singing a chorus, the likeness of which has never ever been seen anywhere in English literature. All the efforts of their captain, the mighty Ulysses, could not move them an inch or release them from their hallucination and the spell of that magical plant.

Why sweetness of soul’s music and soothing pleasure of sleep are denied to man?

Path to Tennyson’s Monument in the Isle of Wight.

The mariners who tasted Lotos all became philosophers overnight who begin to worship idleness. Man is the roof and crown of things. He is the first and foremost of things but he alone is destined to toil. He makes perpetual moan in his life and is thrown from one sorrow to another perpetually. Enjoying leisurely the sweetness of his soul’s music and the soothing pleasures of sleep are forbidden to him. Weariness, heaviness and distress weigh him down. Hearing the excellent arguments of the mariners expressed in their chorus will make us wonder at the mathematical perfection of their logic and philosophy. We will be moved to stay with them and approbate their logic verbatim. That is the descriptive skill of Tennyson which made him the prominent poet of his era and after. There has never been a poem describing the attitude towards life and the philosophizing of a unique, exotically and psychedelically intoxicated band of humans more vividly.

The leaf and fruit and flower all have their sweet lives; man alone toils.

Tennyson’s House in Farringford.

The mariners begin to compare the tediousness of their lives with the easiness and quietness of the lives of leaves, fruits and flowers. They complete the cycles of their simple lives without any toil. Leaves open, grow and fall gently. The ripe fruits drop silently in autumn nights. Whereas man is a traveller and roamer, flowers are fast-rooted in their fertile soil. Flowers enjoy their allotted length of days, bloom and fade and fall, without toil. But man is the only being that is seen to be toiling in one way or another, in the fields, forests or oceans. Time driveth onward fast and in little time man’s life period is expired. Whatever man achieves is taken from him to become portions and parcels of a dreadful past which we commonly call history. All things under the Sun have rest except man. Therefore the mariners are not going to mount the rolling waves and travel any more. They want to stay forever on the island. After listening to their arguments we will be tempted to do nothing but agree.

Why return after years like apparitions to their native island of chaos?

Fresh Water Bay seen from Afton Down.

But Ulysses is a very persuasive person. He used every trick and argument in his quiver to tempt his mariners to return toIthaca. But they warn their captain that it would not be wise for them to return to their island home ofIthaca. Everything might have changed there. Their sons would have inherited them after all these years. The returning ancestors would only be viewed as ghosts and apparitions come to trouble their joy. Or else the over-bold island princes ofIthaca, fearing no return of the heroes might have married their wives and spent their fortunes. Their great deeds in wars would have been half-forgotten, sung only in songs. Even if they are lucky and oriented enough to return to their land, it would be harder still to please their gods after all these years and settle order once again in their island. So why not spend the rest of their lives in this quietislandofLotosand enjoy sleep and laziness to their fill? How can even a very persuasive person counter, in the face of this unbroken torrent of reasons?

Mariners declining to resume travel: the dread of all sea-going captains.

Coastal Path to Tennyson’s Monument.

These instances were not uncommon in the days of the rowing sea ship travels. They were the dread of every captain. Crew may refuse to move on after months of tiresome travels and incline to stay for ever in a new found land. A sailor’s life is a life of action. The mariners here have had enough of action and of motion in their lives. They had been constantly rolling to the starboard and larboard sides of the ship as it swayed left and right on the surging waves. The deep sea where the wallowing monster that is the whale spouted his foam-fountain had been their home and playground for too long. Now that is past and enough. They are tired of the sea and now they are inclined only to live and lie reclined in the hollow Lotos Land forever.

Gods lying together happily on their hills, careless and fearless of mankind!

When man does not obey, the clever will threaten him with the consequences of antagonizing their gods. As a last resort Ulysses seems to have done this, because now begins their discourse which, if he had had an opportunity to listen to, might have converted even the most firm believer into an atheist. When sensations and feelings were divided between man and gods, miseries were reserved for man while pleasures went to gods. Man suffers much in this world. Blight, famine, fire and earthquake, ocean flood and desert heat are all his lot. Man sows the seed, reaps the harvest and toils endlessly till his death. He stores wheat and wine and oil for his future but he has no future as he is most often withdrawn silently without notice from this world. Even after death he is doomed to suffer in hell. Man’s sorrowful songs of lamentation steam up to gods’ abode in heaven, like tales of little meaning though the words are strong. But listening to them, gods find music in his woes and laugh. It is the gods who are responsible for man’s sorrow. But they act indifferent to man. They lie together happily on their hills, careless and fearless of mankind. They keep their divine food nectar always close to them; what else do they do except relishing and draining it? They hurl their thunder bolts at man far below craving in the valleys, that is a joke to them. They sit in their golden houses surrounded by clouds and smile at the misery of man far below. All arguments of their captain were blunted by the magnificent and sincere defense of the mariners. Tennyson in the poem does not tell us whether their captain was finally able and eloquent enough to persuade his soldiers to return to their home land, but history does.

_________________________________

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

_________________________________

 

Dear Reader,

If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books,Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Appreciations, British Poets, English Language And Literature, English Literature, English Poems, English Songs, Literary Criticism, P S Remesh Chandran, Poems, Poetry Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Songs, The Lotos-Eaters, Victorian Poets

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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No More Hiroshimas. James Kirkup. Appreciation.

11.

No More Hiroshimas. James Kirkup Poem. Appreciation by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books,Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 23rd Mar 2011   Short URL http://nut.bz/c-q37yc7/
Posted in Wikinut  Poetry, Drama & Criticism

 

Mankind hates to destruct, in spite of the destructive traits inherent in man. In his heart, man is a good being who likes to preserve mankind’s achievements intact for the posterity. But politics is often not led by men, but by mobs and crowds. Wars when fought by single persons have always turned to be good to this world: Socrates, Tolstoy, Louis Pasteur. When fought by people, they turned hell loose in this world.


292 years free of war in a history of 5500 years.

US bombers moving to Japan over Mount Fuji.

In the history of mankind, one will find no desire which is older and stronger than the desire for a world without wars. For centuries, peace in this world meant only the interval between two wars. Swiss historian Jean- Jacquess Bebel calculated that out of the 5500 years’ history of the world, only 292 years remained free of any kind of wars. Two World Wars emanated from the soil ofGermany. But in Europe the guns are silent now. People hope that the clock of history won’t be turned back again.

Sumee-Ko, War And Peace and The Flowers Of Hiroshima.

Had it not been Imperialism!

Arms-Limitation, Anti-War Literature and Detente brought about this favourable situation. Countless novels such as War And Peace, Sumee-ko and The Flowers Of Hiroshima, and dozens of plays including Henrik Ibson’s Ghost moulded human minds to remain synchronized with upheavals and outbreaks of political profiteerism and in the midst of chaos, practise the negative virtue of tolerance. Wilfred Owen and James Kirkup were just two of the hundreds of committed poets who added the influence of poetry too to the goodwill of this world-wide movement.

Three-headed fishes and children with no head at all : The balance-sheet of a mega ton blast.

The pre-war serenity in Japan.

The atom-bomb which blasted inHiroshimain the Second World War wiped out millions of people from the face of the earth for ever. Millions more survived only for being subjected to life-long agony. Three-headed fishes and children with no head at all were no wonder in the affected areas for so many years. Radio-activated patients overcrowded hospitals in the cities and villages, the sustaining and affording of whom became a national problem, stealing into the already scant national resources. Catastrophe continued through generations. Destructions of war were great, the relics of which were, and are, exhibited in Museums and War Memorials to remind the world that wayward politicians no more care for humanity.

The poet and traveller who finally arrives in Japan to settle.

Hiroshima City before the bombing.

James Falconer Kirkup was a poet, translator and travel-writer who was born inEngland. His poems, plays, novels and autobiographies made him a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. After a few years of an eventful life in the island, he travelled through and resided in Europe,America, Far East and finally reached Japan where he settled for 30 years and taught English Literature in several Universities. He was very skilled in writing Haiku Poems and was much respected by the Japanese. Even the Emperor of Japan and the Empress invited him to recite poetry in their presence and he was presented with many prestigious awards there. ‘No More Hiroshimas’ is his famous poem in which he reveals to the world the commercialized post-war faces of Japan.

A river once polluted, refuses to be rehabilitated and remains sad.

Hiroshima after the atomic blast.

In the poem we see the poet arriving at a railway station in the reconstructed city ofHiroshima. He quite forgets which city it is, since all looks similar in the post-warJapan. It resembles any other town inJapan, since all towns are noisy, muddy ramshackles alike after the war. In the dim dew-falling evening, he walks towards the city proper. Neon exhibits of traders attract his attention. They are advertising Atomic Lotion for hair fallout. It looks ridiculous to the much travelled poet, but who knows the pain and frustration of those whose hair fallout rapidly daily? Just as Oliver Goldsmith said in hisDesertedVillage, ‘trade’s unfeeling train had usurped the land and disposed of the swaine.’ Whatever had remained unsellable for centuries in the pure and proud tradition of the Japanese were being made sellable to attract tourists, the sustaining revenue of a wrecked nation. He passes the rows of fruit stalls and meat stalls, observing the scenes around him on his way and finally reaches the river. The face ofHiroshimawas changing. Losses were recompensed and destructions repaired. Everything was being restored or rehabilitated to its former position. But the river alone ‘remains unchanged and sad, refusing any kind of rehabilitation.’ The river symbolizes the stream of life in the city. Once polluted, it can never be rehabilitated into its former position. ‘It was the pride of a bold peasantry that was broken and hurt.’

A traveller and a poet fights in a dilapidated hotel room.

A melted down clock from the Ground Zero.

In the city proper, the poet finds life splendid, busy and ornamental. People seem to have forgotten what have happened. In some shops, cheaply decorated mini models of the famous, bombed Industry Promotion Hall are on display for sale. The indecent modernity of the tourist hotel in which he stays displeases him. The very twisted stair cases which have witnessed the heavy blast appear that they may collapse and fall anytime. He feels ‘the contemporary stairs treacherous, the corridors deserted and peopleless, his room in the hotel an overheated mortuary and the bar, a bar in darkness.’ It should be specially noted here that the traveller poet is uncertain as to whether he should grieve or relish the unrepaired state of the heavily damaged and dilapidated hotel of his stay. The traveller in him craves for comfort and the poet in him longs for nostalgic status-quo.

The power to forget is the greatest faculty of the oriental mind.

Japanese surrender before the U.S.

When a nation and a people feel that they are wronged, it is common consensus that they have a right to be angry. But in the city ofHiroshimathe poet sees that it was evident that the people forgot everything too soon. Their sorrow seems short-lived. He has his own European logic in such matters and is angry that their anger too is dead. He is plain to speak that anger should not die and should be kept alive till war-destructions are avenged. ‘To forgive is to cut branches of the tree; but to forget is to lay axe to the very roots’: though not his lines, it reflects his philosophy. It has to be noted here that the poet was born and brought up inBritain, had travelled through and lived for years in Europe,Americaand the Far East and had only arrived inJapanrecently. He knows nothing about the workings of the Oriental Mind. Oriental Mind means magnanimity, deliquescence and tolerance. Had it been otherwise, great philosophies such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism would not have originated from there. Also if it had not been so, those places would have become the vast burial grounds of the colonial British. Had man remembered everything from his birth, his brain would have become overcrowded to the point of bursting itself. That is why Nature provided man with the power to forget as a pressure-valve, the very essential to the oriental mind.

‘How times are altered, trade’s unfeeling train usurps the land’.

Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima.

But in Japan, instead, atomic peace was seen geared to meet the demands of the tourists’ trade. War relics were renovated for promoting tourism industry, adding new charm, loveliness and nobility to those relics. But the poet feels that this renovation is a shame and indignity to those relics. As indignated already, they are beyond all hope of further indignation by anyone.

Who will not weep if they see it?

Tranquillity restored.

It is when he reaches the ParkOf Peacethat the emotional poet finds something perfectly appealing to his orthodox tastes. It is the only place in HiroshimaCitythat rouses respect in his mind. It is a monument for the children who were blasted away by mankind’s crime. The various exhibits in the War Memorial Museum moved him and he wept. Melted bricks and slates, photos of various scenes after the blast and other relics of the explosion were arranged there for all the world to see. The other relics which made the poet weep were stop-watches all stuck at that destined time, burnt clothing, charred boots, twisted buttons, ripped kimonos, atomic rain-perforated blouses and the cotton pants in which blasted boys crawled to their homes to bleed and breathe their last. According to the poet, they are the only memorials of the war, worth viewing. When we come to this part of the poem, we are not inclined but forced to agree with the poet in that war remains shall not be sold and grief commercialized, however poor we are. The poet has perfectly convinced us of this. War relics are the properties of our dead, those people who lived and played and laughed with us. When death occurs in a house, it is when we see the clothes worn by the gone person hanging there that a lump is caused in our throats and we weep. It is a feeling which shall not be written, told, expressed; a feeling so sacred and private to the very soul of humans that even its utterance is a crime.

________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

________________________________

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

Appreciations, Atomic Disasters, Atomic Fallout, British Poets, English Poets, English Songs, James Kirkup, Japan In War, Literature And Language, No More Hiroshimas, Nuclear Blasts, Nuclear Hollocausts, P S Remesh Chandran, Poetry, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Second World War

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PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Rathnashikamani
31st Mar 2011 (#)

Great tribute to James Kirkup, the compassionate poet.

Also let us hope for no more Fukushimas.

 

 

010. Leave This Chanting. Rabindranath Tagore Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

010

Leave This Chanting. Rabindranath Tagore Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 22nd Mar 2011.| Short URL http://nut.bz/1zdohpx2/
First Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Poetry, Drama & Criticism

Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/03/010-leave-this-chanting-rabindranath.html

 

God was the most beautiful creation of mankind, created in his exact image- man’s own image- playful, lovely and comely, so that he can easily identify himself with God. So why not love him ardently and affectionately, and respect him beyond everything? After creating mankind, God did not wish to leave them alone but decided to stay with them, which was a great sacrifice on His part. Leave This Chanting is one of the most read poems of Rabindranath Tagore, with the most universal message.

A house in Bengal where veena, thabala and mridangam resounded day and night.

 

01. A Tagore Portrait 1886 By Unknown.

Rabindranath Tagore was an educationalist, poet and social reformer of India. He wrote hundreds of poems, plays, novels and short stories in English which enjoy universal appeal and esteem. He was a noted painter also. In a house where Thabala, Veena and Mridangam resounded day and night, it was no wonder music and rhythm found their way into his heart. Only the immovable things in Tagore’s House did not sing, dance or write. Santhinikethan was a model educational institution founded by him where all fine arts faculties enjoyed privileges. Educated in England and in India, he himself was an educational visionary with exceptional dreams. His hundreds of poems and songs written in the Bengali language brought renaissance to Bengal. He himself tuned his songs and rarely translated these songs to English himself, a very unfortunate affair.

A poem which exposed the pseudo-zeal of worshippers everywhere.

 

02. Tagore In 1925 By Unknown.

Politics also seemed to fit him well. Along with Mahathma Gandhi, Nehru and Sarojini Naidu- all writers- he served as one of the leading lights and sources of inspiration for the Independence Movement of India. His poem ‘Where The Mind Is Without Fear’ was a world famous creation in which he mixed fact and fancy, reality and dream and politics and poetry. Without telling it directly and plainly, he skillfully portrayed in this poem the wretched position into which the British Administration pushed India into, a country with a longer and richer heritage than England. Another famous poem, ‘Govinda’s Disciple’, was a satire on the greed for material wealth manifest even in supposedly spiritual people. This poem Leave This Chanting exposed the pseudo-zeal of worshippers everywhere and gained an important place in world literature for this reason. Just as ‘Where The Mind Is Without Fear’ contained his vision of a Free India, and Govinda’s Disciple the need for Renouncement of Material Wealth for Enlightenment, ‘Leave This Chanting’ contains his vision of Uncontaminated Worship.

God has gone out to stay with tillers, stone-breakers and path makers.

 

03. Close Family of Rabindranath Tagore By Unknown.

(Left to right: Mira Devi, youngest daughter, Rathindranath Tagore, eldest son, Rabindranath Tagore, Protima Devi, wife of eldest son Rathindranath Tagore and Madhurilata Devi, eldest daughter).

Leave This Chanting is an advice to worshippers everywhere, to seek God not inside but outside the temples, among labourers. The worshippers sing Manthras and count Rudraksha Beads inside the shut, dark, lone corners of their temples, but when they open their eyes their God is not to be seen anywhere there inside those temples. They must be blind to think that the God who created open lands and mountains and oceans would be pleased to stay inside their shut little temples. How could God rest in such suffocating places of confinement? Tagore was not new to sights of Jungle Shrines in Bengal where anyone could light a lamp and pray to the deity and stealthily come and go as he wished. (As Jungle Shrines are pagan places of worship in rustic jungles which are ideal places for Tagore’s kind of Gods to stay, a short note on Jungle Shrines is provided as Annexure at the end of this article). When at night a desperate human being seeks the solace at the door steps of a temple or a church, he finds that they are walled-in, closed and locked preventing entry. What kind of a temple and worship is that? So God has gone out to stay with the tillers, stone-breakers and path makers who do the dirtiest and the heaviest of works, opting to stay with them all day and night, in the heavy heat of the Sun and the chilling cold of the down pouring Rain, without minding his clothes getting covered with dust and dirty water. Those who seek God must put off their holy mantles, wear workers’ uniforms and come down to the dusty soil to be steeped in their own sweat and tears.

Release is after as many births and deaths as there are leaves in the huge banyan tree.

 

04. Tagore Born, Brought Up, And Passed Away Here By Mark Kobayashi-Hillary.

When and where will blind deity worshippers ever listen to good advice? They answer that they are after Deliverance, i.e. Mukthi or Moksha, which means release from the clutches of life. There is the story of a saint travelling to see God. On his way he came across a group of meditating saints who asked him to enquire with God when he sees Him when they would each be given their final release. He came back with the good news that the first saint would be given release after his second birth. This saint started wailing about the misfortune of the tediousness and boredom of passing through yet another life. His hoary wailing was to last till the end of his un-contented second life, so it is told. God’s message to the second saint was that he had to pass through as many births and deaths before his Release as there were leaves in that huge banyan tree standing above him. The instant he heard this ‘good news’ he began to shout and laugh out of beaming happiness now that he has been assured Deliverance some day, though in a far distant future, a day perhaps Aeons away. The amused and kindly God could not help himself from appearing there and offering this contended saint Deliverance then and there.

He will not leave the world any day: he has come to stay.

 

05. Tagore Reading To Others 1925 By Unknown.

Deliverance is for those who love this world and the life here. Mukthi or Release is not the leaving this world; it is divine attachment, not detachment. God created this world and decided to stay with this world forever. How tender, ardent, and comely such a God must have been! The result is mankind would feel he is one among them. He has joyfully taken upon him the responsibility of preserving and caring for his creations. Even God does not seek Moksha. He has come to stay till the end of the days, and he likes being bonded to this world. Most of his worshippers are but living in a virtual world of incense, meditation and flowers which displeases him much. He wishes them to come out of this world of illusion, to stand by him in the Sun and the Shower. There is no harm in their robes becoming tattered and stained like God’s, because they are standing nearer to their God now anyway. Those who seek God should be prepared to meet him and stand by him in toil and in the sweat of their brow.

Tagore acquainted himself with peasants and workers at Santi Niketan.

 

06. Tagore With Gandhi And Kasturba 1940 By Unknown.

Tagore was born in 1861 in Calcutta as the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. At the age of 12 he conducted extensive travels in North India with his father. His first poem was published in 1877 at the age of 16. In 1878 he traveled to England for schooling but returned in 1800 without finishing and married Mrinalini Devi in 1883. He was 22 and she was 10, not unusual among Hindu Brahmins then. For the next ten years he managed their vast ancestral family estates in Bengal and Orissa where he acquainted himself with peasants and workers. As their Zemindar, he collected only a nominal rent from his tenants. His family’s famous Shelaidaha Estate is now in Bangladesh. In 1901 Tagore moved to the family estate at Santi Niketan (Abode of Peace) and found an ashram there- actually an experimental school. It followed in the lines of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum. Soon a Sri Niketan for rural agricultural development also was founded. His educational concepts as a writer and philosopher fruitioned here and the ashram later became famous as an experimental school for young men, equally famous as its annexed Viswa Bharati World University.

 

Tagore hated closed class rooms and loved to study in the open, under shades of trees.

 

07. Tagore And Jawaharlal Nehru 1940 By Unknown.

Debendranath Tagore’s family in Calcutta consisted of thirteen sons and daughters, his in-laws and their children, most of them poets, playwrights, composers, musicians, novelists and philosophers. Their concerts and plays were performed in their vast mansion and people gathered there to view. Classical Western music and Bengali music were regularly performed there. Their interests spread from making theatrical productions and publishing literary magazines, to managing vast family estates and mansions, even in Brighton in England.

 

Tagore loved studying in the open, preferably under tree shades, and hated closed class rooms. Swimming, trekking, gymnastics, judo, wrestling, literature, history, biology, mathematics, astronomy, drawing, Bengali, Sanskrit and English- all came under the syllabus he himself decreed for him. His self-decreed syllabus more than compensated for his lack of interest in regular academic instruction. In Santi Niketan and Viswa Bharati University, he gave importance to all these faculties to be instructed in the open. It was in Santi Niketan the great bulk of his literature was produced.

 

One of the few persons who renounced British Knighthood.

 

Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems Gitanjali after it got translated into English. He was the first non-European to get the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish Academy assessed the prize-winning Gitanjali as a ‘profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse’. He was knighted by the British in 1915 but unsuccessfully tried to renounce this title after the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as a protest against Britain’s suppressive policies in India. His repudiation letter to the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford was not accepted.

 

A prolific composer who set tune to more than 2200 songs, known collectively as Rabindra Sangeet.   

 

The talent of Tagore is spread over a variety of genres. There are fifty plus volumes of poetry and several volumes of short stories, besides eight novels and four novellas. Quite a number of essays, dance and musical dramas, travel diaries and two autobiographies were also spawned by him. Exhibitions of his drawings and paintings were held in Paris and London and throughout Europe. Tagore was a prolific composer of music who set tune to more than 2200 songs, flowing through the entire range of human emotions, this great mass of music generally known as Rabindra Sangeet. It is said ‘there is no cultured home in Bengal where Rabindranath’s songs are not sung. Even illiterate villagers are well-versed in his songs’. His achievements as a poet, philosopher, playwright, novelist, composer and visual artist reshaped the literature and music of not a few countries in his continent and other continents.

 

The National Poet of India passing away.

 

08. Tagore Portrait 1909 By Anonymous.

Tagore’s poems, plays, dramas, short stories, novels, essays and travelogues are noted for their simple and non-complicated language. His thousands of songs are noted for their rhythmic and lyrical quality. Letters from Europe and The Religion of Man are compilations of his essays, lectures and travelogues which gained for him an immortal place in world literature. The Religion of Man includes as appendix a brief note on his conversations with Einstein, titled ‘Note on the Nature of Reality’. The Complete Works of Tagore published in Bengali in connection with his 150th birthday came to eighty volumes. Tagore’s all works available in English were published as ‘The Essential Tagore’ by the Harvard University Press in collaboration with Viswa Bharati University in 2011. In 1940 Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate. He died on August 7, 1941 in Calcutta aged eighty. 

 

Tagore- an international influence.

 

09. Tagore With Einstein In Berlin 1930 By Unknown.

The more than thirty countries in the five continents which Tagore visited between 1878 and 1932 include England, United States, Japan, Peru Mexico, Argentina, Italy, Bali, Java, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Soviet Union and Sri Lanka. His travels in Russia, Europe and America in the 1930 were mostly lecture tours. His international friends included Charles F. Andrews, William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, Robert Bridges, Ernest Rhys, Romaine Rolland, Albert Einstein, Aga Khan III, Reza Shah Pahlavi, Henri Bergson, Robert Frost, Thomas Mann, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells. Yeats wrote the preface to the English Gitanjali. Andrews came to live with Tagore at Santi Niketan. Mexico and Peru gave $100,000 each to Shanti Niketan School.

 

International celebrities and Nobel laureates influenced by Tagore.

 

10. Tagore At His Painting Desk 1932 By Unknown.

There is also a long line of international celebrities and writers, many of them Nobel Prize winners, who were influenced by Tagore directly or indirectly. Their names include Yasunari Kawabata of Japan, Vincenc Lesný of Czech Republic, André Gide of France, poet Anna Akhmatova of Russia, Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit of Turkey, Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral of Chile; Octavio Paz of Mexico; Zenobia Camprubí, Juan Ramón Jiménez, José Ortega y Gasset, and Jiménez-Camprubí of Spain. The sitar maestros Vilayat Khan and Amjad Ali Khan were also inspired by him.

 

Poems, novels, plays, travelogues, short stories, and memoirs written by Tagore.

 

Songs of Bhanusimha Takur 1884, The Golden Boat 1894, Gitanjali 1910, Wreath of Songs 1914 and The Flight of Cranes 1916 are original collections of Tagore’s Bengali poems. The Genius of Valmiki (Valmiki-Pratibha) 1881, The Sacrifice 1890, The King of the Dark Chamber 1910, The Post Office 1912, The Waterfall 1922 and Red Oleanders 1926 are his original Bengali plays. The Broken Nest 1901, Fair-Faced 1910, The Home and the World 1916 and Crosscurrents 1929 are his original Bengali fiction. My Reminiscences 1912 and My Boyhood Days 1940 are memoirs in Bengali. Thought Relics 1921 is one of the original works of Tagore in English.

 

Translations of Tagore from Bengali into English.

 

So many of Tagore’s Bengali works have been translated into English. They include Gitanjali: Song Offerings 1912, The Gardener 1913, The Crescent Moon 1913, Chitra 1914, The Post Office 1914, The King Of The Dark Chamber 1914, Songs Of Kabir 1915, The Spirit Of Japan 1916, Stray Birds 1916, The Hungry Stones 1916, Fruit-Gathering 1916, The Cycle of Spring 1919, The Fugitive 1921, The Wreck 1921, Fireflies 1928, My Boyhood Days 1943, The Home And The World 1985, My Reminiscences 1991, I Won’t Let you Go 1991, Glimpses of Bengal 1991 and The Lover of God 2003.

 

Critics are of the opinion that translations of Tagore’s poems into English are almost all inferior, unless Tagore himself translated them. Tagore, who was a gifted writer in English, but did not care to translate his poems into English or write them in English; only a few of them were written by him in English. That fact was, he thrilled in writing in Bengali.

 

Films in Bengali and Hindi based on Tagore’s works.

 

11. Leave This Chanting Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8

 

Quite a number of films were produced based on the novels and short stories of Tagore. The first one Natir Puja of 1932 was directed by Tagore himself, the only film ever directed by him. Then came Naukadubi 1947, Kabuliwala 1957, Kshudhita Pashaan 1960, Teen Kanya 1961, Charulata 1964, Ghare Baire 1985, Chokher Bali 2003, Shasti 2004, Shuva 2006 and Chaturanga 2008 in Bengali, directed by eminent directors at the time. Kabuliwala was directed by Tapan Sinha, Teen Kanya, Charulata and Ghare Baire by Satyajit Ray and Chokher Bali by Rituparno Ghosh. Balidan 1927, Milan 1946, Kabuliwala 1961, Dak Ghar 1965, Uphaar 1971, Lekin 1991 and Char Adhyay 1997 were Hindi films based on Tagore’s works.

 

The man who composed the national anthems of three countries.

 

India’s national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and Bangladesh’s national anthem ‘Amar Shonar Bangla’ were Tagore’s compositions. The Sri Lankan national anthem ‘Namo Namo Mata’ was inspired by his work. Amar Shonar Bangla was written to protest the 1905 Partition of Bengal by the British along communal lines, dividing the Muslim-dominated East Bengal and Hindu-dominated West Bengal. Jana Gana Mana was written in a Sanskritized form of Bengali, to be used in Indian National Congress platforms. Namo Namo Mata’s composer Ananda Samarakoon was a student at Tagore’s at Viswa-Bharati University in Santiniketan and it is even doubted that Tagore himself composed the tune or wrote the lyrics.

 

Narrow-minded teachers like to reiterate that Tagore wrote prose poems and free verse.

 

In a house where tabala, sitar, harmonium, violin and tambourine resounded day and night from all rooms and all inhabitants were poets, musicians or composers, how could a child grow up without music in his mind? Many experts on Tagore Literature shamelessly and ignorantly claim that he wrote poems in free verse! Actually he was locking his lines as a challenge to music lovers and teachers, to prevent the haughty and the unpersevering among them from trying to access them without doing some hard work. We know Tagore had a built-in allergy towards narrow-minded academics and closed class rooms. All great poets from Tennyson to Tagore have their locking methods to prevent the non-interested and the un-tasteful from accessing them easily. The great poet Kalidasa, when asked what his greatest wish in life was, answered that ‘he never shall have the un-luck of having to recite poems before an un-tasteful audience! Un-tasteful teachers even go to the extreme of forbidding reciting poems tunefully by students; they are unable to sing them, so they do not tolerate students singing them. They will only permit poems to be spoken like prosaic uttering, in those ridiculous accents they teach of course, hiding from children the fact that accents are impurities on language, added by generations through time. Tagore wrote poems in finished metrical forms, with perfect music inborn, but he split his lines to confuse the reader. Once the lines are rearranged as they should be, they are no more free verse but perfectly singable songs. It is not any ‘licentious dealing with the language’ as Matthew Arnold pointed out, but the legitimate right of the reader and the singer to rediscover the original tune that was in the mind of the poet when he wrote that poem. An illustration of how easy it is to recast Tagore’s poems in the true poetic form and sing them in the original tune incorporated in them is given here. Links are also provided here to recitation videos to prove that Tagore’s poems are not prose poems or free verse constructions as many teachers and critics like to repeat but perfectly metered poems with their own tunes.

 

ANNEXURE I: ABOUT METRICAL FORM AND MUSIC IN TAGORE POEMS.

 

12. Where The Mind Is Without Fear Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwQWwZsiDI4

 

Here is given a sample of the supposed free verse form Tagore used in writing ‘The Gardener 1915. See how it becomes a perfectly metered and singable poem by simply changing words in a line. It is clear Tagore wrote a perfectly metered poem and locked lines to prevent the ugly-minded and the un-interested from singing and enjoying it- a universal trend among brilliant poets.

 

I. Free verse form with lines locked:

 

‘Who are you, reader, reading my poems a hundred years hence? I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds. Open your doors and look abroad. From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before. In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across an hundred years.’ (From ‘The Gardener 1915’).

 

II. Metrical form with lines recast:

 

The Gardener 1915

 

Who ‘are you, reader, reading my

Po’ems a hundred years

Hence? I cannot send you one single

Flower from this ‘wealth of spring,

 

One single streak of gold from yonder

Clouds. Open your doors

And look abroad. ‘From your ‘blossoming garden

Ga’ther fragrant mem’ries

 

Of the ‘vanished flowers of an ‘hundred years before.

In the ‘joy of your heart,

May you ‘feel the living joy that sang one

Spring morning, sending

Its ‘glad vo’ice across a hundred years.

 

(Recast in the true poetic form By P S Remesh Chandran)

 

See how easy it is to recast his poems. This technique can be applied to poems written by him in English and poems of his translated into English by others. (Link to a poem by Rabeendranath Tagore from ‘Love Songs of Tagore’, translated into English free verse from Bengali by Rabeendranath Chowdhury, and recast in the true poetic form by Remesh Chandran P S is provided at the end of this article. Free verse form dissuades people from singing them. Metrical form prompts them to sing them. Unfortunately Tagore chose to write in Bengali and even when he wrote in English, he locked his lines- a great loss to the English-speaking world.

 

ANNEXURE II: ABOUT JUNGLE SHRINES.

 

13. Govinda’s Disciple Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgGvw5SIqk

 

Jungle shrines are common in almost all states of India where anyone can light a lamp at any time of the day or night. In Kerala in the Trivandrum-Schencottah Route, turning right at Venkolla after Madathara will bring us to the Saasthaam Nada Marsh where there is one such shrine. It is situated in the middle of a dense forest but close to an inner-going forest road and is devoted to Saastha or Ayyappa, the son and manifestation of Lord Vishnu, himself a forest and mountain-dweller headquartered at Sabarimala. Lorries will stop there on their way to take in reed and bamboo loads, to pray for their safety through the climbs and descends in the steeply inclined and curvaceous hill tracts. They will dump oil bottles, cloth, incense sticks and match boxes under nearby rocks to protect them from rain and flash floods, so that the materials could be used by anyone any time. I myself was a frequenter of this jungle beauty spot inhabited by aborigines, and have liberally used these materials. After bathing in the cold and fresh forest stream and reposing lying on shaded rocks and shielding foliages for a while, I would light a lamp. When we light a lamp in this sequestered cool wilderness- if it is daylight fading and night approaching, the better- we feel the sublimity and pleasantness of God standing on our back and embracing us from behind. It is unique in that the traditional position of we standing in front of god is reversed. It’s like a father and mother holding child on their laps, not like the child standing in front of its father and mother for worshipping. This spot had the stone statue of a baby elephant. One day a real lone elephant- one among a herd which usually passes that way- gave the baby elephant a blow with its trunk and broke the statue’s trunk. It did not like the way the baby stone elephant held its trunk.

 

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this song.

 

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this song. A primitive prototype rendering of this song was made in a crude tape recorder decades earlier, in 1984. In 2014, a home made video of this song was released. In 2015, a third version with comparatively better audio was released. The next version, it’s hoped, would be fully orchestrated. It’s free for reuse, and anyone interested in can develop and build on it, till it becomes a fine musical video production, to help our little learners and their teachers. The other two Tagore poems available as recitation videos in Bloom Books Channel are Where The Mind Is Without Fear and Govinda’s Disciple.

 

You Tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8

 

External Links to Tagore’s works by the author.

 

1. Leave This Chanting: Poem

Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/03/010-leave-this-chanting-rabindranath.html March 2012

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8 June 2015

 

2. Where The Mind Is Without Fear: Poem

Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2014/10/066-where-mind-is-without-fear.html October 2014    

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwQWwZsiDI4 May 2015

 

3. Govinda’s Disciple: Poem

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgGvw5SIqk June 2015

 

4. The Home Coming: Short Story

Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2014/09/060-home-coming-rabindranath-tagore.html September 2014 

 

5. Awakening: Poem Lyrics

http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2010/09/awakening-poem-from-bengal-recast-by.html September 2010

 

First Published: 22nd Mar 2011

Last Edited…….: 29 March 2017

 

__________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
__________________________________________

 

Picture Credits:

01. A Tagore Portrait 1886 By Unknown.

02. Tagore In 1925 By Unknown.

03. Close Family of Rabindranath Tagore By Unknown.

04. Born Brought Up Passed Away Here By Mark Kobayashi-Hillary.

05. Tagore Reading To Others 1925 By Unknown.

06. Tagore With Gandhi And Kasturba 1940 By Unknown.

07. Tagore And Jawaharlal Nehru 1940 By Unknown.

08. Tagore Portrait 1909 By Anonymous.

09. Tagore With Einstein In Berlin 1930 By Unknown.

10. Tagore At His Painting Desk 1932 By Unknown.

11. Leave This Chanting Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

12. Where The Mind Is Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

13. Govinda’s Disciple Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

14. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives

 

Meet the author: About the author and accessing his other literary works.

 

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Edits and owns Bloom Books Channel. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Father British Council-trained English Teacher and mother university-educated. Matriculation with High First Class, Pre Degree studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship, discontinued Diploma Studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

14. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

 

Dear Reader,

If you cannot access all pages of P S Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles
Visit author’s Sahyadri Books Trivandrum in Blogger at
http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/ and his Bloom Books Channel in You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos  

Author’s Google Plus Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PSRemeshChandran/posts
FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum

 

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Bloom Books Trivandrum, English Songs, Free Student Notes, Indian Poems, Indian Poets, Indian Writers In English, Leave This Chanting, P S Remesh Chandran, Poem Reviews, Poetry, Poetry Appreciations, Poets, Rabindranath Tagore, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Tagore Poems.

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Comments

 

Rathnashikamani
17th Apr 2011 (#)

 

I love reading into the musings of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali. There is always an unknown and revealing space in the inner sanctum of a poet with such a meditative composition of a divine song.

 

rama devi nina
29th Apr 2011 (#)

 

Ah yes, Gitanjali is one of my favorites by Tagore. You may have heard of Parameshwaraji, a famous person in Kerala. I used to visit him and share long discussions when he was admitted as a patient in Amma’s hospital in Cochin (where I do seva). He read my poems and then gifted me with Gitanjali. My favorite quote from Tagore (may not be exact–from memory):

“I slept and dreamt that life is joy.
I awoke and saw that it was service;
I acted, and behold! service was joy.”

 

PSRemeshChandra
19th May 2011 (#)

 

Tagore did not translate many of his beautiful Bengali Songs into English. His Udbodhan was translated into English by Mr. Rabindranath Chowdhury which has now been recast in the true poetic form, making it an exquisite piece of poetry that can be sung tunefully. The link to this recast poem is http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/2010/09/awakening-poem-from-bengal-recast-by.html

 

Divya
11th Jun 2012 (#)

 

Dear Remesh sir,
I liked the way you have given the beautiful explanation of God and his ways while analyzing this poem. The way you related Tagore’s understanding of life with apt photos is great. Congrats and thanks sir.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

Tagore’s family background with all in his large family being artists, litterateurs and musicians, and his national background of all geniuses of his time being optimistic about the future of mankind, contributed much to the molding of his mind, which thrilled at the prospect of creating music for a generation, just like touching the tightened string of a sitar. This ‘unknown and revealing space in the inner sanctum of his mind’ as Mr. Rathnashikamani phrases it, he attributed to the centuries-old light of thought, enveloping the heritage of India. Tagore composing his songs of the soul at the same time as Sarojini Naidu pouring out her heart through the melodious songs of hers, both in English, marks an immortal phase in the history of the world literature. Thank you, Rathnashikamani, by adding the beauty of your words to this simple page. @ Rathnashikamani.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

I do know about the person if it is Mr. P. Parameshwaran whom sister Rama Devi Nina is referring to here. He is a person dedicated to the spiritual up-liftment of India and keeps alive the interest of Indian society in religious awareness. He presenting a gifted poetess like you with a copy of Tagore’s Gitanjali is indeed a symbolic tribute to your singing soul. The line you quoted from Gitanjali, ‘I slept and dreamt that life is joy…..I awoke and saw that it was service…..’ reminds me of the famous lines of another poet of more than Tagore’s caliber: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’ has exactly similar lines. Perhaps Tagore was inspired by the exhilarating music in Coleridge’s lines or these two great souls in two different countries might have thought the same way. Do you still find time to do voluntary service at Amrithanandamayi Hospital in Ernakulam Cochin? @ Rama Devi Nina.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

When we sing, the playful god stands behind us. We will actually wonder who is singing, we or him. When we write about a person, imagine that person whom we write about is standing close behind us, watching what we are writing. It is like a little school girl writing an essay for her class describing the ‘role model of her life’, which is actually her mother, and the mother is secretly standing behind her, reading it. Surely the mother will want to kiss and embrace the daughter. When we write about bygone persons, remember that are standing behind us, reading it all.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

God is a playful being as any of us. He is not a revengeful person. When we see tiny little children, we see him; when we hold them, we hold him. He has a child’s mind. The radiance we see in the face and body of all little children is his feature. Their character is his character. He is our early childhood, and it is out duty not to fail him ever. Thank you, dear Divya, for enjoying this article. From the flow of your words it is only evident that you intended to write more things. So please do write. @ Divya.

 

sakshinarang
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

A very nice interpretation….one of my favorite poems.

 

PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

 

Do you like to sing it dear Sakshi Narang? Leave This Chanting is one of the most musical poems of Tagore, with admirable lyrical perfection. He himself was a music composer who not only wrote but composed music also for hundreds of songs in the Bengali language which collectively is termed as Rabindra Sangeet. His English songs like Where The Mind Is Without Fear, Govinda’s Disciple and Leave This Chanting also are all exotic musical creations. As all talented poets of the past did, like Kahlil Gibran and many others, he locked his lines to the reader, by arranging the lines in the continuous flow of prose, without marking or suggesting where the lines should end or begin. He knew a persevering reader and singer will struggle for days on end and one day, at one blessèd moment, rediscover the real music hidden in them, which would the greatest thrill for that diligent and persevering reader. So, Tagore’s poems including Leave This Chanting provide us a double delight: we delight in its meaning and sense, and then we delight in its music. Or it also can be in the other order. @ Sakshi Narang.

 

First Published: 21 March 2011

Last Edited:       28 March 2017

 

Identifier: SBT-AE-010. Leave This Chanting. Rabindranath Tagore Poem.

Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

Editor: P S Remesh Chandran

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poet’s Death Is His Life.

15. A Poet’s Death Is His Life. Kahlil Gibran. Recast in the true poetic form by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

15th Apr 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/5lvc_3ta/  [4th Jan 2011]

This poem is Kahlil Gibran’s tribute to all human souls dying uncared for in this world. It is perhaps the most majestic portrayal of death in poetry. Gibran designed this poem as a psychic black hole of immense gravity which continues its journey through the abyss of time, consuming human souls on the way.

The golden gates and arch leading to eternity.

Gibran, the Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Sculptor.

Gibran describes the departing of a very lonely and lofty soul from this world when everyone is present except men. Loneliness of human soul and ingratitude of the world have never ever been painted in words more beautifully. ‘A Poet’s Death is His Life’ means when he dies he is living. By his death he has begun to live. It is the gravest song in the book Tears And Laughter. The more we are immersed deep in the song, the brighter are we shown a glimpse of the golden gates and arch leading to eternity. But once we have a glimpse of that threshold, it will be hard for us to return to immediate realities. That is how the magic and charm of this poem led many appreciators astray. So beware of this song. It may permanently change you and most often there might not be a return to our former self.

A poet who wrote beautiful poems in bronze.

The famous Adastra Sculpture by Gibran.

Gibran wrote this poem in blank verse which prevented its full enjoyment and singing. P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum slightly edited and recast this song in the true poetic form so that all the world may sing. This is the Fifth Song from Tears And Laughter that has been recast in the true poetic form. Hints and suggestions for singing the song have been marked, so that anyone who tries to sing it won’t stumble and fall. Readers, learners and researchers are advised to read Gibran’s original blank verse text as well.

The dim oil lamp flickering in a deserted hovel.

A Hovel in the Suburbs of a Town.

From Kahlil Gibran’s
Tears And Laughter.

A Poet’s Death Is His Life.


________________________________________
Slightly edited and recast in the true poetic form
by P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor,
Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.
________________________________________

One.

Dark wings of night enfolded the city
Upon which Nature’ad put a pure and white
Garment of snow; and ‘men deser’ted the streets
For their ‘houses in search of warmth while the north wind probed,
In contemplation of laying the gardens waste.
There in the suburb an old hut heavily stood
La’den with snow and on the ‘verge of falling. In
A dark recess of that ‘hovel was ‘a poor bed
In which was lying a dying youth staring
At the dim ‘laaight of his oil lamp,
‘Made to flicker by th’entering winds.
He ‘was a man in the ‘spring of life who fore – saw
‘Fully that the peaceful hour of freeing
Himself from the clutches of life was fast nearing.
He was awaiting Death’s visit gratefully
And upon his ‘paaile face appeared the dawn
Of hope; and on his lips a sorrowful
Smile ‘aand in his ‘ey’es forgiveness.

A lone hungry visitor on an alien world.

The stoning of a poet.

Two.

He was a poet perishing from hunger
In the city of the living rich. He was placed in
The earthly world to enliven the heart
Of Man with his profound beautiful sayings.
He was a noble soul sent, by the Goddess
Of Understanding, to smoothe and make gentle
The human spirit. But a’las! He gently bade
The cold earth farewell without receiving
A sm’aeel from its stra’eenge occupants.

Will far away stars bow down to soothe this trodden soul?

The mind of a dying poet.

Three.

He was ‘breathing his last and had no one at his bedside
Save the ‘oil lamp, his ‘only companion, and
Some parchments ‘upon which he had inscribed his
Feeling. As he sal’vaged the remnants of
His withering strength, he lifted his hands heavenward;
He moved his ‘ey’es hopelessly, as if
Wan’ting to p’ene’trate the ceiling so
To ‘see the stars from be’hind the veil of clouds.

He who speaks the language of angels is doomed in the world.

The dream of a dying poet.

Four.

He said: Come beautiful Death, my soul ‘is longing
For you. Come close to me and unfasten
Th’irons of life, I am weary of dragging them.
Come sweet Death, deliver me from my neighbours
Who look upon me as a stranger because
I interpret the language of th’angels.
Hurry, oh peaceful Death, and carry me
From these ‘multitudes who left me in the dark
Corner of oblivion because I do not
Bleed weak as they do, come oh gentle Death.
En’fold me un’der your ‘wha’ight wings, for my
Fellowmen are ‘not in ‘want of me, embrace me
Oh Death, ‘full of love and mercy; let your lips
Touch my ‘lips which ‘ne’ver tasted a mother’s kiss,
Nor ‘touched a ‘sister’s cheeks, caressed a sweetheart’s
Finger’tips. Come, and take me, my beloved Death.

A divine beauetee came down and closed his eyes.

Beyond the Golden Gates and Arch.

Five.

Then at the bedside of the dying poet
A’ppeared an ‘angel who ‘possessed supernat’ral
And divine beauetie, holding in her hand
A wreath of li’llees. She enbraced him
And closed his eyes so he could see no more
Except with the eye of his spirit. She im’pressed a deep
And long and gentlee withdrawn kiss that left
An e’ternal smile of ful’fillment upon his lips.
Then the ‘ho’vel ‘be’caime empty and ‘nothing was left
Save parchments and papers which the poet had
‘Strewn about with bitter fu’tility.

Deny the poet food and love. When he is dead erect a monument.

Gibran Memorial in Washington D.C.

Six.

Hundreds of years later ‘when people
Arose from the diseased slumber of Ignorance
And saw the Dawn Of Knowledge had ‘erected
A ‘monument in a most ‘beautiful garden of
The city, and celebrated ‘a feast ‘every year
In honour of the poet, whose writings had
Freed them. How cruu’el is Man’s ignorance!

Note:

The same good old wind and rain and sunshine nurture us through generations. Rumi and Hafiz along with Gibran and many other Persian poets created heavenly music. They are far above my reach. To reach them I have to leave the ground. I simply try to introduce them to the growing siblings and keep alive the interest in them.

_________________________________

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

_________________________________

Dear Reader,

If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Tags

Arabic Poets, English Language, English Literature, English Poems, English Songs, Kahlil Gibran, Khalil Gibran, Lebanese Poets, P S Remesh Chandran, Poems Recast, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Tears And Laughter, U S Poets

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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rama devi nina
He is one of my favorite authors, along with Rumi and Hafiz—nice to see this post..and to meet a fellow keralite here, too.  I’ve lived most of the past 20 years in Kerala (Malayalam Ariyam)–though at the moment am in USA.

Salaams and Namaste-

Rama Devi Nina

 

Song Of The Wave.

14. Song Of The Wave. Kahlil Gibran. Recast In The True Poetic Form by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

15th Apr 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/12biqfdd/ [5th Oct 2010]

The sea, clouds and waves and the ever patient shore are a wonder to the new born babe, the steam engine like youth and the old man who is like a fading sunset. This energetic, thrilling, restless dame that is the ocean is shy and submissive to only one, her eternal and beloved lover, the shore. Their unending love story which has been going on and will continue to be so through the ages is presented here in the true poetic form.

Man brought back a piece of ocean with him which he still can hear in his blood and soul.

A piece of ocean is inside all beings.

Standing on the shore seeing the perpetual mounting, rolling and thundering of the waves, one will wonder how much water is there on the ocean and if there is an opposite shore, how far and distant that would be. Sea-going boats men and yaughts men won’t admit that their fascination for the sea would never be satiated. From time immemorial ocean waves lapping on the shore has been reminding man of the eternity of time and of the beautiful perceptions of it’s creator. Expanse of the ocean is the first thing that presented man with a glimpse of the immenseness of space and eternity of time. Since life forms migrated to shore from the ocean, man brought back a piece of ocean along with him which in still silent nights he can still listen to reverberating in his blood and soul.

It is easier to count the number of poets who did not write about the ocean.

Ocean blue: The intriguing mystic attraction.

Sea shore and the ocean blue has always been an intriguing and mystic attraction to mankind. The poetical mind of the world gradually began to think of them as lovers, meeting kissing embracing and departing eternally, their’s being the most magnificent love story in the world. It is easier to count which poets did not retell this lovely love story than going after the countless number of poets who celebrated this ardence and affection of the ocean for the shore. Kahlil Gibran’s Song Of The Wave surpasses every other one in it’s unique poetic conceptions, beauty of diction and musical thrill. He wrote it in blank verse to mask his tune which Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum recast in the true poetic form for all the world to sing. Song Of The Wave is included in his book Tears And Laughter. It is hoped that world music lovers and Kahlil Gibran fans in all continents will enjoy and benefit from being able to sing this song naturally for the first time. It is expected that beautiful orchestrations and musical albums and films of this immortal song will be made by those interested and talented. Readers, learners and researchers are advised to read Gibran’s original blank verse as well.

Song Of The Wave from Tears and Laughter. The Poem Recast.

Drowning souls lifted tenderly towards shore.

4. SONG OF THE WAVE.

[Slightly edited and recast in the true
poetic form by P.S.Remesh Chandran,
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books,
Trivandrum]

The strong shore is my beloved, and
I am his sweetheart, united we are at last
By love; and the moon draws me then from him,
I go to him in haste and depart
Reluctantly, with many little farewells.

I steal swiftly from behind the blue
Horizon, to cast the silver of my foam
Upon the gold of his sand;
And we blend in melted brilliance.

No love song equals the majesty and perfection of this scene.

When all sleep, I sit up singing in the night.

I quench his thirst and submerge his heart,
He softens my voice and subdues my temper,
And then I recite the rule of love upon
His ears, and he embraces me longingly.

At eventide I sing to him the song
Of Hope, and then print kisses smooth upon
His face; I am swift and fearful but he
Is quiet patient and thoughtful. His
Broad bossom soothes my restlessness,
As the tide comes we caress each other;
When it withdraws I drop to his feet in prayer.

Lifted drowning souls and carried them tenderly to shore.

His broad bossom will soothe my restlessness.

Many times have I danced around mermaids
As they rose from the depths,
And rested upon my crest to watch the stars;
Many times have I heard lovers complain
Of their smallness and I helped them to sigh.

Many times have I teased the great rocks
And fondled them with a smile, but never have I
Received laughter from them; many times
Have I lifted drowning souls and carried them
Tenderly to my beloved shore,
He gives them strength as he takes mine.

In the dead of night when all creatures seek slumber, I sit up singing.

The wave and shore. Their’s an eternal love story.

Many times have I stolen gems from the depths
And presented them to my beloved shore,
He takes in silence but still I give
For he welcomes me ever.

In the heaviness of night when all
Creatures seek the ghost of slumber, I
Sit up singing at one time,
At another I am awake always.

Alas! Sleeplessness has weakened me!
But I am a lover and the truth of Love is strong;
I may weary but I shall never die.

Note:

The number of poets in all languages, lands and ages who wrote about the magnificence, might and beauty of the ocean are as many as there are stars in the universe. The primitive man sitting on the moonlit ocean shore under star studded skies might have been the first creator of a song. His exclamations in wonder at the series of meteorites and shooting stars raining on the blue expanse were the first poetry. No doubt Kahlil Gibran’s mind synchronized with that lone singer’s soul from an unthinkably far distant past. What love, caring and consideration were stored in the ocean’s depths by the creator for man is beautifully conveyed verbatim by Gibran in the Song Of The Wave. The shore is none but man in a philosophical perspective. And the ocean, the creator’s eternal inexhaustible kindness.

________________________________

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

________________________________

Dear Reader,

If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

 Tags

American Literature, American Poets, Arabic Poets, English Literature, English Poems, English Songs, Kahlil Gibran, Khalil Gibran, Lebanese Poets, P S Remesh Chandran, Poetry, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Song Of The Wave, Tears And Laughter

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PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Rathnashikamani

PSRC,

This a lovely literary tribute to the true purpose of spiritual poetry.

Marvelous appreciation and an excellent composition of an enchanting poem.

Song Of The Rain.

13. Song Of The Rain. Kahlil Gibran Poem. Recast In The True Poetic Form by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

11th Apr 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/lbv9utb9/  3rd Jan 2011.

It is alleged that Kahlil Gibran hid his exquisite tunes behind a mask of blank verse to prevent the dull wits and the half wits of his times from enjoying his songs. This song is for the first time recast in the true poetic form by Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum so that all the world may sing. It is expected that beautiful orchestrations of this immortal song will follow from other quarters of the world.

Through the skies she comes, down to the earth, to sustain a planet.


Song Of The Rain is included in Kahlil Gibran’s famous collection of poems Tears And Laughter. It is written in the form of the rain herself singing her song as she comes down. In scientific perfection, this song can be compared only to P.B.Shelley’s Ode To The West Wind, which will leave readers which one excels. Rain is beautifully personified in this song. Gibran was a close observer of not only human nature, but nature’s creations and elements also. It is the first time in literary history that someone tells about the inner feelings and thrill of the rain in pouring out, spreading on the ground, seeping into the inner bowels of the earth and sustaining this planet.

Dotted silver threads, delivering love messages.

Rain on Trees

Rain is dotted silver threads dropped from heaven by Gods, which nature takes away then to adorn her fields and valleys. She is beautiful pearls plucked by the Daughter of Dawn from some sovereign’s crown, to embellish her gardens. The clouds and fields are lovers and she is a messenger between them. By pouring out the rain cures the cloud and by coming down to the ground she quenches the thirst of the field. The voice of thunder declares her arrival and the rainbow her departure. When she cries coming down the skies the hills laugh, when she reaches the ground the flowers rejoice, and when she has seeped down deep into the soil all things are elated.

Listen to the rain: it is an incessant song.

 

Shelter in Rain under a Tree.

Rain emerges from the heart of the sea and soars with the breeze. When she sees a field in need, she descends and downpours and embraces the flowers and trees in her own million little ways. In human houses, she touches the windows with soft gentle fingers and all can hear her welcome song which but the sensitive can understand. She is born out of heat in the air which in her turn she kills, exactly as a woman overcomes a man with the strength she takes from him. Rain is the sigh of the sea, the laughter of the field and the tears of the Heaven and Love. One will wonder how scientific and close Kahlil Gibran was. It was as if he entered the very soul of the Rain to sing on her behalf. This song is only one of Gibran’s many exquisite creations. Just listen to the rain: it is the tune that made this song. Gibran did not invent or create a tune for this song, he copied it.

Rivers, meadows and mountains all sing songs after rain.

Wet Grass after Winter Rain.

As the rain reaches earth, life in the planet rejuvenates. Rivers, rivulets, streams, ponds, lakes, lagoons and oceans replenishes. Nature appears as if she has been washed out clean and lain to dry in sunshine. Grass turns lush green, squirrels birds and cows come out and the sky is once more serene. Rivers, meadows and mountains all sing songs after a rain.

Song Of The Rain. The Poem Recast.

Rainbow above Water.

3. SONG OF THE RAIN.

Slightly edited and recast in the true
poetic form by P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor,
Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

I am dotted silver – threads
Dropped from heaven by Gods,
Nature takes me then – to
Adorn her fields and valleys.

I am beautiful pearls – plucked
From the crown of Ishtar,
By the daughter of Dawn – to
Embellish her gardens.

Rain, the most joyful thing in this world.

 

A Song Thrush after a Torrential Downpour.

When I cry the hills laugh – and
When I humble myself
The flowers rejoice, and when I
Bow, all things are elated.

The ‘field and cloud are lovers – me a
Messenger of mercy between them,
I quench the thirst of the field – and
Cure th’ailment of the cloud.

The ‘voice of thunder declares
My ‘arrival and the rainbow
A’nnounces my departure – ‘am like
Earthly life which begins at
The ‘feet of mad elements, ends
Un’der th’upraised wings of death.

I gently touch the windows with my soft fingers.

 

Green Pasteure, blessing of the Rain.

Heart ‘of the sea I emerge from – and
Soar with the breeze. When I see
A ‘field in need I descend and
Em’brace the flowers and trees – in my
‘Million little ways.

I ‘gently touch the windows
With my s’oft fingers – And my
An’nouncement is a welcome – song
‘All can hear but only – the sensi-
Tive can understand.

I am the laughter of the field.

Rain on House front and Pavement.

I ‘am the sigh of the sea,
The laughter of the field,
The ‘tears of the Heaven,
‘And so is with love.

Sighs ‘from deep sea of affection,
Laugh’ter from colourful field
Of ‘spirit; and tears from th’endless
‘Heaven of memories.

Note:

Rain is legendary. It is what caused and preserved life in this planet. Life which arrived in some meteorite particle and remained in the sky was brought down to the earth in a rain. When it rained incessantly for months and months, the world submerged in floods but Noah with a few samples of life forms escaped in his Ark. When water subsided he offered a sacrifice and prayer to God who solaced and assured man that he will never again destroy world through water. As a token of his covenant, he laid his beautiful bow on the rain clouds. After the rain, when the rainbow appears God is reminded of his promise to man that he will not destroy the world again with rain. It is true, after the rainbow there is no rain, though there is excellent scientific reason for the same.

________________________________

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

________________________________

Dear Reader,

If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Tags

 

 

American Literature, American Poets, Arabic Poets, English Literature, English Poems, English Songs, Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese Poets, P S Remesh Chandran, Poetry, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Song Of The Rain, Songs, Tears And Laughter

 

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

 

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Rathnashikamani
Great compilation.

A true literary commentary on the poetry of the spiritual poet Kahlil Gibran.

 

 

 

 

 

The Creation Of Man And Woman.

12. The Creation Of Man And Woman. Kahlil Gibran. Recast in the True Poetic Form by P S Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.


8th Apr 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/i7sjvwju/  [30th Sep 2010]

Kahlil Gibran is mistakenly considered to have written his poems in free verse or blank verse but actually he was hiding his exquisite tunes behind a mask, so that the dull wits and half wits of his times won’t attempt to sing them. Songs from his immortal work Tears And Laughter are fine examples of a poet locking out his lines. Two poems from Tears And Laughter, Creation Of Man and Creation Of Woman are presented here, slightly edited and recast in the true poetic form by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

A poet suspected of hiding exquisite tunes behind a mask of blank verse.

Statue of Eve in Eve Fountain, St.Petersberg.

Kahlil Gibran was a U.S- Arabic- Lebanese poet who thrilled the world with exotic tunes and captivating ideas common to all Arab and Persian poets. This wonder that was Gibran brought excellent imagery unheard of and unthought-of of before to the pages of English poetry. His poems have been a source of unending inspiration to poets and poetry appreciating public alike. He is widely accepted as a writer of what is called free verse, blank verse or prose-poems. Considering the sweetness and mellowness of his lines, it is improbable that his mind had not been impregnated with some heavenly music at the time he wrote these lines. His poems can be compared only to such brilliant and musically inspired Persian poets as Gulchin, Sana’i, Rumi, Nizami, Jami, Hafiz, Amir Khusrau, Firdausi and of course Omar Khayyam. So it was only natural there was a hilarious tune concealed behind each song and poem written by Kahlil Gibran. In almost all his poems can be found traces of slight reference to brilliant geniuses being ignored, neglected or condemned by the half wits and the jealous of their times. Thus we come to guess that Kahlil Gibran hid his exquisite tunes behind a mask of blank verse so that the dull wits and half wits of his times won’t attempt to sing them.

Statutory Warning: Whoever goes after Gibran will have to suffer the same fate depicted in his poems.

Creation of the World. Painting by Brueghel.

It has been a challenge to music and poetry appreciators all over the world to rediscover the tunes hid by Gibran in his songs. A Dialectical Metaphysicist himself, some uncanny mystic fate surrounded and enveloped his poems which made them immune to unripe persons. Whoever went after Gibran to find out the hidden music in his poems had to suffer and undergo the same misery, poverty, isolation, neglect and suppression depicted by the poet in his poems. That is why those tunes and versifications which were discovered earlier never came out to the printer’s press. The strike of fate on those unfortunates who attempted to recast his poems earlier might have been such forceful and complete that they never could have risen again in their lives. Recasting Gibran poems to bring out the rich musical content in them is easy, but surviving and surpassing the fatal strikes extended from the mystic hallo surrounding each poem is not at all easy. This author also did not escape unscathed. Someday I wish to write about my horrible experiences. And I hope someday the results of those other attempts would come to daylight and be published. When Gibran in one of his poems wrote about manuscript pages of the dying poet blown away to future generations by the wind, no one thought it to be a key to the mysticism surrounding the real life of this magical poet.

Dedicated to those who attempted Gibran poems earlier, but did not escape unscathed.

 

Created the Garden of Eden for housing man.

Tears And Laughter is one of the immortal works of Kahlil Gibran, the others being The Broken Wings and The Prophet. All poems in these works are good to be read and sung. Poems from Tears And Laughter have since been slightly edited and recast in the true poetic form by P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. The following songs from this book are now released online so that all the world may sing them and enjoy them. Hope copyright restrictions if any won’t hamper the zeal of the world and dampen the cherished wish of Gibran Fans in all countries. This work is dedicated to those creative minds from all corners of the world that attempted recasting Kahlil Gibran poems earlier, but did not survive the mystic and fatal blows from the poems.

The Creation Of Man
The Creation Of Woman
A Poet’s Death Is His Life
Song Of The Rain
Song Of The Wave
A Lover’s Call

Someone someday somewhere will recast all Gibran poems to bring out the rich musical content in them.

Paradise painted in oil by Brueghel.

It is hoped that Kahlil Gibran’s other works will also be brought out in the true poetic form by others elsewhere. In coming years, recasting of more songs in Tears And Laughter will be undertaken and published. Beautiful orchestrations also will be made which finally will show to the world what a U.S- Arabic- Lebanese combination means. Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum presents the first song in this series, The Creation Of Man before the poetry-appreciating public.

1. Creation Of Man. The Poem Recast.

After creation, Man was shown to other creatures.

Furnace of Anger gave consuming fire,
Desert of Ignorance gave searing wind,
The shore of Selfishness sharp-cutting sand,
And feet of Ages coarse earth from under.

Combining them God fashioned Man and gave
To him a blind power, raging and driving
Him into madness which extinguishes
Only before gratification of Desire,

And placed in him Life which is the spectre of Death.
God laughed and cried, felt overwhelming Love
And Pity, and beneath his guidance sheltered Man.

Burning fire in one eye, rolling ocean in the other.

God created man out of fire, wind, sand and earth provided by anger, ignorance, selfishness and ages respectively, leaving no mighty element untouched and unutilized for his creation. It was expected that the raging blind power blown into him would drive him into his inborn madness which would extinguish only upon attainment of gratification of his desire, consuming him finally. That was the scheme. Desire was invented and designed for him, and placed in him naturally. Then God placed life in him which is in fact a manifestation and the haunting ghost-like presentiment of death. God knew that man would die someday which man alone did not know until he ate the fruit, lost his innocence and divined the ultimate knowledge of life and death. The instant he ate the fruit, the first dead leaf fell in the garden. God did see in advance his creation going after gratification of his desire and after a brief span of life, lying somewhere dead and still. That was why he laughed and cried at the same time, feeling overwhelming joy and pity for this doomed fragile creation, and decided to stay with him and to protect him under his guidance like a child who will never grow.

2. Creation Of Woman. The Poem Recast.

Woman created in elegance in the garden.

God separated Spirit from himself,
Fashioned it into Beauty and showered upon

All blessings of gracefulness and kindness
And gave the cup of Happiness and said:

“Drink not from this cup unless you forget past
And future, happiness but this moment.”

He also gave a cup of Sorrow and said:
“Drink from this cup and you will understand

The meaning of the fleeting instants of
The joy of life, for Sorrow ever abounds.”

Versification and orchestration of Gibran poems will become the most pleasant verbal exercise in future.

Expulsion from home: The price of sin and learning

These slightly edited and recast poems of Kahlil Gibran are the first of its kind that got published ever. Only a mind perfectly thrilled at creating such perfect and exquisite tunes can write those lines. It is theorized that Gibran wrote them in this exact way, and then to mislead readers, he rearranged his lines to make them look like blank verse. Considering the majesty and loftiness of his theme, it is not unlike him to disguise his poetry in this manner and divert readers from the dazzling glory of divinity. Many poets like Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu also have successfully locked their lines before appreciators. It is contextual to note that these two poets were admirers of Kahlil Gibran. To perfectly appreciate their poems, the readers will have to unlock or rediscover their original writing. Readers, learners and researchers are advised to read the original blank-verse text of Gibran as well. It is hoped that more Gibran poems will be recast to bring out the rich musical content in them. Versification of Kahlil Gibran poems and orchestrating them in their original tunes will become the most pleasant verbal exercise in future in the English speaking Arab world.

Note:

What Gibran wrote, he experienced. Not that what Gibran experienced, he wrote. Poetry should be fact melted down in philosophy. Philosophy is to be derived by an individual from the experience he gains. Therefore, a person who writes philosophical poems incommensurate with his age, without adequate back support of experience, will be forced to experience the very things he wrote. That is Nature’s balancing. The author and the commenter of this article has undergone this trial and punishment for attempting works unbecoming of age. It happened so in regard to my own literary creations. Regarding the additional punishment I have had to bear for recasting Gibran poems, I have decided to write about it in detail sometime, if allowed. One thing is certain. Kahlil Gibran wrote superb philosophical poems which fitted not his age. And he escaped from experiencing the very things. So the gravity of the residual energy envelops the poems like a black hole, draining the energy of all who deal with those poems. There have been equally disturbing stories about Shakespeare’s certain plays which cause untoward incidents at wherever they are acted. The last time I heard, it was a chandelier that broke down from the roof and fell ‘accidentally’ on the stage.

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Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

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Dear Reader,

If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles 

Tags

Arabic Poets, English Language, English Literature, English Poems, English Songs, Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese Poets, P S Remesh Chandran, Poem, Poetry, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books, Tears And Laughter, The Creation Of Man, U S Poets

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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