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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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
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