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
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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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009. Two Famous Death Poems By Shirley And Shakespeare. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

009

Two Famous Death Poems By Shirley And Shakespeare. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 21st Mar 2011. Short URL http://nut.bz/evi23ktc/
First Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Poetry, Drama & Criticism

Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/02/009-two-famous-death-poems-shirley-and.html

 

Death is the end of all earthly cares and the beginning of eternal things. It is believed that the moment we die, we are born in another universe. With it begins a new way of being. More number of songs and poems has been written on death than on birth. It is considered an important event in man’s life. In many communities throughout the world, death is an occasion for rejoicing and celebration. Shakespeare’s Fear No More and James Shirley’s Death The Leveller are appreciated here.

Shakespeare at last has begun to be read and appreciated, than being acted on stage.

 

I. FEAR NO MORE. A SONG BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

 

William Shakespeare was one of the world’s greatest poets and dramatists. He considered himself a poet, but to make a living, could not exclude himself from the tedious work of being on stage. He very much wished his plays to be read and appreciated more as literary creations, than to be acted on stage as plays. His wishes have been granted by Time. Now his plays are rarely acted, but being read and appreciated as literary masterpieces as he wished. He is being taught and learned in universities, and less in theatres. Fear No More is a song from his play Cymbeline. Two brothers weep over the supposed death of their sister who is only unconscious. The song is actually an Ode To Death. Death comes as a release from the evils of the world and is inevitable to all. This song is the poet’s prayer for the peace of the departed soul.

Work in this World, for which wages will be paid in Heaven.

 

01. A Burial Painting By Enrico Pollastrini 1851.

When we have done our works in this world, we return to our home which is in heaven where we will be paid our wages for the work done in the world. We will be blessed or punished according to the measure of the virtue or vice resulted from our work. It is a consolation to think that there is an after world there where our actions are weighed and judged by sympathetic and kindly beings, after having gone through a life time of injustices and ingratitude in this world. Death is a release which is universal and man cannot escape from it.

Even the young brimming with vibrancy and loveliness of life has to die.

 

02. Children Accompanying The Dead To Burial By Vasily Perov 1865.

There is no armour to hold against death and man has to succumb to the inevitability of the final passing away. Or is it the passing away final? He has no protection from death and cannot refuse to pass through this gateway of death to the next world and the next form of being. ‘The rich and leisurely golden lads and girls and the poor and lowly chimney-sweepers who do the dirtiest of works- all have to die. Physical strength, scholarship and authority follow man to the grave and finally turn to dust and oblivion. Even young lovers who seem to be brimming with the vibrancy and loveliness of life have to die some day.

Is it to bliss that we go after death?

 

03. The Poor Man’s Way To Grave By Jakub Schikaneder 1886.

The parting soul finally gets some peace, since it has now been released from the clutches of the world, the evils of the world. It needn’t anymore fear the heat of the Sun or the angry outbreak of winter. The frown and anger and displeasure of well-placed persons and people in power and the mortal strikes from authorities and tyrants- the very things that make hell in human lives and man fears most – needn’t anymore be feared.

With death, our burdens of life are lightened, for we do not need clothing and eating anymore.

 

04. Wounded Worker’s Farewell By Erik Henningsen 1895.

With death, our burdens of life are lightened, for we do not need clothing and eating anymore. The deadly lightning and thunder-bolts- the dread of all out-in-the-field workers- will not touch/affect us anymore. Abusing words and unkind criticism, which we encountered everywhere in life and which constantly humiliated us, lowered our status and self-respect and tormented our souls, will no more reach our ears, for we will have no more ears. Weeping and happiness are past. We reach bliss, the state of supreme happiness. And distinctions also are things of the past; the fragile reed and the hardened oak are the same to the dead man.

A land where sceptre and crown and scythe and spade are made equal.

 

05. Grave Diggers And Grieving Family By Erik Henningsen 1886.

II. DEATH THE LEVELLER. A POEM BY JAMES SHIRLEY.

 

James Shirley was an English teacher and poet who became famous later for his plays. He died during the great London Fire. Like Shakespeare’s Fear No More, Death The Leveller also is part of one of his plays. He conceives death as a great leveller, an equalizer, who levells the distinctions between the rich and the poor, the high and the low and the hard and the soft. The glories of our blood and state are nothing but shadows. Family traditions and social status do not come to our aid when we are dying. Man has no immunity against fate. Death lays his icy hands on kings and his subjects alike. Kings wearing the sceptre and crown, the symbols of their sovereignty and peasants wearing the scythe and spade, the tools of their trade, are all brought to dust and made equal by death without any distinctions.

Eloquence of a poet in defense of death.

 

06. A Poor Man’s Funeral By Oscar Graf 1900.

Glory is but a momentary glimpse of eternity. It just shows us the magnificence waiting for us in our after life to live in permanently. Great emperors like Alexander and Ashoka have conquered vast plains of land and hordes of armies, won battlefields and raised victory memorials, but they too have had to go to the other world. Great swordsmen reaped heads of opponents in the battlefield, but even their strong nerves have had to yield at last and they too have had to stoop to fate, early or late. Actually they were not winning over the other, but taming each other. Great War heroes all will become wounded captives one day, creeping to their deaths. In the hands of death they are now pale with shame because, unlike in the battlefield, they cannot fight their captor now.

Only our just and right actions will blossom and emit sweet smell, after we have gone.

 

07. Laid At Rest In Elegance By Luis Montero 1867.

Victory memorials may wither away and great battles in history forgotten. The once-victor will one day become a bleeding victim on the purple altar of death, purple because of blood and gore. However high our heads are held, they will one day have to come down to the cold tomb. Great heroic acts do not survive us. Only the just and right actions of a man will blossom and emit sweet smell, after he has long withered away in dust.

Are we really living here, or lying somewhere else and dreaming about living here?

 

III. WHY THIS SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE TWO SONGS?

 

Death is a universal closing of a way of life in one universe and the beginning of another in another universe. It is believed that, and also it is a thrill to think that, once that gravitational constriction of a black hole that is the life-proofed passage between two universes is passed, the dead and the now reborn organism would feel nothing about anything that might or might not have happened. It would be a feeling like everything reversed mathematically. Some seers have even doubted as to whether we are really living in this world, or lying relaxed in some other planet or universe and dreaming about living in this World. Where seers and poets are concerned, and involved, anything strange can be conceived and formulated. Bizarre notions are not un-travelled lands for poets. We would expect these two poets to elaborate on life after the feeling of death. It was but their modesty and reserve that prevented William Shakespeare and James Shirley from elaborating on after-death experiences, and not their unfamiliarity with any such notions, especially Shakespeare having created a long line of uncanny characters.

Death is universal, so rouses similar feelings in man everywhere.

 

08. The Final Resting Place By Albert Anker 1863.

Since death is universal, it rouses similar feelings in man everywhere, though intensity and direction of emotions may vary from person to person, country to country and continent to continent. Some spend the time of bereavement in absolute silence and grief and some spend it in dancing and singing and revelry. The universality of death is a foundation for the similarity between the two poems, Fear No More and Death The Leveller. They both share the universal feeling about death. They are similar in many other aspects also. They hold the same views and project the same ideas. Both poems celebrate the glory of death. Both poems are part of plays by the authors. Both poets used the same word Sceptre to denote Kingly Authority. Shakespeare hints that we will be paid our wages in heaven for our deeds done in this world. Shirley warns us that only our just and rightful actions would survive us. Both poets project the inevitability and inescapability of death. Shakespeare’s life period in England was 1564-1616 and Shirley’s was 1596-1666. Shirley was 14 years old when Shakespeare was 44. Therefore Shirley certainly might have been inspired by Shakespeare. Or it can also be that he was absolutely independent of Shakespeare’s influence in his thoughts. And both poets were Londoners too.

Has mankind lost the formula for the longevity of life?

 

What is the highest possible lifespan of human beings and how can it be raised are questions scientists have been trying to answer for a long time. How death occurs and why it occurs also have been subjects for research, and speculation, through many centuries. Some of the Biblical characters seem to have lived through 800 and 900 years. The ancient Indian classics Mahabharata and Ramayana also have plenty of characters who lived beyond a thousand years. They must have known the formula for the prolongation of life. Even though it is believed that the Bible is a coded manifesto recording everything that concerns man, even the events that may happen in his future, mankind seems to have lost this formula for suspending death and prolonging life. He could have lived at least 150 years and succumbed to death only after fulfilling his mission somewhat to his satisfaction, had he not lost this formula for longevity of life. Lifespan of human beings is not a fixed one, not seventy or eighty years anyway, for it has risen and fallen everywhere in accordance with the availability or unavailability of food and other resources.

What is the greatest wonder in this world?

 

09. Here Lies Your Ancestors By Rudolf Wiegmann 1835.

In Mahabharata, there is this story of Prince Yudhishdtira and his four younger brothers travelling through jungle in search of water when they were ousted from their kingdom after having lost a game of gambling to their co-brother. The youngest brother was the first to find water in a pond beneath a tree. But before he could drink, an incorporeal voice from heaven warned him not to drink that water lest he would die, unless he correctly answered a question before drinking. The question was ‘What is the greatest wonder in this world’? He heeded not the warning, drank the water, and fell dead then and there. His three elders who went in search of the youngest brother one after the other also had the same experience and fell dead beside that pond. Finally Yudhishdtira went in search of the four and was asked the same question by the incorporeal voice. ‘Even while death occurs everywhere around us and we still thinking we will never die is the greatest wonder in this world’ was Yudhishdtira’s answer, which pleased the incorporeal voice. It was the Man of Time in disguise, who resurrected from death the four princes and blessed Yudhishdtira for his virtuousness.

 

First Published: 21 March 2011

Last Edited……: 28 March 2017

__________________________________________

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

__________________________________________

 

Picture Credits:

01. A Burial Painting By Enrico Pollastrini 1851.

02. Children Accompanying The Dead To Burial By Vasily Perov 1865.

03. The Poor Man’s Way To Grave By Jakub Schikaneder 1886.

04. Wounded Worker’s Farewell By Erik Henningsen 1895.

05. Grave Diggers And Grieving Family By Erik Henningsen 1886.

06. A Poor Man’s Funeral By Oscar Graf 1900.

07. Laid At Rest In Elegance By Luis Montero 1867.

08. The Final Resting Place By Albert Anker 1863.

09. Here Lies Your Ancestors By Rudolf Wiegmann 1835.

10. 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.

10. 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

Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum

Tags

 

Bloom Books Trivandrum, Comparison Poems, Cymbeline, Death Poems, Death The Leveller, Essays On Death, Fear No More, Free Student Notes, James Shirley, Literary Essays, Literary Reviews, Poems On Death, Poetry Appreciations, P S Remesh Chandran, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, William Shakespeare.

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Identifier: SBT-AE-009. Two Famous Death Poems By Shirley And Shakespeare. Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Editor: P S Remesh Chandran

 

 

 

 

005. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. W B Yeats Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

005

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. W B Yeats Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 16th Mar 2011. Short URL http://nut.bz/19ed-hvz/
First Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Poetry, Drama & Criticism. Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/01/05-lake-isle-of-innisfree-wbyeats.html

 

Poets are accused to be unrealistic day-dreamers who are given to fancy. Day-dreaming and fancying all do and take off, but only a few can safely land also. W B Yeats was a perfect poet who could do both. Not many have expressed fancy in more beautiful words than he did, and fewer still have reminded the world of its duties and responsibilities as effectively. This poem has always been a sensation among the poetry-reading public and is the international song and manifesto of solitude-seekers.

Who will not wish to go to a Lake Island of Innisfree?

 

01. William Butler Yeats Portrait.

William Butler Yeats was an Irish Poet whose poems are noted for rich musical content. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree also was born out of an exquisite simple tune. Anyone walking through crowded city streets in any country subjecting himself to vehicle fumes, noise and dust and the irritation of rubbing elbows with others in congested and closed quarters, will wish to go to some place he knows where things are calm, quiet and spacious. All will have one such place in his mind. The placid and quiet Lake Isle of Innisfree has become the universal symbol that comes into any poetry reader’s mind when thinking about a place that would soothe his soul. Yeats immortalized the place of his choice through this poem.

The dream of all poets: a secluded hut in a lonely island.

 

02. Crowded city streets, the dread of poets.

The poet is lying buried under and entangled in the clutches of a mad city life. It has finally become such unbearable and suffocating for him that if it continues to go on so, he thinks, he will arise and go to Innisfree never to return. Standing in the street, he dreams of the beautiful and quiet Lake Isle of Innisfree and the secluded and self-sufficient life he would have lived there. The usual questions that arise in our mind would be, where he will live on this island, what will he drink and what will he eat.

A small cabin made of clay and wattles in a lonely islet.

 

03. The roadside dream of all poets.

On arriving there he would build a small cabin, made of clay and wattles available in plenty in any island. The problem of housing is thus solved. For food, he will turn to cultivation of beans, a sustaining, nutritious and easy-to-produce food eaten by hard labourers everywhere. And he will place a bee-hive somewhere in the island and collect honey which is another concentration of compact energy. Who will say honey would be scant in an island of flowers? Thus he will lead a satisfied and self-sufficient life in the island, listening to the humming of bees and lying alone contented in some bee-loud glade. What a contrast would it be to the thick city life in Belfast or London! Seeing how the questions of food and shelter are addressed, we can only hope he would be roaming the island properly dressed too in his revelry, clothed in whatever is available on the island in the form of twigs, leaves and strings.

Ideal peace is a dew-drop falling on the heated head of a cricket.

 

04. Open fire gives the wattle roof a steaming effect.

In Innisfree, finally the poet will be able to get a little peace. The poet’s conception of peace is quite different from that of others, is strange, and lovely. In modern times, peace is an interval between two wars. Then what is peace to this poet? Even his idea of peace is modeled on the usual early morning sights one sees in rustic island life. The crickets in the island have been singing and shrieking all through the night, and are now sitting with heated heads, wishing for a bit of coolness to come from somewhere. It was then that the dews of night and the morning mist condensed into dew drops and a drop of peace from the trees above fell straight into the heated head of that cricket. What a peace- that cricket yelled! The peace that cricket enjoyed then, there, is what peace is to the poet.

Which is more beautiful- morning, noon or night?

 

05. The mid-lake abode of loneliness and quietness.

How are the morning, noon, evening and midnight in the Lake Isle of Innisfree? The readers of this poem would already have guessed about the freshness and nascence of the dew-filled and misty dawns in that island. The noon would be the most dreary and dull in all places but the noon in Innisfree is as charming and pleasing as the evenings in other places. And the evenings there are exotic, due to the presence of thousands and thousands of beautiful migratory and nestling birds. And doesn’t anyone think the nights there would be devoid of similar beauty. The midnights of Innisfree are illuminated by tiny lights of millions of fire-flies. What else is needed to enchant and seduce a poet?

All alone in a bee-loud glade: roused by car horns in the middle of a street.

 

06. Alone in the middle of a bee-loud glade.

Alas! Perhaps a car horn on his very back might have roused him from his daydreams: he is still walking the city streets of London, not reclining in the pleasantness of the lake island. However, he hears in his ears the very sound of lake water lapping gently over the shore. Standing in the roadways and walking the footpaths in that crowded city, he still hears lake water resounding deep in his heart. Yes, he can have his cool revelry and daydreams; that is his privilege. He is entitled to it. We can leave him standing there in the street, thinking about his Paradise Lost, hoping he won’t jump into the onrush of traffic in the city, in his delirium.

Unnatural for the poet to recite his poem killing his music.

 

07. Inspiration for the poem: Lough Gill in Ireland.

This poem, Lake Isle Of Innisfree, was born with an exquisite tune which suited every line, word and syllable in the poem. Gramophone recordings of Yeats himself reciting this poem were made in 1932. Do not anyone think he brought out the original music hidden in this poem in this recording of his- he just read it like reading any piece of prose. It is unnatural for a poet of this magnitude to recite his poem killing his music. This might have been due to two reasons: Perhaps he may have feared the recitation pundits of his times who covered absence of musical skills by showing themselves more on pronunciation and impurities like accents. Or he may have wished his tune to never come out in his times- to be rediscovered only by later generations. This observation by the this writer is made not without taking into account how Yeats, in Chapter XV, Volume III of The Collected Works of W B Yeats- 1916 published by Simon and Schuster, described how he came to write this poem. But still the fact remains- this poem has beautiful inborn music.

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this poem.

 

08. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Video Title. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faFK9_Gneug

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.

You Tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faFK9_Gneug

 

First Published: 16th Mar 2011

Last Edited…… :23 March 2017

 
__________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
__________________________________________

 

Picture credits:

01. William Butler Yeats Portrait By George Grantham Bain.

02. Crowded city streets, the dread of poets By Thaejas Kocherlakota.

03. The roadside dream of all poets By Kerala Tourism.org.

04. Open fire gives the wattle roof a steaming effect By Colin Smith.

05. The mid-lake abode of loneliness and quietness By Eibsee.

06. Alone in the middle of a bee-loud glade By Twiddleblatt.

07. Inspiration for the poem: Lough Gill in Ireland By Paul Mcllroy.

08. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

09. 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.

09. 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

Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum

 

Tags

 

Bloom Books Trivandrum, College Notes, Free Student Notes, Irish Poets, Lake Isle Of Innisfree, Literary Essays, Poem Appreciations, Poem Reviews, Poetry Appreciations, P S Remesh Chandran, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, William Butler Yeats.

 

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Identifier: SBT-AE-005. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. William Butler Yeats Poem. Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Editor: P S Remesh Chandran


004. The Leech Gatherer. William Wordsworth Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

004.

The Leech-Gatherer. William Wordsworth Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 15th Mar 2011. Short URL http://nut.bz/134a-2vx/
First Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Poetry, Drama & Criticism. Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/02/004-leech-gatherer-william-wordsworth.html

William Wordsworth’s poetry has no style because nature and life has no style. The perfect plainness of his poems gained him popularity. He mostly wrote about nature and man and is considered the world’s greatest nature poet. The world was very late in recognizing his merit. However, glory found its way to his grave. The Leech-Gatherer, alternatively titled ‘Resolution And Independence’ is the universal symbol of eternal human labour.

A poet’s perennial interest in man and nature.

 

01. A Portrait of William Wordsworth.

When Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Mary Shelley decided to author one horror creation each, Coleridge wrote The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner which terrorized even him and became an all-time classic in horror. Mary Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein which still terrorizes the world by creating nightmares in the minds of whoever thinks of that abominable human being that rogue scientist assembled from several body parts. Wordsworth, so soft in nature and inept at creating situations of terror, wrote The Stolen Boat which terrorized no one except perhaps him. Failing to create horror situations remained a shame in his mind for many years which he wished to rectify by writing a poem with finer horror conceptions someday. The Leech-Gatherer was an addition to this sequel of horror tales by these three friend writers which fulfilled its mission by creating a new sophistication in horror. It is one of the immortal creations of Wordsworth and can be identified as such among the hundreds of inferior poems he created throughout his life. There has been a universal question raised in this world which we have never been able to answer yes or no: ‘Will the world look after us and provide for us when we are old?’ The Leech-Gatherer is Wordsworth’s the answer to this ages-old question.

Appearance of exquisite nature pictures in poetry pages, after Edmund Spenser.

 

02. Dove Cottage in Grasmere. Once Home to Wordsworth.

The poem opens with presentation of a series of beautiful nature pictures, second only to Edmund Spenser’s in his The Fairee Queene. After the heavy rain and storm of yester night, the Sun is rising calm and bright as if nothing had happened the day before. The atmosphere is such still and silent that the sweet sounds of birds singing in distant woods can be heard as distinctly as if they were very near. The voices of Stock-Dove, Magpie and Jay, mixed with the pleasant noise of waters flowing everywhere, fill the atmosphere. All the Sun-loving creatures are out of doors, i.e., out of their dens and caves, and the simple grass is shining bright and fresh with rain drops adorning them. Unable to hide her mirth, the hare is running races on the moor in the morning air, like frivolous playful kitten. Wherever she touches her feet, tiny water particles rises up like mist from the splashy earth, glittering in the Sun, forming beautiful rainbow-glows about her tiny feet. The poet also can feel the very pulse-beat of Nature as those creatures as he is personally present there with sensitive eyes and ears, capturing the pressure and temperature of that atmosphere and bringing to us the freshness of those scenes intact.

A poet as light and happy as a lark.

 

03. Grasmere Village With The Dove Cottage.

He was then a morning-traveller upon that moor. He was as happy as a boy that he sometimes heard and sometimes heard not the roaring sounds of the great woods and waterfalls around him.’ Now he has quite forgotten how sad he had been moments earlier, and would again be moments after. He has reached the peak of happiness if there is one, forgetting all his pangs and past memories, and that sad useless melancholic mood common and so natural to man.

Premonitions of a lonely traveller on the moor.

 

04. Waterfall and Stone Hut where the Poet wrote poems.

When we are happy, we begin to think that our happiness won’t end. And when we are sad, we begin to feel anxious about whether our sadness won’t end someday. We want our sadness to end immediately and happiness never to end. Happiness and sadness are but waves in a sea of thoughtfulness, receding to that same deep stillness. John Milton, while studying for M.A., had to write two long essays describing two entirely contrasting things for his vivo voce examination. He selected Day and Night which no other things have more contrast between, and decided to write these two essays as poetry. Therefore the world got two immortal poems. He selected the Italian title L’Allegro for Day which meant the mirthful man. And he selected the Latin title Il Penseroso for Night which meant the thoughtful man. The opposite of happiness is not sadness in his view. All the world’s philosophers know contrast to happiness and mirth is not sadness but thoughtfulness. It is only natural for man to fall from the height of happiness to the depth of dejection, and then to thoughtfulness. This happens to the poet also in that fine morning on the moor.

Clouds come thick into the serene mind of a poet.

 

05. He was a traveller then upon the moor.

Fears and fancies come thick into the poet’s mind, like clouds coming ominously into a serene sky. In the midst and presence of such blissful creatures as the warbling sky lark and the playful hare, he feels himself to be walking far away from the world and all earthly cares. His whole life he has lived in pleasant thoughts as if life’s business were a summer dream. His poetry-writing career had not brought him enough to buy even his shoe-strings. Many mighty poets have returned to earth in their misery, suffering fleshly ills such as cold, pain and heavy labour. Would he too die the same way? Would solitude, distress, pain of heart, and poverty be awaiting him too, to accompany him to the grave? Is it not that the tragic career of all poets, as a rule, begins in gladness and ends in sadness and gloom? That marvelous Village-Milton that was Chatterton, who had walked in glory and in joy along his native mountain side following his plough, living the life of a farmer, had perished in poverty, though with pride. But why are these ominous thoughts coming to him at this untoward moment? The goose-bumps springing up all through his body parked at that lonely and desolate moor told him that Nature is soon going to present him with some sign of divine warning to admonish him about the rarity and preciousness of Time. Then he saw it- the warning, placed there on the wild, for all the world to see.

The warning written on the lonely moor, beside a pool.

 

06. Sudden appearance of a ghost of a man here.

A very old man, perhaps the oldest man that ever wore grey hairs, appeared suddenly beside a pool in that wild- the oldest person the poet ever saw in this world. He never fitted in with those lonely wild surroundings. Such an extremely old man in such strangest of circumstances was odd and out of place. Nature startles man with her bizarre and striking spectacles. ‘Sometimes huge stones can be seen lying couched on tree-less bald mountain tops, causing wonder to all who look at them.’ One will begin to think whether or not they are gifted with an unnatural ability to walk up the mountain eminence and lie couching there, precariously balanced. Another equally tantalizing spectacle is at the sea shore, that of ‘some huge sea-beast crawled forth and reposing on some shelf of rock or sand to sun itself.’ Such bizarre and out of place seemed the appearance and look of that old man in such strange surroundings. Some wild experience of disease or pain had caused his body to bend unnaturally double, making his feet and head come close together in life’s pilgrimage. One will wonder how he can still make himself stand erect in that set up of a nature-tortured frame. He propped his body upon a long grey staff of shaven wood. ‘Upon the margin of that pool, he stood there as motionless as a firm cloud that moveth not in the wind, and if it moves at all, moves all together.’ It means the old man could not turn or shift his face or hand or leg without turning or shifting the whole body. Ease and flexibility of bones and muscles had totally vanished but still the old man was making his meager living through the hardest and most painful of works. It is life that is important, and it has to go on at any cost. That is not only desperation but determination also. Not anywhere else in world literature has the uncanny appearance of old age ever been pictured more graphically and movingly.

Will the world look after us when we are old?

 

07. Gardens landscaped by the poet in Rydal Mount.

The old man was stirring the pond with his staff and studying the muddy water. Wordsworth very much wished to ask the old man what his engagement and occupation was there, and why. He asked and the old man answered in an uncommon, lofty, decorated language that fitted only the ethereal and the out-of-the-world. He was simply catching leeches from the pool. Enduring many hardships on the way, he had come to this pool to gather leeches for food and for sale. He has resolved to be independent and self-reliant in his old age. He roamed from pool to pool and from moor to moor, gaining his legitimate living in this way. He ‘gained an honest maintenance and got housing by chance or choice each day through God’s help.’

Was it real, or a vision of admonition from eternity?

 

08. Pond on the moor which the poet frequented.

The old man’s words burnt deep into the lazy poet’s mind. He wondered whether he hadn’t seen this person somewhere in his dreams. Yes, this is the Eternal Man of Time- Kaala Purusha in Sanskrit- walking through ages, ‘sent from some far off region to strengthen the poet’s mind by apt admonition.’ The lonely place, the old man’s shape and speech- all troubled him, and for a while, he lost his senses. A shadow passed through the front of his eyes and a blanket of clouds moved away from his mind, letting in a ray of light. When he regained consciousness after moments, he was a completely changed and new man, like the wedding-guest in The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. The poet resolved to think about the leech-gatherer on the lonely moor in future whenever his mind lost its strength. Thus the alternate title of the poem, Resolution And Independence, is appropriate. The element of horror in the poem owes its thanks to the poet’s friend Coleridge. The plainness of the poem is derived from Burns. The genuine contribution of Wordsworth in the poem is the unique moral treatment of the Man and Nature theme.

Why should one catch leeches?

 

09. Marshes And Bogs: Breeding Grounds For Leeches.

Leeches were used to drain blood from human body as part of medical treatment. They attach themselves to human body or animal bodies like horses and cattle, suck blood, remain on the victim’s body for nearly 20 minutes, swell themselves to full size and then disengage themselves and fall. After they have fallen, bleeding from the victim’s body won’t stop before sometimes 8 hours or more. A collector of leeches could lose large quantities of blood this way and could get infected with diseases from leeches. If leeches are killed or removed before sucking much blood, they would loose biological properties and could not then be used for blood-letting in medicine. Therefore catching leeches was certainly a painful, risky and harmful affair, unlike harvesting frog-legs for restaurants. Unless the engaged person decided to sacrifice something in him, there was no question of collecting leeches for medicine. Only poor people and people with no other means for survival turned to leech gathering for a living- invariably helpless aged people. Doctors, especially surgeons, needed large quantities of leeches and naturally they could not get these themselves. Therefore this supporting occupation of leech-gathering came into being and existed till the passing of the nineteenth century when sophisticated blood-letting methods and equipments were invented. Leeches collected this way were small and inconspicuous to see till they drew blood to their fill and swelled up into enormous sizes. It indeed was horror to see them sucking up blood and swelling. Leech-gatherers had to enter ponds, lakes and rivers in marshes and bogs, expose their legs to attract leeches and bleed themselves. Over-capture and destruction of habitat caused dwindling in their numbers even in the 19th century and there is reference in Wordsworth’s poem about this: ‘One they could be seen everywhere but now they cannot be seen everywhere as before; I have had to travel far and wide to see them’.

Wordsworth’s Lake District was famous for bogs and marshes and poor men could be seen collecting leeches everywhere. Life was hard in colonial England for the majority of people, in the midst of gained and looted riches arriving in ships at every port from distant colonies. We never suspect Wordsworth as a revolutionary poet like Shelley but the hint is there. The misery of these leech-gatherers might certainly have urged Wordsworth to write The Leech Gatherer to bring world’s attention to the sad living conditions of these uncared-for poor people in England’s hamlets and villages, like Shelley wrote Song To The Men Of England to bring world’s attention to the miseries and predicament of the peasants and factory workers of England in the same century.

A special note from author: An appendix to this appreciation.

 

10. Beauty Spots Of Nature, Haunts Of Poets.

There is a jungle beauty spot with a broad, step-waterfall at Meenmutty in Nanniyode Village in the Trivandrum District of Kerala. Mighty mountains surround it. I was a regular visitor to this place where I would wash my clothes, bathe in the rushing stream and lie on the rocks. On the distant mountain folds can be seen often an old man coming down, appearing and disappearing according to the nip and dip in the terrain. Finally he would reach the river bank and take a dip beside me in the torrent. Unlike the other natives, we were the two who preferred bathing above the waterfall to rather than descending to the safety of the lower tranquil part of the river. We both liked taking the risk of being swept away down by a flash flood that may originate due to proximity to mountains. Then he would take his bait and catch one or two fishes for his dinner. Then he would rise, and taking the fishes, the firewood, two killed birds and a hare and grass bundles for his goats- all gathered from the mountains- walk down through the rocks towards his home. Whenever he appeared on the river bank in the evenings, a water crow, the blackest and the ugliest I ever saw, also appeared and sat beside him on a rock amid the stream, hoping for a fish from his catch which he invariably threw to it. I knew this old man was severe and strict to his children and wife and others and was hated by them, but his ragged and weather-beaten frame and his uncouth behavior was an attraction to me, a fascination. He, in my eyes, was a genuine unpolished creation of nature, independent and resolute in every way in his old age.

One day news came that he was bitten by a deadly snake in the mountains and was lying in critical stage in hospital in the city. Many times it was rumoured that he has gone, and that it was good for his family. The water crow sat there on the rock amid the torrent each day. It was the first time I prayed Lord Shiva to perform a miracle and do not withdraw this creation from the village too soon. The Lord, anyway, has an adornment of a magnificent snake coiled around his neck. After days of lying unconscious the man was brought back to life, to the disappointment of many. In the distant mountain folds his head can still be seen rising up and down as he comes down to the river carrying his catch. The water crow still sits there on the rock in the stream and gets its snacks.

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this poem.

 

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 can develop and build on it, till it becomes a fine musical video production, to help our little learners, and their teachers.

You Tube Link: Will soon appear in Bloom Books Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos .

 

First Published: 15th March 2011

Last Edited…………: 14 April 2015

__________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
__________________________________________

Picture Credits:

01. Portrait Of William Wordsworth By Friedrich Bruckmann.
02. Dove Cottage in Grasmere Once Home To Poet By Strobilomyces.
03. Grasmere Village With Dove Cottage By Val Vannet.
04. Waterfall And Stone Hut By Andy Davidson.
05. He Was A Traveller Then Upon The Moor By Unknown.
06. Sudden Appearance Of A Ghost Of A Man Here By David Anstiss.
07. The Gardens Landscaped By The Poet In Rydal Mount PD By Cmyk.
08. Pond On The Moor Which The Poet Frequented By David Kitching.
09. Marshes And Bogs: Breeding Grounds For Leeches By Martin J. Heade.
10. Beauty Spots Of Nature By Ivan Shishkin.
11. 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.

11. 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

Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum

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Bloom Books Trivandrum, Poetry Appreciations, English Literature, English Songs, Free Student Notes, Poem Reviews, Poetry, P S Remesh Chandran, Resolution And Independence, Poetry Reviews, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, The Leech-Gatherer, William Wordsworth.

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Identifier: SBT-AE-004. The Leech Gatherer. William Wordworth Poem. Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Editor: P S Remesh Chandran

002. Sophist. A Poem By P S Remesh Chandran

002.

Sophist. A Poem By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 2 Sep 2010. Short URL http://nut.bz/oth.p1gi/ First Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2010/09/sophist-poem-by-psremesh-chandran.html

 

The ancient Sophist saints in Greece were exceptionally clever with the use of their tongues. Don’t play with them- they can bind us cunningly with their tongues. And don’t corner them- we will never forget what hit us. Here in this poem, one sophist saint is tried in Court for crime when Judges get stung. Classical sophists were well-versed in paradoxes, understanding the meaning of which won’t be easy. So, here, the court had to let him go free.

A poem with a Greek theme, praising the sophists’ skill in paradoxes.

 

Words are what convey human thoughts to others, and unless they are sharpened and used as weapons, mankind won’t survive, for man has no other armour than words to defend himself against other human beings. A sharper precise word, sometimes spoken loud, may act like weapon and save one’s life. In times of crises, faculties with words come naturally to man: it is so, because anti-survival instincts also are inborn in man; it’s a natural safeguard against self-destruction. No other creatures in the world have so much self-destructing traits in them as man. Saints, scholars and sophists are needed by mankind for safe-guarding against its own anti-survival instincts.

SOPHIST

A Poem By P S Remesh Chandran

 

A sophist saint in ancient Grecian land
Said whatever he said was a falsity,

Was asked to state anything before he died,
When once he’d committed an act of crime.

He would be hanged, if tell the truth he did;
And would be beheaded, if he told untruth.

Being always prepared for th’unexpected,
That to be beheaded was he, stated he.

If he was executed cutting throat,
Then that would prove that what he’d told was truth,

For which the sentence had to be hanging him,
Thereby to prove that he had told untruth,

For which again to be cut the head apart,
Or if to be hanged; is this a paradox?

So thinking such and such the Judges swoon’d,
And asked the saint to step out from the Court.

Thus neither to be beheaded or be hanged,
He roamed the country side and forest land.

A magpie on the gallows, always swift to fly away.

 

01. A magpie on the gallows.

Sophists were learnèd saints who lived among ancient Greeks and Romans. They were well-versed in paradoxes. A paradox is a statement which appears to be false, but which is true. One sophist once said: ‘Whatever I say is false.’ What is the true meaning of this phrase- is he a regular teller of lies or truth? If that statement is true, then he must be a regular teller of untruth. But what if that statement also is false? Then the meaning would be in the negative, meaning he would tell truth too occasionally. That is the skill of a sophist in dealing cleverly with words and escaping unscathed on occasions when faced with danger.

Sophists are sophistications in verbal combats, personified in human form.

 

Sophists can say tricky things, understanding the meaning of which wouldn’t be easy. Trying to understand the true meaning of their words would make our heads spin. That is why, in history, we see people keeping themselves at a distance from sophists, for fear of being outsmarted and also out of respect. Mathematics and Logic were developed remarkably well in ancient Greece. Analysis, logic and deduction were, and are, essentials to understanding the words of a Sophist. Sophists and their tricky sentences have always been a fascination for the world. They were sophistications of verbal combats personified in human form. In many lands they were known as Soofi Saints. We know Mulla Nazaruddeen was one among them. Such people who can soothe, please, entertain and terrorize the world through their words are what language, literature and society wants to have in plenty, but unfortunately is too short of.

He roamed the countryside and forest land.

 

02. He roamed the countryside and forest land.

Sophists are not a lost race. In all centuries and in all countries, they are there. Entertaining their people through wit and wisdom, encouraging them to laugh and learn through life, they live safe and secure among the intolerant and the jealous of their times, inspiring societies, villages, towns and nations with their words and lives. A person recently, in the same place where the Portuguese Captain Vasco da Gama landed in India and thereby opened the oceans of the Orient to European trade, thought that enough respect and reverence were not being given to the hundreds and hundreds of Washing Stones situated at that famous Kozhikkode beach. After centuries of continuous service, he saw, they were being neglected by people, without respecting their good service. So, he organized a large public meeting and a parade, to honour the centuries-long services of these washing stones. Thousands of people took part in that meeting and the parade, and paid tributes to the meritorious services of those washing stones. His name was late Mr. Raama Daasan Vaidyan- the same person who delighted and enlightened people through half-crazy but thoughtful acts, including the starting of a Coconut Climbing Training College. In every society, if we look, we can see sophists still in vigorous action, in the east, as well as in the west.

First Published: 02 September 2010
Last Edited……: 26 September 2015

___________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
___________________________________________

Picture Credits:

 

01. A Magpie on the Gallows 1568 By Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
02. He roamed the countryside and forest land By Andrew Smith.

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

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this poem.

 

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this poem which will soon be released and link posted here in the next edit.

You Tube Link: Visit Bloom Books Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos

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.

03. 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

Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum

Tags

Bloom Books Trivandrum, English Literature, English Poems, Greek Saints, Indian Poems, P S Remesh Chandran, Poems, Poems With Greek Themes, Poetry, Poetry Appreciations, Poetry Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Soofi Saints And Scholars, Sophist

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Identifier: SBT-AE-002. Sophist. P S Remesh Chandran Poem.Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

Editor: P S Remesh Chandran

 

001. Solitude. Alexander Pope Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

001.

Solitude. Alexander Pope Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 7th Mar 2011. Short URL http://nut.bz/281k669t/ First Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry. Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2011/11/01.html

Alexander Pope was born a Catholic in Protestant England, was forbidden to live in London City and was liable to pay a double taxation. Moreover, he was suffering from a series of diseases. ‘To combat these handicaps’, he possessed more than the courage of a lion. His poems were acrimonious attacks on society, and in a few cases they were against authority. He mentioned names in his poems, leaving dashes in places, which his contemporaries happily filled in to the embarrassment of adversaries.

Satisfaction, self-sufficiency and piety are the characteristics of a happy life.

 

01. Portrait of Alexander Pope.

‘Ode On Solitude’ which was alternately titled ‘The Quiet Life’ was written by Alexander Pope to celebrate the virtues of a happy and satisfied life. In this poem, he discusses the characteristics of a happy life which are satisfaction, self-sufficiency and piety. Man was the fittest subject for his poetry. In an imaginative treatment, he illuminates the knowledge about man, in relation to individuals, society and the Universe. He once said: The proper study of mankind is man. To him belongs the greatest number of quotations in the English language. Essay On Man, Essay On Criticism, The Rape Of The Lock, and The Temple Of Fame are the most famous of his works. They are very long poems, but Ode On Solitude is a short poem. Even though it is very short, it conveys to mankind the full philosophy of how to live contented. We cannot search for a happy man in this world because he is a very rare specimen to find, but can certainly identify one by tracing the characteristics of a happy life back to him.

Be happy to breathe one’s native air in his own ground.

 

02. Happy to breathe his native air in his own ground.

Everyone knows that he who goes after increasing the area of land in his possession by encroaching into his neighbor’s property will land in trouble, and lose the quietness and happiness of his life. The happy man is satisfied with what he is having at present. He is not interested in increasing his landed properties. His wish and care are bound within the few acres of land given to him by his ancestors. These few paternal acres are enough for him. In the old England, whoever wanted more prosperity than what his natives had, went to France and made money. At one time, it was even joked that whoever vanished from Dover in search of a job would certainly make his appearance soon in Calais, the counterpart town on the French coast across the Channel. But the happy man wishes not to go abroad to France or anywhere else to make money or to enjoy life as others of his times did. He is content to breathe his native air in his own ground. Thus satisfaction is characteristic of a quiet, happy life.

He who watches the passing of time without anxiety is happy.

 

03. A day’s labour blesses us with a night’s sleep.

Dependence leads to bondage and bondage deprives man of his freedom. With the loss of freedom, the quietness and happiness in man’s life is lost. Therefore the happy man would be self-sufficient also. He would not depend on others for food, clothes or drinks. His herds would be supplying him with milk and his flocks of black sheep would be supplying him with wool for making his attire. He would be winning his bread by cultivating his own fields. And he would have planted enough number of trees in his homestead which would yield him cool shade in summer and enough firewood to burn in winter. Thus self-sufficiency is another characteristic of a happy life.

Time passes as if a sledge is sliding over the snow.

 

Pope Solitude 04 Herds and woods for milk and firewood By Rvgeest04. Herds and woods for milk and fire.

If somebody can watch without anxiety the passing of time, then he is a blessèd person indeed. Hours, days and years slide soft away as if a sledge is sliding over the snow. Time progresses in a straight line and no point in it will ever be repeated. The feelings and passions attached to a particular moment in life can never be enjoyed anymore. Right actions at the tiny moments constitute what is happiness in life. All our actions of yester years become our past and what we plan and intend to do in coming years become our future. There is no history without actions. Thus righteousness also is a determinant of the happiness of a person’s life and history. Piety or unchanging belief also is a faculty desirable, which the happy man would be in possession of in plenty. He regrets not a moment in his life, and therefore, has no anxiety in the passing of time. Therefore he can unconcernedly observe the passing of time, in health of body and peace of mind. His is the perfect attitude towards Time.

Withdraw stealthily from the world: Let not even a stone tell where one lies.

 

Pope Solitude 05 Who can unconcernedly find time passing away By Ian Paterson05. Who can unconcernedly watch time passing away.

The nights of the happy man would be spent on sleeping sound. His daytime activities do not leave room for horror-filled dreams during nights. His day time would be devoted to a recreation-like studying, which is everyone’s dream. It must be remembered here that not all are blessèd with a successful books-publishing career and heavy royalties from published books as the poet. But a thirty percent book reading, ten percent life experience and the rest sixty percent travel would make any man perfect. Study and ease, together mixed, is a sweet recreation, which is the poet’s formula for life. The happy man’s innocence, his perfection and his meditative traits make him pleasing to the world.

Books are real monuments for a poet, taking him to eternity.

 

Pope Solitude 06 Books are real monuments for a poet Dunciad Book II Illustration 1760 Artist F. Hayman Engraver C. Grignion06. Books are real monuments for a poet.

Like a truly happy man, the poet wishes to live unseen and unknown like a nonentity, and die unlamented. He wishes to withdraw stealthily from this world and pleads that not a stone be placed over his grave to tell the world where he lies. He wishes perfect, undisturbed Solitude. Conversely, this poem is the real epitaph for this poet. It teaches the world lessons.

Brilliant success and sweet revenge of a poet.

 

Pope Solitude 07 Alexander Pope's villa in Twickenham on the Thames 1759 By Samuel Scott07. Alexander Pope’s villa in Twickenham on the Thames.

For people who idealize perfect life, especially for poets, it would be impossible to achieve success in normal circumstances. So it would be interesting to note how this poet, hunted by his society, took his sweet revenge on those who excluded him and his people from London’s social and literary circles. Pope considered thousands of lines in Shakespeare’s works not original, and contaminated by stage actors’ speeches to please and thrill audience. So, he completely edited and recast them in clean poetic form and published a Regularized New Edition of Shakespeare in 1725. He translated Odyssey as well. These, and his major works in later years, gained him universal fame, were translated into many languages including German, and caused him to be considered as a philosopher. But the epic feat of this unmarried poet was done in the very early years of his literary career. Like Keats, Pope was an admirer of Greek Poetry from his boyhood. His dream was, translating the Iliad into English, which he did in six books during the six years from 1715. Even the severe Samuel Johnson called it ‘a performance beyond age and nation’. Coming from Johnson, it was indeed praise. Publication of this monumental work brought him instant fame in England and abroad and also a fortune for his wallet. With this immense wealth, the poet bought him a home in Twickenham on the Thames which he decorated with precious stones and intricate mirror arrangements. He made the subterranean rooms resound with the pleasant noise of an underground stream. Because mermaids could not be purchased, he did not equip one.

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this poem.

 

Pope Solitude 08 Solitude Video Title By Bloom Books Channel08. Solitude Of Quiet Life Video Title. http://youtu.be/L66GcSKH6j8

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 can develop and build on it, till it becomes a fine musical video production, to help our little learners, and their teachers.

You Tube Link: http://youtu.be/L66GcSKH6j8

First Published : 07 March 2011

Last Edited: 25 September 2015

___________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
___________________________________________

Picture Credits:

01. Portrait of Alexander Pope 1727. By Michael Dahl.
02. Happy to breathe his native air in his own ground. By Robert.
03. A day’s labour blesses us with a night’s sleep 1887. By Изображён сенокос и косцы.
04. Herds and woods for milk and firewood. By Rvgeest.
05. Who can unconcernedly find time passing away. By Ian Paterson.
06. Books real monuments for a poet. Dunciad Book II Illustration 1760. Artist F.Hayman, Engraver C.Grignion.
07. Alexander Pope’s villa in Twickenham on the Thames 1759. By Samuel Scott.
08. Solitude Of Quiet Life Video Title. By Bloom Books Channel.

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

About the author and accessing his other literary works.

 

Pope Solitude 09 Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri ArchivesEditor 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.

09. 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

Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum

Tags

Alexander Pope, Appreciations, Bloom Books Trivandrum, British Poets, English Poets, English Songs, Essays, Free Student Notes, Ode On Solitude, Poetry Appreciations, Poem Reviews, P S Remesh Chandran, Quiet Life, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Solitude.

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External link to this article: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2011/11/01.html

 

DOWNLOAD THIS ARTICLE FREE AS PDF: Visit the Downloads Section of Sahyadri Books Trivandrum at http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/

Identifier: SBT-AE-001. Solitude. Alexander Pope Poem. Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Editor: P S Remesh Chandran

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