Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma | 14 Dec 2021, 4:24pm


Origins and evolution of poetics the World Over


Although poetry appeared in many countries of the world from times immemorial, it was only in India that an enquiry started on the questions as to what is poetry, how it could be treated, and why it should be written. In the wake of this enquiry, a large body of scientific knowledge regarding the mechanics of poetry and its purpose developed and began expanding through the centuries. We have a plethora of evidence about this in the Vedic literature, Ramyana and Mahabharata. I don't wish to go into all that here. I shall only give one instance from Mahabharata (chapter 207 of Rajya lambha parva) Narada is described as "Paribhushaitaa vaachaam varnatah sarvatorthatah". It means Narada is also a poet. In those days, evidently, according to the scientists of poetry, a poet is one who adorned the word letter-wise and meaning-wise (i.e. word-beauty and sense-beauty). These words remind us of the great Bhamaha of the later period and his theory of Alankara. Those books of poetics are not available to us today. However from the Natyasastra of Bharata onwards, all the literature on poetics in not only available but also remains intact with a tradition of being read by scholars and taught to the students of literature (in Sanskrit). 

 The scientific knowledge that developed in this country on the dialectics of poetry, falls into 6 outstanding schools. 

 1.The Rasa theory of Bharatha, 

 2.The Alankara theory of Bhamaha, 

 3.The Riti theory of Vamana, 

 4.The Dwani theory of(otherwise called Chamatkaar).Jagannatha who said that last word in poetics says "putras te jataha dhanam te dassyaami iti vaakyaartha dhijanyasya aahlaadasya na lokottaravatvam.ataha na tasmin vaakye kaavyatva prasaktihi." This means sentences like 'son is born to your' ' I am giving you money' though produce immense pleasure, have no poetry in them. Because, they do not produce that uncommon pleasure which is not the same as the pleasure derived from the ordinary worldly experience. The American poet and Harvard professor Archibald Macleish says: ' words-in-the-poem? they seem to have, what I can only call, mere weight than the same words have when we run across them in ordinary coversation, or on the page of a newspaper.' 


 Long after in Greece: 

 A.B. Keith in his history of Sanskrit Literature holds the view that Bharata?s times was before Bhasa. Bhasa is held to be a few centuries earlier than Kalidasa who is assigned 2nd century B.C. Under these circumstances it seems reasonable to infer that Bharata must have lived a few centuries before Aristotle who belongs to 4th century B.C. I am not inclined to rely on the other view, which places Bhasa before Bharata,since it is based only on the technical aspects of the plays ascribed to Bhasa,whose authorship is not free from controversy. It is also necessary to note that research scholar's have considered on sufficient evidence that the bulk of Natya Sastra of Bharata is only a compilation of portions from the earlier texts on the subject. This pushes the date of literature on poetics in India far earlier than either Aristotle, or Plato or Socrates. 

 In the West, Aristotle's poetics is the only book available on the subject in the past. It contains 26 small chapters. Aristotle being a genius, there are instances in the treatise when his mind touches the fringes of profound thought. However his statements are not satisfactory to the mind trained in the Indian Poetics. He says "poet is a maker of fables". What he means by poetry is simply fiction. The bulk of his work deals with dramaturgy. There is one important thing to note in the 25th chapter, which is absent in our works of poetics: it is on the principles of literary criticism. Aristotle generally agrees with Indian poeticians on the question of what constitutes the soul of poetry? In the 22nd chapter, " The greatest distinction is to be metaphorical: for, it is the only one that demands originality and is a sign of genius," he said. 


 Then in Arabia: 


 In the year 908 Ibn-ul-Mumtaz in Arabia wrote a book discussing on what makes poetry. He was a poet and a scholar. He ruled as Khalif for one day Prof: Najibullah in his history of Islamic Literature called this work the book of Rehtorics: but Sir Hamilton Gibb in his History of Arabic Literature described it as a book of poetics. In the words of Najibullah, the book sums up saying, the "real eloquence consists of the expression of ideas with the fewest words." There is a chapter in the book classifying some figures of speech. Then Qudama in the 10th century A.D. and then Abu hilal-al Askari in the 11th centrury, wrote works on the subject. Out of the two, Askari is important. He says there is nothing new in a poem: the difference between poet and poet is only in the manner of making the poem, which alone constitutes the cause of the individuality of each poem or each poet. One of the theories of the Indian poetics holds the same view. "taa eva pada vinyaasaah taa evaartha vibhutayaha,tathaapi nootnam bhavati kaavyam grathana kausalaat." The same words, the same meanings, yet a poem becomes new due to the skill in making it. After the Greeks, in the world, the Arabs are great torchbearers of knowledge. 




 Bhamaha for the first time in our country separated the poetic language from the common language by his theory of Vakrokti. "Saishaa sarviwa vakroktihi anayaartho vibhavyate" said Bhamaha. Theory of vakrokti in fact owes its birth to Bhamaha. Kuntaka is perhaps only his commentator despite his original thinking and establishing vakrokti as a theory. Jagannatha's chamatkara form of the same theory, in the ultimate analysis. 

 Let us suppose there is no difference between the common language and language of poetry: then why should you call one a poet and not the other. The question naturally is, what is the differentiating characteristic here? Does this question arise or not? In fact there is considerable difference between the two kinds of language. In the language of the poet there is a commingling of strange meanings. It is to this that Valmiki referred to as "vichitraartha padam", in his Balakanda 4th sarga(275SL)without this element of strangeness called vaichitri,mere words and meanings, that is to say, the ordinary language, can never become poetry. Then, what is this vaichitri? (Otherwise called chamatkaar). Jagannatha who said the last word in Poetics says, "putras te jataha dhanam te daasayaami iti vaakyaartha dhijanyasya aahlaadasya na lokottaratvam. Ataha na tasmin vaakye kaavyatva prasaktihi". This means sentences like 'son is born',' I am giving you money', though produce immense pleasure, have no poetry in them. Because, they do not produce that uncommon pleasure which is not the same as the pleasure derived from the ordinary worldly experience. The American poet and Harvard Professor Archibald Macleish says: ' words-in-the poem? they seem to have, what I can only call, mere weight than the same words have when we run across them in ordinary conversation, or on the pages of a newspaper'. 


The difference between the two languages: 

Then where lies poetry? Jagannatha says: it is in "chamatkaara janaka bhaavanaa vishayaartha pratipaadaka shabdaatwam". This means it is in that word which makes us think and by such thinking reveals a certain skill or poetic cunning called "chamatkaar" which in its turn leads to the experience of an intellectual pleasure: it is in that word, lies poetry. 

Even before Jagannatha,kuntaka in his "vakrokti jeevita" said of poetry "sabdaarthou sahitou vakra kavivyaapaara saalini". The word that everybody uses is 'vakrokti'(the skilled word),That is why he said "Mahaakavi prabandhaanaam sarveshaam asti vkrataa" What is this vakrataa(his skill) 'prasiddhaabhidadhaana vyathirekini vichitraivaabhidhaa',he explained. The same words well known in the common parlance joined in a certain skillful combination to produce a certain surprising strangeness about them, become vakrokti. After this skilled conbination, the same words behave contrary to the principles of their normal conduct, which they show in the course of the day-to-day usage. This is 'Vaichitri' or 'chamatkaar'.Archibald Macleish observes in the same context, "words as sounds are malleable and may be made to multiply their meaning by the management of their shapes and movements in the ear." When Vamana said "visishtaa padarachanaa rithihi",I believe,he meant the same thing. In the ordinary parlance, as there is neither the chamatkaar of Jagannatha nor the management of "shapes and movements" of Macleish nor "visistha padarachana" of Vamana,it is not poetry. 


Word is the Basis of Poetry: 

Though poetry is above the ordinary words and meanings (i.e. the common language),it should be noted that word forms its basis, Therefore Jagannatha said ?Ramaneeyartha pratipaadaka shabdaha kaavyam?(That word which unfolds beautiful meaning is poetry)and then he proceeded to establish it with formidable logic. ?sabdaarthayugalam na kaavya sabda vaachayam..sabda viseshasya eva kaavya padaartharthavam?,(it is not both the words and meanings: but it is only the special word that can be called poetry.).Graham Hough said the same: ?the medium of literature is verbal. Literature is made of words?. Look at the word of the French poet Mallarme, the high-priest of modern poetry,? poetry is not made with words-as-expressions-of-ideas, but with words themselves?. 

The power of the word: 


When it is concluded that the ?sabda visesha?i. e. The special word, is the basis of poetry, then a Himalayan weight of delving deep into the powers of the word descends on the shoulders of the poet (and the critic). It is here in his ?Symbolism? that Graham says ?Literature exploits other properties of words besides their referential ones; e.g, their capability of being organized into rhythmical groups, their auditory and muscular suggestions, their fortuitous kinships with other words. Latent and undeveloped in ordinary language, these qualities become decisive in literature?. From ancient days in our country all the scientists of poetry without exception have been investigating and meditating about the four forms of ?Vaak?(speech) called para,pasyanti,madhyamaa,vaikhari and the three powers of the sound(shabda)namely abhidha,lakshana,and vyanjana. This is an invariable chapter generally in every work of poetics. 

It is above all these levels, nevertheless, that lies the origin of poetry, ninety nine per cent of which is the look with which the poet sees objects or rather the vision of the poet. ? The perfect rose is only a running flame emerging and flowing off and never in any sense at rest static, finished.? A mind which could clothe in a handful words, the eternal fire of life burning in creation, can not be a mere scrap of paper. D.H.Lawrence has adorned the horizons of the 20 Th century with a new sun. What is noteworthy is that the red rose did not appear to him as a flower; he saw only the running flame. We think that the running flame falls from the branch; but where does it go? It appears in the branch; it is another flower to one who is not a seer; but to the seer, it is the same old flower reappearing. The Japanese poet of the 15th century, Arkikida Moritake had a similar vision; ?The fallen flower- I see returning to its branch! O! A butterfly! here the emphasis is not on the buttefly; it is on the fallen flower returning to its branch. 


?yo apaam pushpam vedaa pushpavaan bhavati?, is the word of an ancient Vedic seer. Whoever knows the flower of the water, is the possessor of the flower.) This has no literal meaning. The entire universe appeared as water to the ancient Indian seers. The lengthy hymn in the 29th anuvaka of the taittariya upanishat is:?Aapovaa idagm sarvam vishvaa bhootanyaapaha??All this is water-the entire creation-the living beings who have ?prana? the food that is ?anna?,the Chandas whcihh are the metres,the jyothis-chakra th celestial world , the Vedas, the gods-every thing is water. This very hymn, which is in literal language, is condensed by a seer into one word?apaam pushpam?. 


What appears to the physical eye is the flower, and what appears to the intellectual eye is the running flame. It is, perhaps this which Kant called ?the thing in itself?, in his critique of the pure reason. The poet expresses what the intellectual eye sees while the non-poet utters, what the physical eye sees. There is a subtle point here? the sage also has the intellectual eye in common with the poet; but that is up to the vision only. From that point they go their different ways. The sage conveys the vision in the ordinary language while the poet conveys it in a special language, which is his distinction. The poet exploits the uncommon powers of the word. It is perhaps for this reason that in a long list of priorities, the Veda places the poet a step higher than the sage. In the 12th anuvaka of Taittariya Upanishat, it is said?Bramhaa devaanaam,padaveeh kaveenaam,rishir vipraanaam,mahisho mriganaam,syeno gridhraanaam?.?. The greatest among gods is bramha, among poets the padaveeh. Among Brahmans the rishi,among animals the buffalo, among the birds the falcon and so on. To place the sage on a par with the poet would be a commonplace statement. But to place the poet above the sate and below only the gods is a statement of Vedic vision. Therefore one who wants to emerge as a poet has to become a sage first. 


Since poetry begins from the very ?look? of the poet, he must commence his lessons of poetry with cultivation of this ?look?, if he has not received it by birth. 


At a times a sage also speaks like a poet, Schopenhauer the German philosopher said, looking at the pillar carrying the weight of the roof of a temple,? this column is the symbol of the will to work. I am here to hold up this roof, murmurs this column ever struggling with the forces of gravitation?. Many people saw the column ?but with their two eyes, Schopebnhauer saw it with his third eye; and it looked as the ?symbol of the will to work?. That is its metaphysical personality. 


Hemachandra said centuries ago, in his ?Kaavyaanusaasana? ?Naanrishih kavi rityuktham rishicha kila darsanaat,vichitra bhaava dharmaamscha tatva prakhyaacha darsanam?. This means one who is not a sage cannot be a poet. Then how to become a sage? By vision. Then what is vision? It is the ability to see the metaphysical content of the subject. Therefore you have to become a sage to become a poet. You cannot escape this disaster even by fleeing to the countries of the west. Because, even there the great poet Rimbaud declares ? I want to be a poet and I am working to make myself a seer. The poet makes himself a seer by a long prodigious and rational disordering of the senses; there is unspeakable torture during which he becomes the great patient, the great criminal and the great learned one among men; for he arrives at the unknown?. 


It brings to our mind at once the life of Valmiki. One has to pass through all these tortures; there is no escape. See how wonderfully Rimbaud tells us this great truth ?so much the worse for the wood, to find itself a violin?. After all a mere wood before it becomes a fiddle and begins to emit melodies, what terrible experiences it has to pass through at the hands of the carpenters tool; for poet life itself is the carpenters tool. 


                                                                                                            -Seshendra Sharma 



                              (From Seshendra Sharmas poets note book; The Arc of blood) 






Flowers & Silences

Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma | 14 Dec 2021, 3:58pm

Flowers and Silences

The dim darkness-the diffused light-dimness of one merging into the other-imparting more length to the long trees that are standing like stretched out shadows wearing stars in their hair-

silence is imparting more depth to the darkness

in this advaita where darkness is merged into silence, my mind wakes up, now not only sound but even a ray of light is a violent disturbance to the profoundness of peace-

in such moments deep truths unveil themselves-now I realize it is not sound but in silence melody lives-

I am born out of flowers and silences- while passing my hand brushed against a flower,

I asked 'are you bruised? ‘‘Me or you' smiling, the flower questioned back-

the heart of my pen broke and split blood; - I do not know which paper can bear this pen-

In the gigantic silences of forests, which touch the blue skies, the carpenter bird pecks at the trunks of great trees which echo, far reaching sounds-what can he do among the tiny crotons?

I ate days like fruits-now I eat drops of tears like grapes-

frightened by the sun took refuge under shades-

sitting on the pavement eating dreams from eyes like ice cream with spoons-

measuring my life with dark evenings- I distributed my wealth once with meters,

now I scatter with handfuls my future letting it fly in all directions-

I washed my heart in tears and dried it over poetry-

walked past wearing people on my body like shawls-

in the assemblies of flames; in countries abroad I raised my gypsy voice and sang mixing earth and sky-

this country is the graveyard of my genius-

however fast I walk the distance remains the same.

This land is thirsty for my blood,

it is snoring in the little shades of pigmy trees-

I picked my pen and dipped it in the sun to write a summer song for my nation-



- Seshendra Sharma alt



Poetry : An Odyssey

Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma | 6 May 2020, 10:04am

I am a victim of beauty! It chases me like a hunter chases the wild animal in a forest. It is not that it finds me on its own: I always walk into its trap willingly like a fool. Because life the catalyst in life’s milieu incites me to search for something that I do not know, in every created object. Usually when my vision sights something, I experience a strange pleasure not comparable to any pleasure familiar to all people. I cannot face this pleasure and I feel at once vanquished before it. It is such a total surrender to it, that it is equal to instantaneous death. Sometime later I come out of it limping, due to the unremitting monster of life knocking at the door of my consciousness. Then perhaps I am said to be living; although I feel I was pulled out of that state of being like the dentist pull out the tooth. I am an addict of this killer pleasure and my so-called life is but a string of alternating moments of living and dying.

Why do I search for such pleasure so obstinately and why do I die in the process and why does it not deter me from the search. It is strange but true. May be it happens to may other people too, but their number in the world is I suppose infinitesimally small. Can you explain the experience of this pleasure? No. Sometimes I doubt whether it is pleasure at all, because even deep sorrow either mine or more so of the other person, catches me in the grip of a similar state of mind. You melt now into some primordial liquids and flow away, so to say. It maybe rather like an intense involvement with something. It is more poignant when that something is other than your subjective-self. Perhaps Buddha passed through this moment when he saw an old and shriveled man and a dead body on the street and plummeted into a lightening decision to leave his wife, his child and his kingdom, to go and melt away like a granule of salt in the vast ocean of humanity.

Or probably when he was crucified and was about to give up his ghost, Jesus also, must have had an identical experience and cried out lifting his face towards heavens: “Oh Father forgive them for they know not what they do”- one thing is certain this experience is inexplicable like the lines of Paul Rox, “Like a simple man scattering himself in flute, the shepherd descends the hill’s adolescence; his sheep following him with two wine branches for ears and bunches of grapes for rudders, his sheep follow him walking vines”.

Or like Paul Valery’s lines “ O supple wooden flesh you must twist and untwist yourself, complain without breaking and give the winds the voice they look for in disorder.” These lines are only felt, involved in and enjoyed in the metaphysical sense of the term. That is why still in the process you seem to be groping in the disorder of creation to find the light of order. You are deeply absorbed but not fulfilled; that is why you keep going to it repeatedly.

The architecture of clouds on the treetops, on the housetops or the rains of falling leaves in the autumn, may not mean anything to the common eye. For they have no geometrical or symmetric or any deliberated and calibrated shapes or forms. But the searching eye is captured by them for endless duration of time. They are irresistibly absorbing phenomena leading the viewer to an absolute state of oblivion, where his being is virtually abolished.

Universe, which is a constant flux of occurrences of being and becoming, falls in the ultimate analysis into two parts, the subject and the object. “I” the subject views the Object, the surrounding universe which is a bewildering sight. This is the reason why in the eyes of the child who comes out of the womb and see’s the world for the first time, you find those bewildering looks of search in strange things. Although the child grows and gets familiar with the world and the millions of objects of creation, gathering experience as adult, the mystery of creation still persists even if the child grows leaping from the known to the unknown. It is this everlasting unknonwness always left over at the end of the quest that keeps the wayfarer on the path, eternally trecking, deeply involved in the quest of the unknown. Perhaps it is this unknown that is felt by the searcher as beauty, tantalizing him endlessly. It is a feeling of something touching his senses and eluding the grip of his faculty of cognition. It is always doubtful whether he captured it at all.

He finds it here he finds it there, he finds it everywhere, in the sunsets, in the sunrises, in the clouds, in the breeze, in thebirds, in the flowers, in the crowds, in the solitudes, in the silences and so on. And yet his thirst for it is unquenched and his search remains and adventure or a real Odyssey. It is this grange tantalizing beauty that gives sometimes the seeker, the adventurer the rare flash of what may be the truth, that this baffling phenomenon called creation is perhaps not a conglomeration of many different objects but is only one object manifesting in myriads of forms. Gaudapaada was one such adventurer who said in his Advaita Karikaas “MAYAAMAATRA MIDAM DWAITAM, ADVAITAM PARAMAARTHATHAH”(In the quest, all that you see as several, is illusion, but actually it is only one) . It is also possible that another seeker’s experience might give him a different flash of the truth; it is a complex problem of an intellectual hid-and-seek. But the puzzle has been never solved eve since the dawn of mind on this planet though some have laid claims for conclusive solutions. So fulfillment on this subject remains only a utopian dream. At any rate that is my experience of ‘beauty’ at this point of my life, which is long enough for such an expedition. I always felt that everything hurts me and thee is nothing to cajole me. This is the common state or fate of a seeker. But then if you do not seek anything and if you do not sharpen your eyes with curiosity, if you lull you mind into sleep by gorging on only familiarities of life, you are one of the creatures of creation in the usual sense of the term i.e. biped-One word of caution- here the word beauty should not be taken in the commonplace sense of the term. It is infact the philosophical quintessence of the intense quest of the unusually evolved men who are after something yet unknown.

It is in this state of being that these strange men see objects of creation differently and when they speak of what they see we feel it strange and interesting. This is what Rudrataa really means in his shloka defining the genesis of genius.
This infact is the native place of the symbols, the metaphors, and images.

Vaamana dwelt, much earlier, on this point in similar terms
“Arthasya darshanam drishtihi samaadhi karanatwaath
samadhih”Awahitam hi chittam arthaan pashyateethyuktham purasthaath”.
(chithiika agrya mavadhaanam)

Well this is the philosophical foundation of the poet who is the seeker of order in disorder and called a POET in common parlance. I would now give a few illustrations of my own experience though I have desisted from doing so all my life. It is rather difficult to ruminate on hazy memories of the dizzy-bygone experiences.

Once I was traveling by car. We were passing through forest which was also a hilly track, the orb of sun slipped into the horizon, a thin layer of light and darkness spread over the earth and the car was running fast. Sometime later something in me forced me to shout ‘stop the car’. The car-stopped and I came out. It was a strange, mysterious experience devouring me. Every thing was still, theforest, the hills, the birds, all, all-living and non-living beings. In the clear articulating dark blue sky a star appeared as if thrown up by the west from somewhere. It was staring at me. Very soft and cool layers of breeze were wafting from the forest, which looked like a silent crowd of trees running at me and string at me as a strange creature. The profoundness of the silence the real mischief maker, the hero of the evening’expidition, threw a shroud of mystery into a tree and took me away into unknown realms of existence when I felt like changing myself into a tree and grow branches to grab the totality of the feeling of the forest. Then probably the voice of my interior began to speak. Instantly I rushed to the car, took my ever-ready notebook and pen and recorded the speech in human tomes. They are like this:

“Chased away by the human bazaars/silence fled into the hills/
Time flows like water slipping out of the fingers/Seasons like
Spiders weave lines in the valleys of the eyes/drop by drop when I sip the silence of the hills/I cannot even excuse my own heart/which pulsates disturbing beats in my breast/
I measure the forest with the song of a bird or with the melody of
A meandering brook/when the saffron flames run amuck like a
crowd of sanyasins in the forest/ I embrace the bodies of the trees
and listening to their painful heart-beats, I cry loudly-”
(‘Silences; From “The Burning Sun”)

Another time I was passing on my way to Kurnool from Hyderabad(towns in Andhra Pradesh/India) . After passing a few villages and some village-like towns far flung from each other and tapering down as we advance, we were finally launched on a voyage of limitless arid land stretching from horizon to horizon. The sky furiously unleashing a downpour of ruthless sun; not a bird, not a living creature anywhere to be seen.

At an astronomical distance a little dot of tree could be seen as the symbol of stoic silence that stretched over miles and miles of distance. A half naked man holding a plough was seen moving slowly forward tilling the unyielding hard soil. He is the only living creature in the immense void encircled by the horizon. The trees, the birds, the winds, all seemed to have fled away leaving this hapless creature called tiller, alone. Again I had stop the car and come out, stand staring at him sinking into thought, leading to unfathomable abyss of the unknown. When the car honked the horn I came out of those primordial waters of sub-consciusness, like a frogman with the snails and pearls of the nether world. I transmuted my experienced silence into speech. Since I pass through, these experiences every now and then, I am wont to overlook noting them in words each time. In the present case, the lines are as follows:

“He who bears the plough/On his shoulders and earns his hunger/
Alone earns the right/To appease his hunger/
If the sorrow of the crops that grew this year/is not mitigated/
In the coming year/
Only fist bearing sickles will grow in the fields.”
(‘Flies’ From “The Burning Sun)

Once it so happened that my superior officer who was by nature arrogant and extremely conscious of his power of office unduly insulted me. We have many such lilliputs strutting in millions in our government bureaucracy. I was very upset, returned home and applied for some leave and left for Ooty-My abode of peace! And my Ashram! As the car was proceeding to the airport I saw on the way a woman barely clothed literally in rags, holding a shriveled up naked child and begging. My attention was at once arrested, stopped the car took a deep look at it, keeping a rupee in the palm of her stretched hand. Then I said:

“The child in the womb better it remains/in the womb itself
In our country/otherwise if it comes out and cries with hunger/
The people of this land will show the way to the footpaths/but not
To the fields”.

Then it began to revolve in my mind like a whirlpool-
Then came the words:
“Look! That child that descended to the earth holding heavens in
Both fists/is sleeping like a tear, on empty stomach. All the
Metropolises are standing by, hanging their heads in shame/O
Rose bush, don’t sing if you have any shame/vomit all those
Bulbuls from your throat/”

The car passed some more distance when I saw the monstrous structure of the Government Secretariat, in front of which on the roadside Gulmohar trees were in full bloom. It was spring; yet it looked to me like a diabolically wrong juxtaposition of two diametrically opposite things. Like the Greek Sybil all along the route, I was mumbling undecipherable speech. When I turned my head and saw the Secretariat I shouted:

“Now it is not even abuse-from head to foot my whole body is
Blowing dreadful hurricanes of blood and fire/
My hand raises to smash to smithereens that huge structure with
One stroke of my fist.. Exhausted I look at the trees pitiably and
And say:
“ I do not want poetry. I want a bomb crammed with a thousand
Earth quakes/
Seeing and breathing the carbon dioxide of this obnoxious
Civilization/why those trees bear flowers? /why don’t they bear
Bullets in their branches?
What do you find there, if you look at me like this? /
Alive I am mortal, dead I am immortal/…
O bird, do not sing your song here, fly away in search
Of your own green hills and forest/”
(From Seshendra’s modern Indian Epic “My country my people”)

A Poet can give any number of such experiences but here any more of them will be redundant. It is enough to saythat a poet is a picture of storms of colors, which give you luminous glimpses of his inner world. How many fascinating dreams. I dream often, how many visions of men and women of the earth, of the creation I get, how many ravishing desires infest my being to fashion and pattern the world at the point of WILL! How many impulses and instincts goad me and lead me to the fantastic articulation of speechless metaphors and dumb symbols helplessly swimming in the dormant waters of my consciousness. They all seem to be the natural citizens of the psychic realms of volcanic men like me, susceptible to sporadic paroxysms of expression.

Seshendra Sharma



The Burning Sun ( Prose Poem ) by Seshendra sharma

Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma | 26 Apr 2018, 11:20am

Seshendra : Visionary Poet of the Millennium



I am the drop of sweat, I am the sun

Rising from the hills of human sinews,

Hearts are my friends

I live in the city of sufferings

Although in my fist, I hold an ocean of history

I sculptured man silently –

Wings that carried birds

Did not bring them back;

I am drinking thick darkness

In the haunts of those forests

Which cry out in agony for the birds

That did not return;

Clutching at the garment woven of memories

I twine myself to the feet of my country.

Heads that were hanging to the trees

Smile as flowers today in the branches

Hearts that received the bullets

Ring in temples of our land like bells;

Blood of theirs nights squeezed and offered

By how many to bring forth this day;

They are hanging like icicles

On the ridges of our roofs;

Look, it is an iron fist I have;

I shall excavate the flame of light

From the rocks of time –

I will set fire to the sleep of resisting centuries –

To the rivers that run in passion after the sea

I cry halt, command them

To paint the colourless arid lands in green,

Invite back the smile which fled away

In terror from this land,

To the butterfly trudging hungrily for a flower

I shall give a garden –

Come children, eat

Bits of nights dipping them in moonlight,

I shall not allow the sun to cheat this sacred day;

If he wakes not on the horizon of this land

I shall tear my burning heart

And put it in its place

With the scarlet of my living flesh

Illuminate the earth

I am the drop of sweat, I am the sun

Rising from the hills of human sinews –

                                                                           - Seshendra Sharma                                                              http://seshendrasharma.weebly.com


-This is the 1st poem in Seshendra Sharma’s second anthology of prose poems titled “The Burning Sun “

- In his intro to The Burning Sun   Seshendra says there has been an uninterrupted undercurrent in his life as a poet , that is his life nerve and that has assumed total expression in this poem 



Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma | 26 Apr 2018, 10:37am
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