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Sunday, March 18, 2007

My favourite line in english poetry

"Love of poetry is first sign of spiritual life."- Aurbindo Ghosh.

When Aurbindo ghosh had quoted this sentence, I was not even born in this world. But really consider me as a unborn or dead without poetry. Poetry preserves the decay in the visitations of divinity in me. I am not a poet, but I am incomplete without it. Reading & Enjoying poems is one thing but remembering them for exam was another cold blooded task to me. I read many poems like "Twinkle Twinkle", "Jack and Jill", "Mary had a little lamb", "Baba black ship" etc from childhood but they were just a part of the boring eduction system, not me. They do not enlightened me with the beauty of the words and also I was little to understand them.

In class 2nd, my father taught me a 2 lines of a poem composed by eminent poet Shelly. That was something about west wind and seasons. I was highly impressed by sound of it and just found a taste of English poetry. I read and recite English poetry from my text books which charms me much but do not give satisfaction. In fact some poems just stuck up my lips due to some unknown or divine reason.

Starting from lines of Blake,
Tiger!tiger! burning bright,
In the forests of night.
These words left me with a magical touch of words.

I was much interested not in happy man's shirt but in reading poem alone:

For oft ,when on my couch i lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye,
Which is the bliss of solitude.

I was then romanticized by the Keats who describe the word beauty for me

'Beauty is Truth,Truth Beauty'-that is all
Ye know on earth,and all ye need to know.

When I was understanding both physical and intellectual world in teenage, I read Gray's lines as a optimist as well as pessimist:

Full may a gem of purest rays serene,
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full may a rose is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness in the desert air.

I was reading few poets like Tennyson and Wordsworth in high-school but Tennyson just touches my soul and feeling that Wordsworth cannot achieve with Lucy,

The old order changeth yielding place to new
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world
And God fulfils Himself in many ways.

Here comes a phase in my life when I face a world of grown-ups. I was  a bit of childish then but later became addicted to elegies and a constant search of mine identity began. I face ethical identity crisis about myself and material world. Every thing appear to be fallen apart by watching the brute reality of the society, religion and relations. It was like transition period for me. I was becoming humanist and thinking money as root cause of all problem.

The boast of heraldry,the pomp of power,
And all that beauty,all that wealth ever gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour;
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

This is the Thomas Gray's lines from Churchyard Elegy. That was the era of my wandering here and there in an unknown search. When I feel the problems of society, I found myself expressed in Matthew Arnold-
Living between two worlds,
The one dead,the other powerless to born.

These poems were showing my struggle within myself. I had to choose now between the work of art or work of technology as my career. I chooses technology as my career and poet inside me died out gradually. P.B. Shelly emerged as my favourite poet in this hour of darkness:

Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
Nor peace within nor calm around;
Nor that content, surpassing wealth,
The sage in meditation found,
And walk'd with inward glory crown'd;
Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure.
Others I see whom these surround—
Smiling they live, and call life pleasure:
To me that cup has been dealt in another measure!

I was devoid of academics or anything serious in life while doing graduation. One day, I found a rip page from poetry book in home and there was revival of poet inside me. It was like redemption,

Oh, lift me as a wave,a leaf,a cloud !
I fall upon the thorns of life ! I bleed !

And in the same poem the following stanza,

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Life comes in full circle with this discovery of 'west wind' poem. The last line of poem now inspires me and became mantra of my life. A new dawn of hope begins for me and metamorphosis of mine is complete. But I have still faith in the words of Goldsmith that once attracted me,
Ill fares the land to hasting ills a prey
Where wealth accumulates and men decay!

I am now in 3rd year of graduation and enjoys reading poetry. It has become now inseparable part of me. I can now proclaim that development in the character of man with the age is also affected by type of poetry an individual read.

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