I am not a fan of poetry, as I am of elegant prose. Maybe one of the reasons is that I dont understand poetry and it just flies miles above my head, effecting no change in my brain neuron structure. Even the famous, “and miles to go before I sleep” poetry was just a common thing for me. The thing about that poetry by Robert frost is that, since it was part of school curriculum, we were asked to write meaning of that poetry.
Well, to me it sounded like that Robert Frost just came up with this poetry, with no special meaning attached to it. For me it was like, he was going somewhere, looked at the forest, and he had to go, and he thought up a poem to say that. Well, now that wouldnt have scored me much marks, so I went all the way detailing, how in life, we dont have time to stop as we all have promises to keep. That male “cow dung” I put down on the exam paper, got me some marks indeed.
Maybe I also am not moved by poetry that much, because I too can come up with “standard” poems. I can create poetry, and that too rhyming. This is not just restricted to english, but I can make them in hindi too. For example, I was chatting with my wife today and we were discussing doha’s by some bhakti movement poets and also some koans. She said she had a doha written in a piece of paper in her purse, and warned me of the grave consequence, if I took any money from her purse, and I came up with this poem…
kaajal ko kyon chahiye aur kaalimaa
aur ambar ko kyon aur neelima
sooraj ko kyon chahiye aur laalimaaa
aur mujhe kyon tera paisa, meri ammaaa
Ok, maybe that was an awful poem, but you need to give me points for rhyming. But then again I can work on it and bring it upto the standard poetic level. Then the critics can write a lot of things about it and attach several meanings to it.
But then on the other hand there are some poems, not many of them, but which bowls me over. Thanks to Dakshin hindi prachaar sabha, I had an early exposure to Kabir das, sur das and other bhakti-movement poets. And their poetry were just leagues apart. For example Kabir das says,
Jaise til mein tael hai, Jyon chakmak mein aag
Tera saayee tujh mein hai, Tu jaag sakey to jaag
Soor das is not much behind the quality in dohas,
“Maati kahe kumhaar se, tu kyon rondhe mohey.
Ek din aisa aayega, mein rondhoongi tohey.”
After digging thorough the purse of my better half, I found some money (its mine, my dear) and this doha, again I believe from Kabir das…
Dheere dheere rey manah, dheere sub kuch hoye
Maali seenche sau ghara, ritu aaye phal hoye