Monday, September 23, 2019

Important poems by Indian Poets

I don't know politics but I know the names 
Of those in power, and can repeat them like 
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru. 
I amIndian, very brown, born inMalabar, 
I speak three languages, write in 
Two, dream in one. 
Don't write in English, they said, English is 
Not your mother-tongue. Why not leave 
Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins, 
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in 
Any language I like? The language I speak, 
Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses 
All mine, mine alone. 
It is half English, halfIndian, funny perhaps, but it is honest, 
It is as human as I am human, don't 
You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my 
Hopes, and it is useful to me as cawing 
Is to crows or roaring to the lions, it 
Is human speech, the speech of the mind that is 
Here and not there, a mind that sees and hears and 
Is aware. Not the deaf, blind speech 
Of trees in storm or of monsoon clouds or of rain or the 
Incoherent mutterings of the blazing 
Funeral pyre. I was child, and later they 
Told me I grew, for I became tall, my limbs 
Swelled and one or two places sprouted hair. 
WhenI asked for love, not knowing what else to ask 
For, he drew a youth of sixteen into the 
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me 
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten. 
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me. 
I shrank Pitifully. 
Then … I wore a shirt and my 
Brother's trousers, cut my hair short and ignored 
My womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl 
Be wife, they said. Be embroiderer, be cook, 
Be a quarreller with servants. Fit in. Oh, 
Belong, cried the categorizers. Don't sit 
On walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows. 
Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or, better 
Still, be Madhavikutty. It is time to 
Choose a name, a role. Don't play pretending games. 
Don't play at schizophrenia or be a 
Nympho. Don't cry embarrassingly loud when 
Jilted in love … I met a man, loved him. Call 
Him not by any name, he is every man 
Who wants. a woman, just as I am every 
Woman who seeks love. In him . . . the hungry haste 
Of rivers, in me . . . the oceans' tireless 
Waiting. Who are you, I ask each and everyone, 
The answer is, it is I. Anywhere and, 
Everywhere, I see the one who calls himself I 
In this world, he is tightly packed like the 
Sword in its sheath. It is I who drink lonely 
Drinks at twelve, midnight, in hotels of strange towns, 
It is I who laugh, it is I who make love 
And then, feel shame, it is I who lie dying 
With a rattle in my throat. I am sinner, 
I am saint. I am the beloved and the 
Betrayed. I have no joys that are not yours, no 
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.

by Kamala Das

Lightly, O lightly we bear her along, 
She sways like a flower in the wind of our song; 
She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream, 
She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream. 
Gaily, O gaily we glide and we sing, 
We bear her along like a pearl on a string. 

Softly, O softly we bear her along, 
She hangs like a star in the dew of our song; 
She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide, 
She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride. 
Lightly, O lightly we glide and we sing, 
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

by Sarojini Naidu

It takes much time to kill a tree, 

Not a simple jab of the knife 

Will do it. It has grown 
Slowly consuming the earth, 
Rising out of it, feeding 
Upon its crust, absorbing 
Years of sunlight, air, water, 
And out of its leperous hide 
Sprouting leaves. 

So hack and chop 
But this alone wont do it. 
Not so much pain will do it. 
The bleeding bark will heal 
And from close to the ground 
Will rise curled green twigs, 
Miniature boughs 
Which if unchecked will expand again 
To former size. 

The root is to be pulled out - 
Out of the anchoring earth; 
It is to be roped, tied, 
And pulled out - snapped out 
Or pulled out entirely, 
Out from the earth-cave, 
And the strength of the tree exposed, 
The source, white and wet, 
The most sensitive, hidden 
For years inside the earth. 

Then the matter 
Of scorching and choking 
In sun and air, 
Browning, hardening, 
Twisting, withering, 
And then it is done. 

by Gieve Patel

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Today's Question

Arrange the following words of Chomsky in chronological order in which they appeared: (i) Current issues in Linguistic Theory (ii) Syntactic...