Tag Archive: literature


Painting by Debra Hurd @ http://debrahurd.blogspot.com/

To
day I
have

bailed out

that
day

clouds held back your tears
thunder outcried you
lightning hit flashes
in your eyes
sky wore
colors
of your skin

brown
black
yellow
grey

Will you
not
today

come out
play with me
raise castles of wet clay

I
I am
drenched
in memories
of days
that never were.

Copyright, Tina Rathore

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Listen to Aram Saroyan’s Crickets

Aram Saroyan’s poetry may evade any poetry enthusiast reading for a coherent meaning in and between the lines. His one-line poems may seem outlandish and vague to many. When I first came across his oeuvre, I was stuck by the idea of communication through symbol; and they called it poetry.

Poetry, it is.

No matter how much we like to enjoy an art form without delving into its intricacies, It is true, that its impact grows manifold when we relate, understand and “lemon squeeze” it. We are constantly, consciously or unconsciously, on a look out for a meaning.

When I read Aram Saroyan’s poetry, I couldn’t put my mind to rest until I could decode the symbol, people call poetry. If coding decoding is poetry, as someone at wordpress.org would like to call “code is poetry” ( being technically challenged, I would refrain from commenting on the quote within the implications it is used at wp.org, allow me to take it vice versa), then the best way to enjoy it is to deconstruct the Derridian signifier-signified of the symbol. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring critical tenets to poetry, no matter how sacrilegious it may seem. Everything, afterall, is a quest for meaning.

Being an avid pessimist, I yearn for meaning in nullity; nihilism in reason. I guess that’s the reason why Saroyan’s poem (never mind if you think it isn’t one) Crickets drew me to its depths. A one-word poem running repeatedly until the end of the page, it runs beyond an ordinary understanding of a regular poem. If you read the poem, you are likely to shrug and conclude: this is nuisance! It doesn’t make sense.

I agree, it doesn’t. Yet, I insist it does.

The poem holds in itself a moment of epiphany. It occurs as a spark when you suddenly, for a fraction of second, pull down your hand-me-down glasses and see the world with your own vision. The recitation of the poem makes the experience unforgettable.

Crickets are the symbol of hope. They chirp monotonously after the rains, and even amidst the mundane ear itching sound, there is a message of rain. There is a meaning in recurrence, in monotonous chirping, in every chirp which may sound the same but is different. The rendition of Aram Saroyan’s Crickets is a reflection of that meaning. Every next word, even if it is the same, comes to life as an independent entity with its own meaning, as you hear it.

The poem is an art form of Nietzsche’s philosophy of ‘eternal return’- the belief “that this life as we live it at present, and have lived it; we will have to live it again once more, and also innumerable times; and there will be nothing new in it but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and all the unspeakably small and great in our life must come to us again, and all in same series and sequence, and that “the recurrence will recur ad infinitum.”

It is this recurrence that would occur ad infinitum, that is reflected in the poem. Nietzsche asks “Isn’t such a recurrence where you cannot change anything a burden?” With this poem, Saroyan answers that if at all it is a burden, it can be made bearable by opening ourselves to the possible visions of the world, in and about us.

Copyright, Tina Rathore

In my mind
the day yesterday
holding in my mind
the day today
in my mind

In my mind
moments that know
no yesterday
today
Forever they are
in my mind

In my mind
thoughts
held together
by sparkling eyes
in my mind

In my mind
shrieking voices
calling me
in my mind

In my mind
my mind
holding me
in my mind.

Copyright, Tina Rathore

Painting by Serge Poliakoff @ http://images.unurthed.com

Painting by Serge Poliakoff @ http://unurthed.com

Shabdheen kardo mujhe
hulka
ek dum hulka
kaat do jaal kapat 
ishaaron ke
jo hain
na tumhare liye kuch
na mere liye kuch   

Shabdheen kardo mujhe
sundar
phir se sundar
Chalo rahenge phir
Pinter ki naatakiye 
khamoshi mein
Bolo kya karenge 
un shabdo ka
jo hain
na tumhare liye kuch
na mere liye kuch   

Shabdheen kardo mujhe
chamchamata 
chamchamata
jaise ho bijli
daakiya
neele kale dhamdhate
baadloon ka
Kyun bhala bataao
aajaaun 
un baton mein
jo hain
na tumhare liye kuch
na mere liye kuch   

Shabdheen kardo mujhe
nayya nayya
yaad nahi rakh sakti
bas
ab mein naam
un cheejon ka
jo hain
na tumahare liye kuch
na mere liye kuch   

Copyright, Tina Rathore   

This poem is an attempt at translation. It is a translated version, though with variations, of the poem make me wordless. You may find that  it isn’t a literal translation (I am not sure if it should be); I have just tried to keep the emotions intact which as you may notice, has overtaken the flow and may be, the original. I would have loved to post the poem in the script in which it is written, but I am yet to figure out how. Until then, I hope you enjoy. Looking forward to your feedback (the critical, the better!). Thanks for reading.   

I gotta use words when I talk to you
But if you understand or if you don’t
That’s nothing to me and nothing to you
We all gotta do what we gotta do. – T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot. Sweeney Agonistes
     

Painting by Pisarev Gennadiy© Amsterdam Art Gallery — 2000-2010

Make me word
less, peel
away the rhe
toric, the
      white man’s
burden
o’ words-
that mean
nothing to you 
nothing to me.     

Make me word
less, let’s
delve in Pin
teresque pauses
.
Why do I when I
talk to you
need words-
that mean
nothing to me
nothing to you.     

Make me word
less, like the ligh
                   tning,
the messenger o’ the
black blue bass
drum sky. Why?
should I be
prey to words-
that mean
nothing to you
nothing to me.   

Copyright, Tina Rathore.   

I think that we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves to ourselves. Communication is too alarming. To enter into someone else’s life is too frightening. To disclose to others the poverty within us is too fearsome a possibility. – Harold Pinter      

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