Friday, May 27, 2011

Kavi-speak: On arranging a poet's work chronologically

A writer's inner world is often different from the outside world, and poems bring forth only clues from that inner world. The inner world is influenced by the events in the outside world, but the influence can be quite limited if the poet choses to fashion an inner world that is the most comforting for his self, maybe the most inspiring for his creativity. A  poem is a snapshot of a shadow, and to judge a person or his times or influences from that snapshot of a shadow is quite an imaginative task. A poet writes of separation though his beloved sleep next to him, and of embraces when there is no hope to meet the beloved, and sometimes it matters not if the neighborhood is rioting or if the outside world is falling apart.

As a poet ages, he understands the meaning of words better for the meaning now echoes a larger variety of sentiments, experiences and knowledge acquired through reading / living/ writing. But the poems themselves are a string of apt jewels or flowers, and the poems strung with proper jewels or flowers can be great even if they were strung together by a novice. A wiser, older poet might know the value of spending more energy or care in stringing more potent verses, but intention and ability of a poet are not enough to get the best work written. I suppose all poets live in this fear that they might never write a poem better than their favorite last one (or the favored last one); or they might not survive long enough to write the verses that have inevitability, originality, music and meaning to become immortalized in their language and even better, human history & literature.

(In response to a discussion about the value in arranging works of Mir Taqi Mir chronologically.)

No comments: