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Art Of Poetry

Durlabh Singh

When we read a poem first time, we try to associate it with our past experiences either of life or of literature. In order to understand it we have to categorise it, to put a label on it. It is hard to do otherwise, to look at it in a fresh way.

           Some of us had bad experience of reading verse at school when it was pushed down our throat by the teacher, in order to satisfy some academic requirements. We must overcome such bad experiences. There is more to poetry.

           The trouble being that we are biologically and socially programmed to react in a certain way. In order to be true to ourselves we must de-programme ourselves as to be more spontaneous and thus to look at poetry and life more deeply.

           Poetry being a literature of depth, it thus strikes at the very root of our existence. Let us look at poetry in a fresh way. I will use an example of my verse for such an exposition.

           Art is a mirror in which the reader looks at her/his own soul. Please look at the structure of poem, the words chosen to make the poem, the music of the language, the music of the words and lastly at its contents. It might open a new panorama of things beyond words.

           Language is not a dead entity, it is alive. Poetry does not always live in the past, it belongs to the very Present, beyond our stereotyped views and hackneyed phrases. Thus looked at, a new beauty is born, reflecting deeper modes of life.

           Ordinarily we say that trees are green but what is green-ness? It is wider than colour of the trees. You cannot describe it, it has to be experienced. Experience being individual, experience of so called "green-ness" will be different for each person and hence the experience of whole poem. One might say that it is beyond physics, it is meta-physical.

           I have tried to give you a small hint, a little pointer but you have to travel on the road yourself and thus taste the reality yourself. It is just a signpost. Try to travel through the entire poem in such a way.

About the Author (click here) © 2001 Durlabh Singh, all rights reserved
 appears here by permission

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