Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Upon the yellow sands
   by the lake of Galilee
Sat the Saviour
               playing with pebbles.

           Schools of fish swarmed
   beneath the ripples
And cried unto the Saviour:
   Give us our daily bread.

I give you life’s water,
   muttered the Saviour.
Off they went calmly
   into life’s depths.

 And upon the trembling ripples
   lay the Saviour’s image
Dying in silence
   nailed to a cross.

Wish everyone a HAPPY EASTER if that makes any sense to anyone. 


  1. Replies
    1. Simple Blog...with very few lines...and greater depth....Liked it sir

  2. The thing about poetry - Tomichan, is that it always makes sense. Now whether the sense is nonsense, depends on the reader. Happy Easter !!

    1. Thanks for the consoling thought. Poetry does make sense but people are losing interest in it. Perhaps people don't want to take the trouble of delving into symbols, images and metaphors...

      My last sentence was about the sense that Easter makes!

  3. As a poem-illiterate, my understanding is people have an extremely short-term perspective and a highly localised one at that. The Saviour was offering life's water which the fish thought they already had in plenty. I know my thinking is shallow but that's about how deep I can dive.

    If poems always make sense, just curious, can they ever make any sense? Like my boss says to anyone who claims to be working on a number of things: "That can only mean you are not working on any!" :)


    1. Raghuram, let me paste below what another reader wrote in a private email message:

      "Lovely poem...

      I guess the last lines are extremely beautiful... :

      upon the trembling ripples , lay the Saviour’s image...Dying in silence, nailed to a cross.

      Because upon the trembling ripples of the world, God ( our Saviour) is actually waiting for us to realize our purpose in life...Literally dying (strong word :) would prefer waiting in patience - nailed to a cross) in silence for so often we come so close to realizing it and then we move so far away ..."

      I can interpret the poem in a number of ways. But I won't. It's the reader's job to interpret.

    2. From your response (including the private response that you got) as well as from shajanm's comment, one thing is becoming clear to me: poems set you on a path of exploring. OK, I can live with that; but to claim that such exploration has a depth that is unavailable to other modes of exploration? That feels like escapism to me.

      I am not holding you to shajanm's comment: "Religious meaning can only be expressed through poetry. In fact there is no other meaning." I may even be jumping the gun because you have not yet responded to that comment.

      Sorry for being blunt.

      I have a more substantive problem with poems, as expressed in your words "I can interpret the poem in a number of ways. But I won't. It's the reader's job to interpret." This may be OK for anyone who had not written the poem under scrutiny. The way I understand it the poet affirms the starting point and that point does not come without interpretations. The problem is with you, "But I won't" - in writing the poem you had already done that.

      And, I do not understand why in response to my interpretation, you through another interpretation at me. That kind of jumped me.


    3. I gave you another interpretation and also mentioned that a poem can be interpreted in many ways even by the poet himself only to tell you that a poem does not claim any objectivity in the truth it tries to communicate.

      Raghuram, I think you won't understand poems ever. Why not give up the effort? :)

      Want to know the reason? Simple. Poetry is not SCIENTIFIC.

    4. I am not sure I am as pessimistic as you are about my becoming poesy literate. :)

      There is much in the effort to understand poems that I enjoy,like engaging you in a to and fro, even if only briefly, because I am SCIENTIFIC. I am not giving up so easily.

      Indeed, if one is NOT SCIENTIFIC, one can only feel or intuit a poem, as understanding has a scientific base. This is what I have heard from poets, not excluding you! :)

      Yes, a poet can interpret his/her own poem, but if the starting point (my point in the earlier comment) is mutilated, it is a different poem altogether. Tell me, if it does not look like a cow, eat like cow, produce cow milk, is it a cow?


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  5. Dear Matheikal, loved this poem and your other posts this week. Taken as a whole, I believe it points to a fundamental mistake in the way we think about religions.

    Religious meaning can only be expressed through poetry. In fact there is no other meaning. Unfortunately human mind is not satisfied with such expressions and want to grasp the REAL meaning. We want our god to have a date of birth to make him/her REAL. What use is a god who merely says 'I am who I am'? It surely isn't a firm foundation to build on, as the Catholic Church realized early in its history. Even neo-Hindus want to establish a date and place of birth for lord Ram, perhaps to make him more appealing to devotees who want a REAL god instead of poetry.

    We indulge in poetry at a younger age but move onto real stuff as we grow older. This is exactly what happens to human societies as well. Poetry loses its appeal as we (and societies) grow older.

    At present we lack the formal theories that establish 'inner experience' as REAL and meaningful in itself. But this is the truth. Every living thing is driven by a thirst for meaning, for deeper and more intense inner experience. This insatiable thirst, not the hunger for graspable meaning, is our driving force. We strive to satisfy this thirst by going after the graspable, but that ultimately is an illusion.


    1. I'm not sure whether poetry indeed loses its appeal as we grow older. Does mysticism lose its appeal as people grow older? Does music, art, etc? Any more than science does?

      I agree with you that certain truths can only find expression in poetry though the lines may not be broken!

  6. A very profound take on the essence of Easter. More often it happens that people forget the real purpose behind such festivals and focus more on the fun aspect of them. Easter is an exception as i see many of my friends diligently offering prayers.

    1. Thanks, Maliny. I don't know how spiritual Easter is for people. I find certain personal meanings in certain festivals. I write about those meanings. That's all. Thanks for your visit and the comment.


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