Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Festival of Words


I wrote poems for school annual magazines till tenth.Read them at higher secondary and that reading made me hate poetry and poets.My fears about poets was confirmed when the poet laureate of my school in erode became my good friend.I had to read his poems.In college he fell in love and inflicted me with his poems filled with romantic delirium.But afterwards he slowly joined the mainstream, became a careerist, married that girl and stopped writing poem.I think he could no more dare to dream, imagine.The whirlpool of life-BEING PRACTICAL -sucked him out of that world of words and the poet in him died.My life lost its way and i lost the ability to appreciate beauty within words. But in the past one and a half year i have managed to read a lot of wonderful books where words have many lives of their own. I came across pablo neruda a number of times and it seemed everybody liked his poetry.Then sometime back i read, i forgot where, that he was a diplomat in asia and had the typical attitude of the Europeans and although no fault could be found in his poems, the poet was not what his poems speake.So i became curious and got hold of his auto biography simply titled MEMOIRS and a collection of his poems from the library and started reading.It gave me a new feeling.Reading pablo neruda gave me that bliss i get by lying on the floor, being half asleep and dreaming after eating a sumptuous lunch prepared by mom. He is a wordsmith. His poems are sheer festival of words.I will serve you some words.Please relish.




From what I have left in writing on these pages there will always fall-as in the autumn grove or during the harvesting of the vineyards - yellow leaves on their way to death, and grapes that will find new life in the sacred wine.


I had to suffer and struggle, to love and sing; I drew my worldly share of triumphs and defeats, I tasted bread and blood.What more can a poet want? And all the choices,tears or kisses, loneliness or the fraternity of man, survive in my poetry and are an essential part of it, because I have lived for my poetry and my poetry has nourished everything i have striven for. And if I have received many awards, awards fleeting as butterflies, fragile as pollen, I have attained a greater prize, one that some people may deride but not many can attain.I have gone through a difficult apprenticeship and a long search , and also through the labyrinths of the written word,to become the poet of my people.That is my reward, not the books and the poems that have been translated, or the books written to explicate or to dissect my words. My reward is the momentous occasion when, from the depths of the Lora coal mine, a man came up out of the tunnel into the full sunlight on the fiery nitrate field, as if rising out of hell, his face disfigured by his terrible work, his eyes inflamed by the dust, and stretching his rough hand out to me , a hand whose calluses and lines trace the map of the pampas, he said to me, his eyes shining: " I have known you for a long time, my brother." That is the laurel crown for my poetry
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