I just read Alex Cumberbatch's rather long poem titled Piece in 940 Parts. Got the link from Jay Thomas' blog. "There is certainly much more to this work than its length", writes Jay Thomas. I fully agree.
I thought it would be interesting to try to visualize the poem, at least parts of it, as a Sandeshakavya, the poet, nostalgic about the days when his beloved, his country, was all smiles, (his country now only "makes the immigrant's song, sung, listless"), sending his message through his blog!
And why not? Allusions to this end are many. For instance,
Like arrows, a cloud messenger
Approaches, a more-than-human
Grief becomes a great deluge."
Moreover the poet listens to "the mandakranta metric of the Kalidasan romance figures" too.
How is the message like? It is long, and touches upon all sorts of topics. "Forget. I think, and be, unconcerned" does not work, and he bothers about "Divying: up the toll." His "quest" is "for life in a world of humans". His advice is to "change the tune of your politics", and to "weaken lightning strikes",
Your love of the world--forsake
Your future and your past
Live always presence preen."
What he expects from the beloved is "a youthful love, an ancient mind, and a bold body". The crux of the message seems to be:
Or to know the knowledge
Of the dead, but be atuned
To the light of the living
Requires exquisite mastery."
And what kind of a poet is he? In his own words,
Or a continuous fluxive practice?
For me, it is the latter: form
Is incidental--it will happen anyway.
There is no 'true', 'correct', or 'perfect'
Way to write a poem; in this perhaps
The 'untrue', 'incorrect' and 'imperfect'
Are to be valued as the aesthetic
Benchmarks of the most valuable excitements."
Effeminate bird warble, the
Kind of inane sentimental Americana."
And he asserts:
Spells and punctuation to suit your
Nice book trade."
"Weeping and then writing, cursing and then writing, writing curses; and incantations", he understands that,
Is the poetic of the poem."
But his country may not get the message right after all! She could as well say:
You wrote your rhymes for me.
How pretty they are. I am
Unmoved. I love another."
Nevertheless, I am certain that the reader is going to agree when the poet writes:
Beyond metaphor and vision
That may not be apprehended
By outer sight. These require
The capacity of insight."
Has a subversive power
That fastens the heart and mind
Against the corrupting forces
Of capitalism, fascism and ethnicity."
Of course the poet knows that his words will reach many ears as "the ragged thoughts of a dreamer shall not fail".
The torrent of words you like to hear cascading"
-wonders the poet. Does the Sahridaya have another option, after reading such a beautiful piece of work? And who will not like to hear the torrent of words cascading as in
To understand, that is, to fathom,
People's politics bother me some of the
The time of your life--collected
In a rather bland cycle of myths."
The unmetred prose of his poetry records a turbulent reality, of the way he lives, what he sees, and what he is privy to.