Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy 2nd birthday, Blog!!

Happy Happy 2nd Birthday, Blog!! :)

Exactly 2 years ago, I posted the first bunch of posts on Heartstrings, acting upon a very eager desire of starting a blog. So, it has been 2 years!! I think, (quite immodestly) , that there is a fair deal of difference between what I wrote then and what I write now. So, how do I celebrate this happy fact?? Write some more, blog some more, learn some more, improve some more, and get more eager desires?? I will!! Three cheers to you, Blog!! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CaPoWrimO-- Caferati Poetry Writing Month!! :)

Caferati, the writing/ poetry group I am part of, organised CaPoWriMo, Caferati Poetry Writing Month, in April. One poem per day for the entire month of April, following the forms, themes and instructions that were given. Below is my "Thank You" Post to caferati at the end of this month long exercise. All my poems are up here on the blog, but the rightful link which began it all is National Poetry Writing Month in some corner of the world, and Caferati Poetry Writing Month for us!!

Well,Caferati... thank you so much for putting me back in touch with myself, for putting me back in touch with caferati, for making me learn so many different forms and for actually making me feel that I can write in "form", for teaching me discipline to write a poem a day (sometimes I cheated, and wrote 3 in one day!!), for making me realise the very highly "constructed" nature of poetry... one can hardly force oneself to be inspired 30 days a month!! It was interesting to twist themes the way I wanted to,so that I always managed to write on the theme given, twisting it just enough to make it say something I really find meaningful and want to say. None of the poems were written just for the sake of writing them... not one!! ...and for... so many things!! a very learning, enjoyable and meaningful experience... and when all that is combined, what could be better!!well, my honest statistics, haven't been as scrupulously honest as Pushpa, so I must confess!! 25 of the poems were very honestly and scrupulously written!! As for the other 5... well, they were ones I have written recently over Feb and March... they just happened to match themes... Lots of the 25 poems were reworked versions of earlier ones... I converted so many free verse poems into form... a very interesting experience...anyways, I don't think it matters, so long as one learns from the experience and it proves meaningful. And I will go prolific on my blog now, posting all these. haven't done it yet, haven't had the time. I thought of FB notes... but decided to give it a miss, all my poems are on my blog, I usually don't put any on FB notes. And Finally, at the end of this prolific post... a very heartfelt... Thank You soooo much, caferati. I'd never have done this if you hadn't made me!!! :)

Day 1,2,3

CaPoWriMo (Caferati Poetry Writing Month)

Day 1 – Haiku (5-7-5 syllables)

Round, orange baubles
hanuman's suns, narangis
pluck them, they dangle.

Day 2--Clerihew (biographical. Begins with a person's name. 4 lines, couplets. Irregular line length)

Alfred Lord Tennyson
never had much fun
Arthur Hallam died at twenty
and left him with tears aplenty.

Day 3-- Limerick (funny poem. Rhyme scheme-- aabba. Syllables- 8-9, 8-9, 5-6, 5-6, 8-9)

Pooh was deep in a jar of hunny
when there came along a bunny
'Where's Tigger?' asked Rabbit
Jumping down to market
Said Pooh, with hunny all runny.

Day 4

Day 4-- Ballad (a poem that tells a story. Plenty of rhyme and repetition.)

The Legend of the Pot

On a rocky ledge in a cliff by a river
Fasola heard a magic pot quiver
with the sound of wind, or water
or perhaps, the sound was laughter.
Go to the stream, what do the waves say
They whisper the legend of the pot, the lay.

This pot was shaped long ago by a potter
who took it home to his wife and young daughter
the pot was so perfect, so exceptionally round
all who looked at it, by it were bound
The daughter and her friends trotted down one day
with the pot to the river, all happy and gay.

Busy in their play, they forgot the pot
Left it behind on the bank to rot
Whisked into the river by a sudden wave
it bobbed and floated past the mermaids' cave
The magic pot embodied all that came its way
the waves, the breeze, the laughter of the fairy fays.

But floating was the pot's destiny
even mermaids cannot engage in mutiny
It landed in a circle of smooth, round stones
a lotus in the centre, and a few pine cones
A fisherman saw it, tying his boat to the pole
picked it and looked, admiring the whole

A storm brew up and swept it away
Jigglesqueak is all he had time to say
Battered and wasted, it lay there, half broken
Is this what I came to, it could have spoken
Till rich folks decided to make a cottage by the river
the workmen found it, put it aside for later.

On a rocky ledge in a cliff by a river
Fasola heard a magic pot quiver
with the sound of wind, or water
or perhaps, the sound was laughter.
The magic pot embodied all that came its way
the waves, the breeze, the laughter of the fairy fays

Go to Fasola, feel the perfection and charm
of this little round pot, unharmed by harm
Go to Fasola, you will, won't you?
The pot may embody some part of you too!

Day 5, 6

Day 5-- sonnet (Shakespearean sonnet. 3 quartets + 1 couplet)

The cruellest month mixes memory with desire
Eliot digs up old roots, stirs them with fresh soil
Dormant passions awaken new inner turmoil
Chilling frost gives way to smouldering fires.

April enters when the indecisive wind
of Anjum Hasan opens its slow mouth
The year, frisky as a lamb, uncouth
Is trying to learn to make up its mind

the month of brief, sudden showers
(in Mother Goose's nursery rhymes is April
In India, mango blossoms, first call of the koel
the orange and green of gulmohur trees

Poetry has sought to immortalise April
My debut is this pastiche of my quill.

* Lines 9 and 10 have a different version, but this one is the "public" version.

Day 6-- Cinquain (Line 1- noun, line 2- descritpion, without using adjectives. Line 3- action. Line 4- effect or feeling it produces. Line 5- synonym of first noun/line. Iambic meter. )

the river
a possessed creature
its oceanic waters merge with the sky
the peepul tree dances in epiphany

Day 7

Day 7-- Villanelle (pattern of rhyme scheme and line repetition. In “a” and “b”, the rhyme is repeated. In A1 and A2, the entire line is repeated. A1 b A2, abA1, abA2, abA1, abA2, abA1A2.)

Reason and laws can our actions constrain
subdue, chastise, cleanse with holy fire
But this intensity of pain they cannot restrain.

A public “you”, you then have to feign
a schizophrenic split between facade and desire
Reason and laws can our actions constrain.

This walking the tightrope to stay sane
implies a discipline one must acquire
But this intensity of pain they cannot restrain.

Sometimes, you may nearly break from the strain
of the inherent duality causing agonising seizures
Reason and laws can our actions constrain.

They feel that with time, passion will wane
become sober, sedate, burn itself on the pyre
But this intensity of pain they cannot restrain.

Refrain itself has become my refrain
Repeated again, over and over
Reason and laws can our actions constrain
But this intensity of pain they cannot restrain.

Day 8

Day 8-- Look Closely (at objects around you,what significance does it have for you)

Harbingers of Summer

I like them plump,
these harbingers of summer
like this one
it lies heavy
and dusty green in my hand
the heat of the sun, the warmth
of the ground
seep into my hand from its interiors
that are cool and white and juicy
springy and tangy
with a big fat white seed in the middle.
They call it kairi at home, and in school
my friends called it tikola
and in english, we call them green unripe mangoes.
It reminds me of cherished summers
spent, looking forward to them, plucking them or
picking them up from dry ground, eating them
tearing them with our teeth, giggling
or sometimes, like at home when they
were put into delicious sabzis.

Day 9, 10

Day 9-- Angel and Gargoyle (opposite/twin sides of myself- the angel and the gargoyle)

I am Jane Eyre
sensitive, a little shy
intensely devoted and
with a fierce spirit of justice and
a strong desire for love
for being wanted.
The angel and the madwoman
conflate within me
I am Bertha Mason too
I rage with anger, I scream
till I tear my hair from the roots
I can be violent.
And jealous. Very Jealous.
Playing Jane-switching-
is a very interesting game
What angel and which madwoman?
The two are just the same.

Day 10-- Olfactory poetry (the sense of “smell”)

There is an 'old' smell
a much-lived-in0worn-
in run-down-to-death-clothes
in a pile of dry leaves
shoved aside
in yellowed pages of books and
much thumbed letters.
There is the comfy, homey smell
of home.
And there is a 'new' smell
a strange-pristine-
in starched clothes and
fresh paper and empty
unlived in houses
a smell that you can never

day 11, 12

Day 11-- An Exercise in Blue (blue as in, the blues of the spirit. I tried connecting it with the colour blue)

There is the pensive violet blue
of a dusky twilight sky
which reflects lost loves
and past failures
with philosophical sombreness.
There is a torrid, violent blue
of cloud-rolling-thunder
or a river in spate
my anguished frenzied
trembling outpourings
or a shrieking migraine.
There is a bright, cerulean blue
of a summer sky that
mocks my pain. Jeers.
Or the gurgling, blithe blue
of a bluebell and a brook.
And there is the liquid, limpid blue
that absorbs my tears
before they fall.

Day 12 – The Original Simile (write loads of similes, select interesting ones, twist them, mix them up, use them in a poem)

Frankenstein's Monster

Frankenstein's dream, vivid
and loud
grew like mercury levels
rising in a thermometer
with nervous elbows and knees
he set to work on his masterpiece
as quick as The Big Bang
lo and behold! His creature was ready
all angular and

day 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Day 13 – Following the golden string-- take the first thought in the morning and think it through

Thirteenth April 

temporarily removed.

Day 14 – my new poetic form (2 rhymes, one in the middle of each line, one at the end)

my eyes stare into yours
two pairs-- are they at war?
Silence ensnares words I could conjure
speak, I dare not, I would rather endure
muteness where unsaid words obscure
burn and flare, unheard but sure
we cannot spare this, there is no cure
haunting memories fare forth, unholy or pure.

Day 15-- sms poem-- 'O. Henry Nightingale' poem. (It's elsewhere on this blog, an earlier post)

Day 16-- poem in 100 words-- 'Your fear bring me closer to you' (90-97 words) (It's elsewhere on this blog, an earlier post)

Day 17- poem that takes off from another poem-- Being Belindas : a response to Pope's Rape of the Lock (It's elsewhere on this blog, an earlier post)

Day 18

Day 18-- Dialogue poem ( a poem entirely in dialogue, in quotations. No asides. Not even the names of people talking)

Almost Rape

“bhaiya, is this the rajiv chowk metro?”
“yes, take the next metro that comes”
“ok, thank you”
“do you live here?”
“No, I just came to visit someone”
“I work here, in the metro”
“in the metro bathroon, come with me, I'll show you the bathroom”
“I can't! The metro comes in 2mins now”
“so what? It will come again soon. Let me show you the bathroom”
“I can't! I have a very long journey ahead. I can't possibly waste time and go with you.”
“Madam, the metro is very quick and fast, your journey will not be long. Come with me to the bathroom, please come with me to the bathroom......”

Day 19, 20

Day 19-- Ode ( addressed to a particular person/object etc. Written in rhyme)

My Room-- An Ode

Inside my room
is a nurturing womb
where I am bare, naked
unclothed, exposed
thoughts and feelings freely
lie outside my body
There is paper and pencil
to hear me when no human will
With volumes of poetry
and musical symphony
I, myself and Me
are in harmony.

Day 20- “Home” poem ( of what “home” means, where “home” is, in my imagination)

There are floating roots and
aerial roots, but I
prefer under-the-ground ones.
Cold winds may blow and tempests
may rage, I may
be hungry and broken
But in Emily Bronte-ish fashion
“Nothing drear can move me
I will not, cannot go”
faith may seem to totter and
angst may seem to win
But, in the words of a childhood
'Chapni' tale
“The world is big, it's fun to roam
But the nicest, nicest place is home”

Day 21 and 22

Day 21-- Acrostic (The first letters of each line, taken together, spell out a message!)

Glorious profusion of wilderness
Orange flash of gulmohur trees
Ducks dawdling in the lake beyond

I idly gaze at this immensity
Standing with the wind billowing around me

Deer in the park, nibbling at grass
Elephants with trunks majestically swaying
Alice Walker's god lay in no church nor temple
Death of religion, let's embrace a purple vision.

Day 22-- Free Writing (thoughts in the state between dreaming and waking)

Nightmarish Life

Burning fires, strange creatures
Random men putting something
on my face.
Familiar surroundings turn hostile
Known people turn away
Arbitrary groups ridiculing me
mocking, mauling, harassing me
rape, thefts, accidents, and other
god forsaken things
Scared of the future
Guilt in the present
The world becomes a malignant,
threatening place.

Day 23 and 24

Day 23-- Grace's Elevator ( Taking life as a multi-storeyed building. Memory as an elevator. And I, as being free to roam where I like in this building)

A journey of no return
Linear time
a forever forward march
gone once and gone forever.

But memory
is different...
Memory is an elevator
Memory is the desire
wishing to turn back time and
my elevator often
gets stuck on the same floor
and adamantly
refuses to move.

Day 24- Death Poem

half closing eyes
a quaking mind
trembling before

the Ultimate Sovereign
who is our guest tonight
before the awe-ful presence
the individual will
reluctantly, unwillingly
relinquishing the five senses
the gateways of life.
Memories leap up and
you must let them go
Nostalgia is a bane and a boon.
And... the curtain falls
the play ends abruptly
Oblivion. Blissful

Others write elegies in memoriam.

Day 25, 26

Day 25- poem based on fairy tales

The witch who locked hansel in a cage
Cinderella's evil stepmother
The wicked woman who imprisoned Rapunzel
in an upstairs window
The wolf who pretended to be
Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother.
The curse on Sleeping Beauty
The banishment of Snow White
to seven dwarfs with malicious grins
amidst spooky goblins and demons
I search for angels and
fairy godmothers in vain
in these devilish tales of witchery.

Day 26- circular poems. ( begins and ends with the same line. All in less than 12 lines.)

As I walk down to the office, it is 2pm
a sudden feeling of deja vu, a re-enactment
in my mind, before my eyes, it is 12th August 2008
the single most humiliating, embarrassing, shaming
moment of my life, it haunts me, taunts me
hunts me down like a scared animal
the vision threatens to overwhelm me
at the brink, I brusquely shake my head
one compelling, irresistable look and
I resolutely turn my gaze away
As I walk down to the office, it is 2pm.

Day 27, 28, 29, 30

Day 27—News poem (based on a newspaper article)

Said he loved her
he said he loved her, yes
and so he killed her
murdered her with two
butcher's knives.
He could not see her with
another man.
Thus a tragedy came to pass
Because a pompous fool
a male chauvinist pig
dared to think he possessed
her life.

Day 28-- poem on an object always within hand's reach-- 'The Art of Making a Juda' – It's elsewhere on this blog, an earlier post.

Day 29-- List Poem ( a list of things. The same phrase/kind of thing should be repeated many times)

Free me from this pain
Free me from your disdain
Free me from angsty insanity
Free me from demons of lunacy
Free me from these tears
Free to unchain my fears.
Free me from the debt I owe to you.

Day 30- a poem about poetry-- 'Poetry, Dreams, and Reveries' – it is elsewhere on this blog, an earlier post.