Monday, April 09, 2007

a poem heard in chicago

Chicago was a wonderful three days. More on which later, including finally meeting the Sepoy in real life.
But for now, just a poem I heard, and liked so much, that I actually borrowed the poet's (single) copy and wrote it down in my notebook. Like an old fashioned tazkira/tazkirah.

Srikanth Reddy
, the poet, prefaced this reading by saying something like (and I am paraphrasing very broadly here) - The usual story goes that you will meet the perfect someone, whether halfway across the world, or in the next street. This poem is about a more probable love story, when the perfect couple never meet.

Everything

She was watching the solar eclipse
through a piece of broken bottle

when he left home.
He found a blue kite in the forest

on the day she lay down
with a sailor. When his name changed,

she stitched a cloud to a quilt
made of rags. They did not meet,

so they never could be parted.
So she finished her prayer,

& he folded his map of the sea.

- from Facts for Visitors, Srikanth Reddy

(And I could not help wondering, at the end of the poem - But what about those who have met, and failed to recognize each other, like Majnu unheeding as Laila passed him in the desert? ... But that's a poem written often enough. Too often.)

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