Friday, February 05, 2016

What inspires a poet ?

Golden Daffodils would be my first guess; dead albatross would be my next.

Of course, it is a personal question and thus needs to be answered in first person. So my attempt to answer it is an honest introspection of those moments of solitude when my imagination metamorphosed into poems.

“Emotions recollected in tranquility”, William Wordsworth had famously and verily traced the origins of a poem.

For tranquility, I have almost always relied on winter nights.  There is a certain stillness and assurance that comes along a winter night. It says to me, “Delve deep into yourself, and take your time to distill your thoughts. I will engulf the surroundings long enough for your thoughts to condense into words.”

But for emotions, it is more complex. Emotions, for all practical reasons, have to be sacrificed or at the least deeply concealed for a successful modern life.  A successful modern life, in that case, becomes impossibility for a poet.  For a semi-poet like me, I have created a parking lot for my emotions. I carefully park them from where they can be easily towed, whenever a long winter night might arrive. Needless to say, I live a semi-successful modern life.

So when the night does arrive, I handpick a parked emotion and try to live it again. I try to remember the settings and the incidents that evoked it.  What memory was stirred in that moment, why it surfaced to reality? I try to follow that memory strand to the depths of my being and I usually land up in my childhood.

 Childhood, when my imagination was my lone companion. Childhood, when I truly enjoyed solitude. Childhood, when I was observant and innocent.  Can there be a treasure more valuable than the memories of your childhood.

And sometimes, I land up in my youth when love was in fashion.  I could have written odes to the moons on your nails. Also when love is in fashion, can misery be any farther? On many nights I could have written the saddest lines.

And sometimes, I land up nowhere. In this emptiness, I expand my existence. Only my ideas can float in this nothingness, only my words can dangle in this space.  A piece of my existence falls on the paper to become a poem. 

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