Love

Ancient Dusky Rivers

The river… sketching its way ahead…
[Source – Pixabay]
The Negro Speaks of Rivers

by Langston Hughes

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I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

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I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

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I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


Rivers – streams, creeks, brooks or rivulets – love to flow; flowing towards a sea, lake, an ocean or another river, and at times also drying out. Rivers love to flow just like life.

Most of the earlier civilisations prospered when they settled around rivers, channelizing the same love when drinking its fresh water.

And when mankind sat in a circle around the fire and created stories – of the sun, the moon, the thunder and the wind – they fostered their imaginations and decided to pass on the love running in their blood to a lovely supreme one.

Different supreme ones took the centre stage at different places and myriad dramas unfolded that the rivers watched quietly, flowing, gushing with joy every moment.

Resisting neither the rocks nor filth, accepting the dead and plastic bottles alike, it continues to flow… for now.


Still like a mirror, moving like a reflection…
[Source – Pixabay]

Langston Hughes in his poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers connects the human soul with the world’s ancient rivers; the hands that cupped to drink water, the feet that crossed the river, whatever race it belonged to, felt the same damp calmness every single time they drank water and crossed the river.

Written during the early twentieth century when African Americans struggled to achieve equality and justice, Hughes, presenting a powerful historical perspective in this poem, emphasises the link between his ancestors, the ancient rivers and the rest of the human civilisation.

The Euphrates, often believed to be the birthplace of human civilisation, the Congo, powerful and mysterious, that saw the rise of many great African kingdoms, the magical Nile that carries with poise the secrets of the great Egyptian pyramids, the folklorist Mississippi that shared here the tales of Abraham Lincoln and American slavery – shows how rivers carry the past in its depth, carrying it always with love.

And the one who sees with love can sense the connection between rivers and souls, between them and us; we all started this journey together, the rivers are a testimony.


“I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

Experience and history, though often oppressive, have not extinguished but rather emboldened the development of a soul, the birth of an immortal self, the proud ‘I’ that now speaks to all who will listen.

Christopher C. De Santis

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Regina Spektor’s Musical World and Perceiving the Emotion Called Love – Part III

Coverage

Love is the key.
[Source – Pixabay]

Love, the key to living a fulfilling life, the path that leads to the real you, this emotion called love is universal and free.

An enigmatic thing, love is everywhere – in and around you and me, in our blue planet’s core, it is the main component of every heavenly body and the equally mysterious dark matter. Why else must the dark matter be dark if not for love?

Love – the power that knows the art of giving only too well, that takes pleasure in calmness, that patiently and leisurely creates, that also manoeuvres without light, that is fathomless – humbly colours the dark matter dark.

Who ventures in the unknown, hoping to pierce through the darkness like a sharp arrow, in a speed that surpasses the twang of its bow?

One who is courageous enough to Love.


Landing back on earth, let us see how Regina Spektor has perceived Love and what rhythm has she given to her definitions of Love.

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Listen to ‘Blue Lips’

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He stumbled into faith and thought
“God, this is all
There is”
The pictures in his mind arose
And began
To breathe
And all the gods in all the worlds
Began colliding on a backdrop of blue

Blue lips
Blue veins

He took a step
But then felt tired
He said, “I’ll rest
A little while”
But when he tried
To walk again
He wasn’t
A child
And all the people hurried past
Real fast and no one ever smiled

Blue lips
Blue veins
Blue, the color of our planet from far, far away…

Regina Spektor

No one said that it will not hurt, that there will not be any sacrifices, that we will not forget and misconstrue, no one said Loving is easy and so we failed, repeatedly we failed.

But why lament when we can try again?

As humans, all we need to fully revel in Love is our ability to breathe and our home planet that looks blue from far, far away.

Regina Spektor believes in Love and Loves our beautiful blue planet; it is evident in her songs.


Listen to ‘Eet’

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It’s like forgetting
The words to your favorite song
You can’t believe it
You were always singing along
It was so easy
And the words so sweet
You can’t remember
You try to feel a beat eeet eeeet eeet…

Regina Spektor

‘Eet’ is a backspace key that you find on typewriters that allows you to type over the previous letter if you make a mistake.

Mistakes and life, life and mistakes, go well together if you are truly in love (no matter with whom/what). Even if you stumble, forget or lose, you will still try, sooner or later, for love will not allow you to rest.

It is strangely powerful, this emotion; it attacks with a strong gust of memories and then waits, it tickles with happy thoughts and then waits… waiting as if it knows it will win in the end.

If you ever think of using the ‘eet’ key, do try the Regina Spektor way of editing – turn the mistakes into musical notes.


Listen to ‘Better’

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If I kiss you where it’s sore
If I kiss you where it’s sore
Will you feel better, better, better?
Will you feel anything at all?

Born like sisters to this world
In a town blood ties are only blood
If you never say your name out loud to anyone
They can never ever call you by it

If I kiss you where it’s sore
If I kiss you where it’s sore
Will you feel better, better, better?
Will you feel anything at all?

Regina Spektor

Just like opening an old album, with slightly tattered and folded edges, we are greeted with some golden memories – happy and sweet and sad; sad because we cannot travel back to meet the ones we have lost.

And yet we go on, asking hypothetical questions, somehow reliving the moment mentally, grasping the answer that we know will work, at least for now.

Just like opening an old album, ‘Better’ by Regina Spektor gives us such a feeling.


Listen to ‘How’

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Time can come and wash away the pain
But I just want my mind to stay the same
To hear your voice
To see your face
There’s not one moment I’d erase
You are a guest here now

So baby, how
Can I forget your love?
How can I never see you again?

Regina Spektor

One always remembers sad endings and unanswered questions, but why?

So that one keeps walking, searching and living more sensitively… maybe.


Coming soon – Regina Spektor’s Musical World and Addressing the Hero – Part IV

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Jasmine-Rich Raga

Coverage

White Jasmines.
[Image from Pixabay]

Like flowers threaded to form a sheet, woven intricately, the free white petals settling in a designed pattern, accepting the arrangement with joy, like an endless beaded wave of fragrant flower-colours, the ragas also weave intricately musical framework that evokes fragrant feelings in a quiet listener’s mind.

Just like the perfection-loving flowers – the humble sepal, the vibrant petal, the ambitious anther – the ragas too know how to bloom to perfection. Capturing the exact mood that exudes the season’s essence perfectly, the ragas effortlessly scent time making it beautifully appreciable.

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The scented time celebrates the raga – in Vilambit laya (slow tempo), Madhya laya (medium tempo), Drut laya (fast tempo) – accepting every melodic improvisation, evolving with each performance, never bothering with change, rather ushering it with consistent Riyaz (practice).

Overwhelming calculations keep the ragas free from vegetating and from the burden of the past that at times tries to confine its spirit, but almost always the spirit remembers to break free.

The many notations, the Swara, bring forth incessant improvisations, giving space to every emotional twist, forming an intricate, fragrant Mandala.

The ragas symbolise, like a flower threaded sheet, intricacies of life… and more.


Lat uljhi suljha ja balam

Piya more haath mein mehndi lagi hai

Lat uljhi suljha ja balam

Mathe ki bindiya bikhar rahi hai

Apne hi haath laga ja balam

Lat uljhi suljha ja balam

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(Translation – Disentangle my hair, dear beloved/ I have applied henna on my hands/ So come and disentangle my hair, dear beloved/ The bindiya too is spreading on my forehead/ Correct it for me with your own hands, dear beloved/ Disentangle my hair, dear beloved)

This Bandish* in raga Bihag decorates time with a jasmine-rich fragrant emotion that vehemently values love and life.


*Bindiya – a colourful dot mark worn between the eyebrows, especially by married Hindu women.

*Bandish – a composition in Hindustani classical music.


Listen to a melodious version of this bandish now.

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A shorter version.

Complement this with another melodious post – Amir Khusrau and the Mustard Flowers


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Not Lithic

POEM

The universe’s engine runs on love.
[Image from Pixabay]

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Its nature is not lithic,

Not etched,

You cannot run your fingers over it,

Malleable and foldable for some,

Yelling, “Come, come,

Buy a packet full of love…”

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From the absolute beginning

Love, not lithic in nature,

Etched if anywhere, then in atoms;

Ride like the wind to feel it;

A malleable, foldable sweet memory

For all those who fall

In love, just like in the absolute beginning.

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The Moon’s Job

Our Moon Connection.
[Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay]

The Moon’s not shy,

Your winking eye

Knows a secret.

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The Moon’s not singing

Your composition

In a bar.

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The Moon’s not dreaming

Your lovely dream

In the dream-world.

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The Moon’s always only listening

To your stories,

Patiently till the end,

Passing messages at times,

Giving hints

To the storyteller

And the painter…

Messages and hints of love…


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More posts for Moon Lovers –

To The Moon And Back

Moon Colour

Crescent Moon Lights

In Slo-mo Towards the Moon

The Moon is Moving


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Canonized For Love

John Donne was a prominent 17th century Metaphysical Poet.
Poster design by Jagriti Rumi.

Love is pure truth, a divine experience, a way to live more and surpass even death.

It is a sublime fantasy that is real and better than the material world. Love is life’s paradox.

This is the idea that John Donne is expressing in the poem The Canonization. It is a reply as well as a declaration that the poet makes to the world- a world that treats lovers harshly.

He scorns the worldly, he questions the inquisitive, he proves the myths true, he places his love high and announces it as canonized.

The sudden change in his tone doesn’t bother if one recognises the powerful and apt imagery he has used in the poem.

The very first line ‘For God’s sake, hold your tongue, and let me love’ hits hard, but certainly in a good manner. In fact, it catches the interest of the reader at once.

The poem is like a necklace, beaded with beautiful and grand images like –

‘What merchant’s ships have my sighs drowned?’

‘And we in us find the eagle and the dove

The phoenix riddle hath more wit/ By us; we two being one, are it’

‘As well a well-wrought urn becomes/ The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs/ And by these hymns, all shall approve / Us canonized for Love.’

Countries, towns, courts: beg from above/ A pattern of your love!

‘And if unfit for tombs and hearse/ Our legend be, it will be fit for verse’ (Stanza 4)
Image by Prawny from Pixabay

These are not empty expressions as every word in the poem is linked with the central theme – love.

If we randomly pick one word from each stanza, it will still be related to the poem.

For example, ‘improve’ (stanza 1) – one who is in love grows as an individual and improves by learning to be selfless; ‘remove’ (stanza 2) – when in love you cannot dwell on hatred, and so the negativity is removed to make space for hope; ‘Mysterious’ (stanza 3) – love is an easy mystery; ‘legend’ (stanza 4) – we all remember love stories as legends, sadly these are mostly incomplete ones; ‘mirrors’ (stanza 5) – love is as reflective as a mirror.

Love is closely related to asceticism in the poem, which is one of the conceits (an ingenious or fanciful comparison or metaphor) used by the poet.

He proves it with great subtlety that the lovers need nothing from the world; they complete each other and hence, know inner peace.

The poet says that the lovers rise to such a level that they become one and enter a divine world, thus leaving the material world behind. They dwell in each other’s simple presence.

In the last stanza, after canonizing himself and his lover, the poet says that his pious canonized love would be celebrated in the world by one and all.

He ends by completing the canonization of his love, placing it on a high pedestal, and separating it from the worldly pleasures.

‘And if no piece of chronicle we prove/ We’ll build in sonnets pretty rooms’ (Stanza 4).
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Canonization, the title of the poem, seems to be a question and an answer at the same time. As one wonders about how love can be canonized and attain sainthood, the divine nature of the poet’s love presented in the poem gradually justifies the same.

The poet shows that his love is spiritual not merely physical, that his union with his lover has made them blissful and assures that it will radiate amongst the others.

His canonized love is not against the world rather it is for the world, acting as an inspiration. His love is not harming anyone but is a liberating force, just like a saint’s.

John Donne’s The Canonization is a smart poem with brilliant use of wit, the quintessential quality of a metaphysical poet.

He celebrates love in a simple, forthright tone that makes this 17th-century poem wondrously alive in today’s world as well.

‘Alas, alas, who’s injured by my love?’ (Stanza 2)

‘Call her one, me another fly/ We’re tapers too, and at our own cost die’ (Stanza 3)

There is a message hidden in this poem and the title ‘canonization’ is the key to unveil it. Donne wants to share that every one of us, whatever be our rank in the society that runs according to the man-made rules, has the ability to reach the divine state.

Sainthood according to him is not reserved for some but is achievable by all.

What we need is to rise above the material world, to resurrect ourselves through true love. Here the beloved represents anything- a person, God, nature, the entire world.

Love is the best, the all-embracing way to reach the sublime state as it is love that makes a person truly selfless and compassionate.

Even today if someone pursues this path, they will know that they are canonized, for they are in love.

Love is to be selfless and compassionate.
Image by Nika Akin from Pixabay

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Moon Colour

A touch of the moon colour!
[Image from Pixabay]

A touch of the moon colour and this life will glow and slowly will it know of a love story so pure that has travelled a long distance facing boldly every storm that has become a norm, followed by all, the same ones who secretly, meekly hope for someone to rise, rebel and risk it proudly, showing the world that a heart beats in every being, a heart that falls irrefutably in love, in love with a smile, a gesture, the earth, the sky and the moon… all this life needs is a touch of the moon colour.


Ready for a MOON overdose, read more –

Moon!
The Moon is Singing White Light
In Slo-mo Towards the Moon
Moon, Moon, Moon, Moonlight
The Moon Talks
The Moon is Moving
Crescent Moon Lights


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The Broken Nest and Other Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

Coverage

A painting by Rabindranath Tagore.
[Source- V&A Museum]

The Broken Nest  

Charu and Amal didn’t understand their heart’s secret, but how could it be that their own heart hid something from them, well it did. Maybe, Charu’s binoculars didn’t work properly.

And Mr. Bhupati, a lost editor, busy sketching the details of a busy world, had no time for keeping secrets.

Why did they give their secrets to Time for safekeeping?

Time always travels light, thus, it naturally left their secrets behind, visible for them all to see, casting a spell. The spell didn’t kill, it broke hearts.  


The Ghat’s Tale  

Vasant… Grishm… Varsha… Sharad… Hemant… Shishir…   Six seasons talked to the Ghat near the Ganga River. The seasons brought green moss at times and dry leaves at others, dipping the Ghat into sunlight and rain shower with love, the seasons spoke less, but heard sincerely.

What did the Ghat tell them? It shared stories… yours and mine.  


Notebook  

Let her be, why torment her, why read her notebook without her consent? She is little, just a girl, a child bride, she has left her world behind, she has carried some in her notebook.  


Postmaster  

Love is all-powerful and yet it blooms slowly in every soul, taking time for the realisation to sink in and sync with it completely.

A shade of love wrote a letter to the Postmaster who, tricked by mind, read it too late. Oh! That feeling…  


A happy poet.
[Source- Poetry Foundation]

The Broken Nest is a novella, while the other three are short stories; each one holds a complete universe and touches you deeply.

Rabindranath Tagore beautifully writes in the language of love, his characters always express something which stays usually hidden within a heart, sidelined by the talkative world.

Every story of his is like a time machine, it unfolds the past keeping it alive and magical at the same time.

The birds sing sweetest of songs in his stories, the earth dances the best to his tunes, the colour red blushes flamboyantly in his paintings and tears take time to dry up when he narrates.

Know his work and you will know.


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All

Haiku

This is you, deep within.
[Source – Pixabay]

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Unattached, patiently, freely I go deep  

Within myself and find

That love can transform it all.

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Love or Flu?

Me and my darling sauntering together before I,aachoo, excuse me, fell sick!
Image from Pixabay.

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Like a flower with dew drops

The colour of the evening sky

Enchanting aroma in the coffee shops

And that song by Gabrielle Pie

This is how I remember you

Because dear darling I love you

Aachoo! Silly doctors call it flu.

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I was eager and almost ready

‘Going without Umbrella?’ enquired the landlady

I smiled and sauntered without care

As love was in the air

Smile disappeared instead the clouds appeared

Evil above me slowly, surely leered

I didn’t return only for you

Because dear darling I love you

Aachoo! But doctors call it flu.

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My letter will reveal my pain

I know you know my tragedy

But why, why did it rain?

Sweet love, please accept my apology

I would have come in pain

If rushing was a good strategy

Very soon I will meet you

Doctor agrees with this plan too

First medicines and then only you

Aachoo! My Love this is flu!

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