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April 09, 1916, NYTimes Interview by JOYCE KILMER:Edwin Arlington Robinson Defines Poetry; A Language, Says Well-Known Poet, that tells us through more or less emotional reaction something which cannot be said

I typed out of the original photo documentation from New York Times  archives by way of my instant liking for an almost century old print that spoke volumes of how poetry remains deeply rooted till today, to the basic values discussed by Edward Arlington Robinson and Joyce Kilmer. ( Top class pioneers of the 20th century writing)  I liked the interview format, as in a prose form too. I guess copyright issues do not affect as this is purely meant for blog reading and not for commercial reproduction. Here’s a link to the copyrighted photo PDF.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9402E4DD1439E233A2575AC0A9629C946796D6CF#

 

At no time in the history of literature have the critics been able to agree upon a definition of poetry. And the recent popularity of VERS LIBRE and IMAGISME has made the definer’s task harder than ever before.

IS RHYME ESSENTIAL TO POETRY?  IS RHYTHM ESSENTIAL TO POETRY? CAN A MERE REFLECTION OF LIFE  JUSTLY BE CALLED POETRY, OR MUST IMAGINATION BE  PRESENT?

I put some of these questions to EDWARD ARLINGTON ROBINSON, who wrote ” CAPTAIN CRAIG” ” THE TOWN DOWN THE RIVER” and ” THE MAN AGAINST THE SKY”. And this man, whom WILLIAM STANLEY BRAITHWAITE and other authoritative critics have called the foremost of American poets, this student of  life, who was revealing the mysterious poetry of humanity many years before EDGAR LEE MASTERS discovered to the world the vexed spirits  that HEART SPOON RIVER, rewarded my questioning with a new definition of poetry.

He said : POETRY IS A LANGUAGE THAT TELLS US, THROUGH MORE OR LESS EMOTIONAL REACTION, SOMETHING THAT CANNOT BE SAID. ” ALL THAT POETRY, GREAT OR SMALL DOES THIS” he added ” AND IT SEEMS TO ME THAT POETRY HAS TWO CHARACTERISTICS. ONE IS THAT IT IS AFTER ALL UNDEFINABLE. THE OTHER IS THAT IT IS EVENTUALLY MISTAKABLE.

“Eventually ,” I said. ” Then you think that poetry is not always appreciated in the lifetime of its maker?”

Mr. Robinson smiled whimsically.” I never use words enough,” he said.” It is not unmistakable as soon as it is published but sooner or later it is unmistakable.

AND IN THE POET’S LIFETIME THERE ARE ALWAYS SOME PEOPLE  WHO WILL UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE HIS WORK. I REALLY THINK THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A REAL POET PERMANENTLY TO ESCAPE APPRECIATION. AND I CAN’T IMAGINE ANYTHING SILLIER FOR A MAN TO DO THAN TO WORRY ABOUT POETRY THAT HAS ONCE BEEN DECENTLY PUBLISHED. THE REST IS IN THE HANDS OF TIME, AND TIME HAS MORE THAN OFTEN A WAY OF MAKING A PRETTY THOROUGH JOB OF IT.”

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But why is it,” I asked,” that a great poet is without honor in his own generation where mediocrity is immediately famous?”

” it’s hard to say” said Mr. Robinson , thoughtfully regarding the glowing end of his cigar. ” Many causes prevent poetry from being correctly appraised in its own time. Any poetry that is marked by violence, that is conspicuous in color, that is sensationally odd, makes an immediate appeal. On the other hand, poetry that is not noticeably eccentric sometimes fails for years to attract any attention.

” I think that this is why so many of KIPLING’s worst poems are greatly overpraised, while some of his best poems  are not appreciated. ” GUNGA DIN” which is, of course, a good thing in its way, has been praised far more than it deserves because of its oddity. And the poem beginning ” There’s a whisper down the field’ has never been properly appreciated. It’s one of the very best of Kipling’s poems, although it is marred by a few lapses of taste. One of his greatest poems, by the way, ” The Children of the Zodiac,” happens to be in prose.

” But I am always revising my opinion of Kipling. I have changed my mind about him so often that I have no confidence in my critical judgement. That is one of the reasons why I do not like to criticise my American contemporaries.”

” Do you think,” I asked ” That this tendency to pay attention chiefly to the more sensational poets is a characteristic of our generation  as of those that came before?”

” I think it applies particularly to our own time,” he replied.” More than ever before oddity and violence are bringing into prominence poets who have little besides these two qualities to offer the world, and some who have more. It may seem very strange to you, but I think that a great modern instance of this tendency is the case of Robert Browning. The eccentricities of Browning’s method are the things that first turned popular attention upon him, but the startling quality in BROWNING made more sensation in his own time than it can ever make again. I say this in spite of the fact that BROWNING and WORDSWORTH,are taken as classic examples of slow recognition. WORDSWORTH, you know, had no respect for the judgement of youth. It may have been sour grapes, but I am inclined to think that there was a great deal of truth in his opinion.

” I think it is safe to say that all real poetry is going to give at some time or other a suggestion of FINALITY. In real poetry you find also about it a sort of NIMBUS os what can’t be said.

” This NIMBUS may be there- I wouldn’t say that it isn’t there and yet I can’t find it in much of the self-conscious experimenting that is going on nowadays in the name of poetry.

” I can’t get over the impression,” Mr. Robinson went on, with a meditative frown,” that these post-impressionists in painting and most of the VERS LIBRISTES in poetry are trying to find some sort of SHORT CUT to artistic success. I know that many of the new writers insist that it is harder to write good rhymed poetry. And judging from some of their results, I am inclined to agree with them.”

I asked Mr. Robinson if he believed that the evident increase in interest in poetry, shown by the large sales of the work of ROBERT FROST and EDGAR LEE MASTERS and RUPERT BROOKE, indicated a real renascence of poetry.

” I think that it indicates a real renascence of poetry,” he replied.” I am sufficiently childlike and hopeful to find it very encouraging.”

” DO YOU THINK,” I asked , ” that the Poetry that is written in  America today is better than that written a generation ago?”

” I should hardly venture to say that,” said Mr. Robinson.” For one thing we have no EMERSON. EMERSON is the greatest poet who ever wrote in America. Passages scattered here and there in his work surely are the greatest of American poetry. In fact, I think that there are lines and sentences in Emerson’s poetry that are as great as anything anywhere.”

I asked Mr. Robinson whether he thought the modern English poets were doing better work than their American contemporaries.At first he was unwilling to express an opinion on this subject, repeating his statement that he mistrusted his own critical judgement. But he said: ” Within his limits, I believe that A.E. Housman is the most authentic poet now writing in England. But, of course, his limits are very sharply drawn, I don’t think that anyone who knows anything about poetry will ever think of questioning the inspiration of  “A Shropshire Lad”.

” Would you make a similar comment on any other poetry of our time?” I asked.

” Well” said Mr. Robinson reflectively ” I think that no one will question the inspiration os some of Kipling’s poems, of parts of JOHN MASEFIELD’s ” DAUBER” and some of the long lyrics by ALFRED NOYES. But I do not think that either of these poets gives the impression of finality which A.E.HOUSMAN gives. But the way in which I have shifted my opinion about some of RUDYARD KIPLING’s poems and most of SWINEBURNE“S , makes me think that Wordsworth was very largely right in his attitude toward the judgement of youth. But where my opinions have shifted, I think now that I always had misgivings. I fancy that youth always has misgivings in regard to what  is later to be modified or repudiated.”

Then I asked Mr. Robinson if he thought that the war had anything to with the RENASCENCE OF POETRY .

” I can’t see any connection,” he replied.” The only effect on poetry that the war has had, so far as I know, is to produce those five sonnets by RUPERT BROOKE. I can’t see that it has caused any poetical event. And there’s no use prophesying what the war will or will not do to poetry, because no one knows anything about it. The civil war seems to have had a little effect o poetry except to produce JULIA WARD HOWE’S ‘ Battle hymn of the Republic,” Whitman’s  poems on the death of Lincoln and LOWELL’s -ODE.

“Mr. Robinson,” I said ” e has been much discussion recently about the rewards of poetry, and Miss Amy Lowell has said that no poet ought to be expected to make a living by writing. What do you think about it?”

” Should a poet be able to make a living out of poetry?” said Mr. Robinson.” Generally speaking, it is not possible for a poet to make a decent living by his work. In most cases it would be bad for his creative faculties for a poet to make as much money as a successful novelist makes. Fortunately there is no danger of that. Now, assuming that a poet has enough money to live on, the most important thing for him to have is an audience. I mean that the best poetry is in the air. If a poet with no obligations and responsibilities except to stay alive can’t live on a thousand dollars a year, ( I don’t undertake to say just how he is going to get it) he’d better go into some business.

” Then you don’t think,” I said, ” that literature has lost through the poverty of poets?”

” I certainly do believe that literature has lost through the poverty of poets.” said Mr. Robinson. ” I don’t believe in poverty. I never did. I think it is good for a poet to be bumped and knocked around when he is young, but all the difficulties that are put in his way after he gets to be 25 or 30 are certain to take something out of his work. I don’t see how they can do anything else.”

” Sometime ago you asked me,” said Mr. Robinson,” how I accounted for our difficulty in making a correct estimate of the poetry of one’s own time. The question is a difficult one. I don’t even say that it has an answer. But the solution of the thing seems to me to be related to what I said about the quality of finality that seems to exist in all real poetry. Finality seems always to have had a way of not obtruding itself to any great extent.”

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madhya pradesh on my mind-for Dabangg fans only

[Saw it yesterday, the unforgettable day of September. Not just for Americans but for the world. 9/11 defied any genre of movies nine years back. Well, life moves on, I prayed for the day, the victims and slowly got about moving for a weekend ]

I’m gonna spell it DaBungg since i read it “The Bang” the first time I saw that name. later when i saw its hindi da-ba ga with a bindu, I realised the importance of grace marks in my school life. Because of my Madhya Pradesh upbringing, I fail in anglicised hindi, just as Gopal of INSCRUTABLE AMERICANS by Anurag Mathur clearly explained. Gopal sahab, abhi bhi aap is desh ke kone-kone mein amar ho. Even when i watched Omkara earlier by Vishal Bharadwaj from Bijnaur (UP) and Gulaal by Anurag Kashyap, all I had in mind was Madhya Pradesh. I had a fearless Bhaubali as a classmate, so he came back to mind. My friend kinda looks like Ajay Devgan too, if school ( house) friends reading this can recall faces of classmates. The hain-ji-ain-ji also brought back a dayscholar friend. Some friends still call me Danny, so I really don’t think it’s a racist comment!:-)

I got to learn early that this UP-Bihar-MP belt is the trinity of Indian Movies.The good, the bad and the ugly, not respectively. MUMBAI took advantage of this “Familiarity breeds contempt” belt and fed India ostentatiously with the Trio politics, culture, lingo and arts coupled with Tapori– underworld slang that nobody really escaped from.Even Salman Rushdie got hooked to killofy, karofy and Maro-fying of slang-bang in his hawadaar writing. ( though he claims it came from the family language of his younger kith and kin)

So, Dabungg begins. DASHING-DESHING ENTRY has to be there. Maan Gaye bhaiyya what an entry. Aisa Phaaiting tha, beech mein Matrix jaisa still shots, aur durjon bank lootne walon ko ek akela Salman Eid ke din badhiya dhota hain…dialogue mein bola, abhi tak toh nehelaya hain, ab dho-unga. If you don’t get the belt’s hindi, its difficult to understand, I have bathe them, now I’ll wash them kinda dialogue.

Thank You Shatrughan Sinha. Hum Khamosh nahin reh sakte. Sonakshi Sinha is Bihar’s poshiest Garam Masala so far. I mentioned Garam Masala for obvious reasons of Baby Neetu chandra who constantly changes her D.O.B. Sonakshi has all it takes to Khamoshify whosoever. jug jug jiyo!those who don’t agree with my views on Sonakshi Sinha….bhai bhaad mein jao, ya patli gali se niklo. [ Reena Roy- ahoy!!] The AAITUM BUMB was a Nesunal phirecracker since d promos. So again, it brought back my classmate bhaubali who sang LAUNDA BADNAAM HUWA in one of our classroom histrionics. As it happened i read a review where the research went absolutely deep. Picture the making of the song interview and the LAUNDA-LAUNDI research links below. To see Salman and Malaika in an item song, in a movie produced by Arbaaz, deserves some applause. Its not just ” All about loving your family sentiments”. This goes beyond that to me. As for now, let me praise the Madhya Pradesh Public School education of the Khan Brothers.

I don’t wanna really think of how classic actors OM PURI & ANUPAM KHER were roped in for few minutes. VINOD KHANNA already has a WANTED tag, DIMPLE KAPADIA of RUDAALI already knows the language in perfect rendition. I noted that in some movies, Dimple really spews desi venom with the word haraami, just as Sadashiv Amrapurkar would with AAULAD” Thank you KASHYAP BROTHERS, Ehsaan Qureshi of The Great Indian laughter Challenge, & KHAN brothers for constant memories of the Belt- obviously inclusive of above and below the belt connotations.
The Movie surprisingly had a Kolkata Multiplex full of Seeti- Baazi.Thanks to BPO culture of import-export audience in the metros.

MINDLESS MAGICAL STUFF with starpower, inclusive of the new Lady Sinha.

Related archives : 1. THE MAKING OF MUNNI : http://bit.ly/9c7oy5

2. LAUNDA BADNAAM HUWA :-http://bit.ly/1b8tXq

3. UTTAR PRADESH FOLK: http://bit.ly/dyrvij

4. RELATED READ ON A DHAANSU BLOG : http://bit.ly/bAixEe

5. REENA ROY LOOKALIKE http://bit.ly/9fOUi1

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FOLK FICTION-The Eligibility of Language

13th November 2006

“ worthless man.of what use is that silence that does not utter a meaning? You might fool the even more spirits with the crackle of your finger-bones as though you chopped the entire eastern mountains for firewood, but not me…” cursed the fair-woman as usual at her silent, level-headed man.”

“…. let me make worth of you by chopping that odd hair off and trade for the skin of the mighty mountain boar. Ah! Mute sorrow is I. Mute…is I!”

The talkative women of Nokho pitied with the fair-woman and cursed her man as they field in a faraway, while the other brave-men of Nokho were busy being brave. But at sunset, as they entered back into the brave men-land, nobody dared to question the silence, except for the fair-woman.

For the Wise-man had said, “ In the brave men-land of Nokho, where the tiger would rather go hungry, and talkative talk fill women’s intestines, a silent level-headed man will grow like a still, strong tree on its soil. Not one of you shall dare the silence, for like a tame calf he kicks, AT THE TIME. Then, a sheaf of his hair you shall burn at the feet of the mighty mountain rock.”

Father was the Wise-man. the only man who could talk to the outside. The language of his mouth were the scented smoke of the myrrhdust. He knew slices of the white ghost’s language, taught by the white ghosts with a book, whom the brave-men of Nokho captured.

And so the the Wiseman named him Lulungson-the son of the mighty mountain rock or the ‘Lung’.He lovingly prefixed the affectionate Lu, for he was wise.

Lulungson sat still and crackled his fingerbones while the fairwoman cursed.

Exactly like the strong, still tree whose leaves giggled at the tickle of the weak wind.

The fairwoman shouted and rushed about the big kitchen house unloading the workbaskets, thudding the big rice pot over the three well-sliced firestones, until she murmured. Silent Lulung would then drop his son down from the back and kiss him. They wisely smile at each other, excluding the fairwoman.

The Wiseman’s language seemed upon his own son, Lulung. Everyone in the brave menland of Nokho feared the silent one, for they revered the kick of the tame calf, AT THE TIME. Lulung did not brave the mighty mountain boar like the other bravemen. But he worked the company of his son from sunrise to curse, as he silently watched the three corners of the brave menland.

The fairwoman would come back weary, but saved to curse her silent, levelheaded man as though she could water a mute stone to a tree.

The Wiseman had left Lulung enough, AT THE TIME. Bigger rice pots, three other firestones well sliced from the mighty mountain rock, and a gourd of copper and the white ghosts’ coins. And from the big kitchen house on the mountaintop, the three corners of the brave menland were as clear as the fairwoman’s face.

The Wiseman had planted a tall-tree sapling, so that he could hang Lulung on his back and climb the treehouse to watch over the fourth corner of Nokho. But his body was myrrhed before the tall-tree could grow tall and pass on the language of his dream.

From the fourth corner of the brave menland of Nokho, a long haired ghost on a horse  turns into a man-eating tiger and silently watches, like a tiger, to prey upon the back of a silent, still man crackling his fingerbones while chopping firewood.

As the tiger pounces, the Wiseman sees the silent man turn his face when young Lulung would cry from the pain in his kidneys. The Wiseman always helped, but on that unclear morning, Lulung went alone and peed on the tall-tree sapling.

It troubled the Wiseman because of the language of the wisemen that the tiger was their protector and would not harm even a piglet in the brave menland of Nokho, watched by the shadow of the mighty mountain Lung.

“ Go chop that odd hair off and trade for the skin of the…………………boar. Do you hear me or am I pouring water on arum leaves? Ah! Mute sorrow …mute……. Is I!” cursed the fairwoman as she left to field.

She was blessed to the silent one by the language between the wiseman and her father.

“ your daughter is fairer than all the talk of the talkative women of this brave menland. When she is nubile, and my son is strong , let our women smear the doorposts with the mud of myrrh and let them flourish. We shall not tarry, for virile is a glance and virgin is a night.”

Thus the fair-woman father smelt the scented smoke of the myrrhdust.

That day as the fair-woman left, the dream woke. The long-haired tribesmen rode in from the unwatched corner of the brave men-land. A riding tribe that took away anything their hearts desired in the land of others, and they long envied the fair women of the brave menland of Nokho.

Lulungson rushed at the commotion of curses by the talkative women. The wiseman’s sword gathered very less blood as he punctured the guts of the longhaired men with the hoof of his well-slept legs. But the longhaired men kept coming while the brave-men of Nokho were busy being brave with the mighty mountain boar.

Alone as the tame calf kicked, and the agile sword sliced, the protector roared AT THE TIME in the brave menland of Nokho. It pounced and ate the jealous hearts of all the longhaired men alike. The smell of human blood had renewed his appetite long lost by the kerfuffle of the talkative talk of the women of Nokho that made him ignore even a piglet.

“….awiee!!awiee!awieee!!! Mute sorrow is me..Mute…..me. Oh tame calf  who kicked AT THE TIME  and saved the talk of the women of Nokho, let me love your hair this once and anoint you with the precious mud of myrrh..” wept the fairwoman at the silent corpse of  her man who crackled his fingerbones no more.

Only that day, the shorthaired bravemen did not go about their bravery, and the talkative women were unusual as they gathered at the feet of the Mighty Mountain Lung.

As they buried the silent-man, red charcoals crackled as crystals of myrrh-dust were poured in.

The fair-woman kept the Wise-man language and chopped a sheaf of his hair to burn it at the feet of the mighty mountain rock.

AT THE TIME, it smelt like the roast skin of the mighty mountain boar.

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What does “kumbaya” mean?- Cecil Adams

” One of the biggest questions i ever had of an automatic hum chorus. was going through Creole and pidgin language forms and came across this one.I can get back to my sunday school teachers who said ” just sing, don’t ask.its a fun word”

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1280/what-does-kumbaya-mean

September 11, 1998

Dear Cecil:

This has probably been answered somewhere before, but I was getting my teeth drilled that day. Just what does kumbaya mean?

— F. Pierson, via the Internet

Cecil replies:

Oh Lord, kumbaya. Also spelled kum ba yah, cumbayah, kumbayah, and probably a few other ways. If you look in a good songbook you’ll find the word helpfully translated as “come by here,” with the note that the song is “from Angola, Africa.” The “come by here” part I’ll buy. But Angola? Someone’s doubtin’, Lord, for the obvious reason that kumbaya is way too close to English to have a strictly African origin. More likely, I told my assistant Jane, it comes from some African-English pidgin or creole–that is, a combination of languages. (A pidgin is a linguistic makeshift that enables two cultures to communicate for purposes of trade, etc.; a creole is a pidgin that has become a culture’s primary language.) Sure enough, when we look into the matter, we find this conjecture is on the money. Someone’s grinnin’, Lord, kumbaya.

Kumbaya apparently originated with the Gullah, an African-American people living on the Sea Islands and adjacent coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. (The best known Sea Island is Hilton Head, the resort area.) Having lived in isolation for hundreds of years, the Gullah speak a dialect that most native speakers of English find unintelligible on first hearing but that turns out to be heavily accented English with other stuff mixed in. The dialect appears in Joel Chandler Harris’s “Uncle Remus” stories, to give you an idea what it sounds like. In the 1940s the pioneering linguist Lorenzo Turner showed that the Gullah language was actually a creole consisting of English plus a lot of words and constructions from the languages of west Africa, the Gullahs’ homeland. Although long scorned as an ignorant caricature of English, Gullah is actually a language of considerable charm, with expressions like (forgive my poor attempt at expressing these phonetically) deh clin, dawn (literally “day clean”); troot mout, truthful person (“truth mouth”), and tebble tappuh, preacher (“table tapper”).

And of course there’s kumbayah. According to ethnomusicologist Thomas Miller, the song we know began as a Gullah spiritual. Some recordings of it were made in the 1920s, but no doubt it goes back earlier. Published versions began appearing in the 1930s. It’s believed an American missionary couple taught the song to the locals in Angola, where its origins were forgotten. The song was then rediscovered in Angola and brought back here in time for the folksinging revival of the 50s and 60s. People might have thought the Gullahs talked funny, but we owe them a vote of thanks. Can you imagine sitting around the campfire singing, “Oh, Lord, come by here”?

— Cecil Adams


This might curb your anger at the internet ignored sunday school teachers.

Choir form :


dunno if its pop kumbayah or choir ;-)..i Jived for the first time to this kumbayah though


★ How an innocent campfire song got warped by the cynicism of our times.

By: Michael E.Ross

http://www.theroot.com/views/oh-lord-kumbaya


KOOM BA YAH !!

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Book Review: A terrible Matriarchy – Easterine Kire( Zubaan,2007)

“All of you know my brother was a man who was free with his words and sometimes with his fists…” a funeral speech by a younger brother aimed at seeking apology for the soul of his dead elder brother.

Such realistic portrayals of the evolving Naga Society, leaving aside its inherent humour, contextualizes to mind a “non-diary” Anne Frank, a “non thick-book” Roots, by Alex Haley  “or less than a hundred years” Garcia Marquez for the consuming references to their umbilical roots, from where its literary spirits beautifully haunt many to this day.

Easterine Kire’s  “ A terrible matriarchy” ( Zubaan 2007) has no pretensions, neither magical realism’s, no high-aiming metaphors and clichés , yet it coagulates into a familiarity so strong that one is left to strongly question as to why it took so long for such a story. ( Sorry, it took me 3 yrs after its publication, hence spare me Ad Hominem)

The narrative is in first person which is an elegant part of the novel re-affirming her Naga consanguinity through oral narration of histories, customs and cultures. It’s as though you were closely huddled in a group by the hearth, listening to the narration of an exceptionally strong-willed 5-yr old girl named Dielieno.

Emerging questions would be as strong as those of Dielieno, who exemplifies the quintessential Naga girl, never fighting pro-male privileges, yet gradually managing to pose the quietest interrogations that were to be an eye-opener for the rising status of women in contemporary Naga society. With a quiet rendition of inner strength, Dielieno leaves an undeniable impression with her circumstantial services for a stone-hearted grandmother, who is anti-privileges to a girl child, from a simple treat of jaggery to education. Dielieno, in her own words, hated the woman with vengeance and hence the title of this novel.

Easterine’s fiction prominently displays rich aromas of home-grown metaphors and examples, and each one of these are meticulously put into place to make a reader feel strong lingering realities of the rural hills of Nagaland. You meet an old, tough lady so strong in her own mindset, that she’d cane the scary spirits on their back were they to haunt her; a common well, where usual women drew more gossip than water, an educated grand-uncle on whose written applications depend the village’s official communication,  funeral speeches where speakers are carefully picked from the family to avoid social-bloopers, young school girls re-using Christmas cards, a God-sent leftover British ammunition box to bake Christmas cakes, young boys picking up vices in school, semi-modern girls marrying prematurely etc. and most of all, the nursing sacrifices of Bano, an illegitimate girl-child who would epitomise the persevering qualities of a Naga girl despite the prevailing odds of socio-political disorders, with the book offering brief flashes of the ongoing Naga political Movement.

Heissh! As the tough granny would tiringly say, it’s certainly announcing the cementing of new age ideologies that have waited long to burst out through years of pre-dominant patriarchal weight. A must read for realizing that farthest corners of the world where indigenous communities live in close harmony with nature still have a lot to say about  societal errors, undying romanticism of the living and the dead alike and certainly about feminine qualities of story-telling that makes even the spooky spirits of the Naga hills in north-eastern part of India, worth a curious visit.

For the Nagas‘ themselves, Dielieno herself  is the new face of their story-telling.

http://www.bookvook.com/book/details/terrible-matriarchy-a-zubaan–53-54253.html

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ON JOURNALING- Jason Mraz

A  note i came across on Facebook worth a re-blog. [ on mine of course.. got a good feel to that ]

Before I ever had my part-time relationship with this computer, all my writing was done in a spiral or leather-bound journal stuffed with supplements of receipts and bar napkins, post-it notes laden with good bad ideas and bad good ideas – real tangible scraps of thoughts that could be easily lost if the wind blew the wrong direction.

Since the integration of personal computing into my life, the chronology of journaling has somewhat lost its order. Were I to die and someone were to try and connect my literary dots, they would find themselves going back and forth between hard drives and the myriad oily books stuffed in boxes and those crammed into bookshelves that no longer have any more space for cramming. A few toys, tokens and awards from the random adventure adorn these shelves as well almost blocking the books in a way, serving as tiny security guards, protecting the notebooks from dust, cats, and curious fingers. While I would prefer to see the shelves more organized, it’s been the way it’s been for so long my mind reads the space as it would wallpaper – in 2 dimensions. Therefore it seldom occurs to me to reach out and move something. The clutter then becomes a comforter and I just carry on.

Recently, and partially due to the over-preparedness in forcing a new creative cycle, I have been traveling with both computer and sketchbook. Some places I’ve been haven’t offered a connectedness to the web or even electricity for that matter – such as a car or plane or Ghana for instance. Thus, wielding a pen has proven better for songwriting and listing the order of things, especially on-the-move, but it offers less space for blogging and/or speaking to the masses. Rarely have I transcribed something from a handwritten journal to the screen.

This is likely due to almost-fact that the patter I position on the computer is largely planted in a café, or at the breakfast table, or a hotel desktop – places that invite to me sit down and write, and/or places generally known for conversation. For some reason the intention of writing in the space for chatter creates something in and of itself that often becomes a public share in the form of a blog or on-stage anecdote; whereas the pen and paper and “on-the-go” writing style stems more from the soul; a real extension of the body – perhaps longing for a place to connect, someone to be with, a space to reflect – though within a book, works remains quiet until introduced to music. I resolve by being so grand as to say that using a pen is to truly write by the hand of God, the Universe, the all-knowing unknowable, etc.

Then again, I wrote this on the computer. So what do I really know?

This view is nothing more than a momentary result of sitting at the breakfast table with a laptop ready to spoon-feed the keys my daily dose of bullshit. I could have written about the butterflies that bounce in and out of the kitchen from the back garden – Or the cat dancing with them all, reaching out with flared claws in hopes of finding a partner. Perhaps on paper this is what would’ve happened – poetry and imagination over rhyme and reason. Yet, the true matter of either is that it’s just entertainment really. My thoughts, and certainly the way they are organized are first and foremost for my own pleasure. In writing I see my life birthing before my eyes in real time. Each letter unfolding one after another – 26 letters arranged in ways that seldom repeat themselves when expanded into words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, and themes. Like my favorite way to describe surfing, writing is a Great way to waste time.

Well, perhaps surfing is a greater waste of time. At least writing may align your thoughts and interests with another and help them to fill a hole in their soul. Surfing may align you with nature, but it’s otherwise solitary unless you’re into going tandem. In the water you can certainly fill your own void, and you can hope that someone else is watching you achieve something in your style, but odds are, the other surfers are focused on their next wave already. By writing, so long as that person speaks your language, you have a great opportunity to inspire emotion, transformation, education and possibly some kind of action. Other than that, all work truly deserves to be tossed in the recycle-bin as it was just the writer’s way of filling time at the breakfast table before heading into the studio. Had you seen him picking his nose while drinking an odd concoction of tea and instant coffee, I doubt you would’ve given him this much of your morning.

While this entire entry could’ve been posted in parenthesis, suggesting the non-action of its type being merely an aside to the author’s great life work; that which eats its own tail. I remember now that everything is valid and somehow we do serve a greater purpose. If anything, the dancing cat had his audience of one while I sorted this out. And you, well – you gave us the space to share it.

So the cat and I, and the butterflies and smaller insects that remain alive, we thank you.
http://www.facebook.com/Rangam.Thoitak.Chiru#!/notes/jason-mraz/on-journaling/405064706052

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TEQUILAteral

(simply playing with the variants of Tequila Sunrise cocktail….a drink thats got the name of befitting songs alike )

Finally together, we sipped the gradations of an afternoon crystal ball
Deeply lost in the settled black currant shadows of a highball tall
Mesmerised by the red-sea sunrise that overlooked my alcoholic sea
Her giggling stories dashed with a longing slice of orange and cherry
Crème da cassis feelings sinking slowly like Poirot’s mystery
Hey sunshine sung by the band from the southern with a Caribbean seal
Sheer magical feel, royally dominated by her grenadine lips
Amaretto Disaronno, our Italian rendezvous of memories in stirring teal
A kiss of three years sunsets, the price of a thousand cocktail ships
Begins again our musings together,
For the endless sunrises of the tequilateral.

http://allpoetry.com/poem/6646351

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THE EDISONISATION CAME BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

” stumbling on old articles while cleaning mails ” @ Leisure

 

Pardon me folks for the discretionary use of Thomas Alva Edison’s name as a connotation to the brand new electric lines of my good old’ village.

Strange but true, its 2004, 21st century, Y2K +4 but 55 kms only from Imphal and I was just lucky enough to switch on a bulb in the countryside, early this year.

HELLO MONEY-POOR GOVERNMENTS!!!!!

Okay. I am sorry again to term the successive governments of the land of jewels like that. But, money-poor doesn’t mean Manipur as a culturally rich state but I am referring to the Economic times of India and not to the cultural times.(in case anyone reads this paper!!).Seriously, NO OFFENCE.

I bought a set of the main Switchboxes, a dozen of bulbs and tubes with a seemingly endless coil of ISI marked wires.

ALL SET AND DONE. Halleluiah! What an unbelievable sight!!! A strong current of happiness flowed in all of us. Then a string of advises followed…kids don’t touch this and that, no wet hands and so on.

The electrical musing that followed after that accomplishment, as the first household to be “switched on” was something you might perhaps find interesting.

The morning after, I got early visitors. A little more curious about the fitting costs rather than the normal amount of manure in my uncle’s cowshed. Some came for borrowing pliers, screwdrivers, and leftover wires. SAFETY TIPS TO CELLOTAPES…

What a uniquely busy day for everyone?

I admit I was a little mean in acquiring all the materials from the town before I stepped into the village. I had met the engineer and so was sure of the exact day when the lines would be electrified. Just a SMALL VILLAGE PRIDE to be the first…

Nonetheless, I had hired an acquaintance to bring all the materials at wholesale rates. Everyone benefited, though only on the Second day!

The Church treasury lent money to those who could not afford on time, the village authority court fixed the number of bulbs and tubes in each household according to their being joint or nuclear (the village has to pay an annual consumption fee!), a general body meeting was called and a few employment opportunities came up for deserving candidates.(local electric dept.!)

   People look better now. A little Sunday-dress smartness has come, as the evening service is bright enough for the youths in particular. Hard working women weave by night, the dogs have become lazy and fatter, my uncle’s rooster suffered insomnia and so crows late (can’t roost with the lights on!), small television sets have come as they say smaller ones have better receptivity, and we can listen to a range of Beatles to CCR to local gospel bands, more than ever before.

 

I see gadgets beyond my expectation too. Some town-educated kids do have video games in the village. No kidding!!!I see more beauty for tomorrow. Like big, bright Christmas trees decorated by the same kids and more…I fervently pray the currents should flow in every field continuously. The government for sure is doing its best in spite of the constraints financially or of the crippling law and order related issues. Lets wish the best for them.

 Well, folks wish me luck too, for I hope to be lucky enough to write soon about GRAHAMIFICATION. Hello chief, …it’s me from the capital city of Delhi…

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SHE’S WRITEFULLY MINE FOREVER

“A write-up of first year college digged out while cleaning out mails”

                                    

She wrote in her best writing strokes on my notepad… “You can be shy in your life, not in your work. You are at best when you are barreling through….”—lines I’d read from Jim Morison’s biography-the legendary DOORS front man and songwriter of the freewheeling 60’s.

She made it leap like thick, rich black words from between the two lined parallels of my notebook. SHE NOTES MY INSPIRATIONS WELL.

I’ve known her for quite a long time now. She reflects my moods, life’s bits and pieces. On my part, I do my best to keep her close to the heart.Yet, my forgetfulness always brings up those dreadful distances.

Leaving her aside, often, when I unwind by listening to my favourite songs, I have often delved to believe that had I not been a Christian I wouldn’t have carried music within me as I do today. – The lively choirs, congregational hymns and the vibrant Sunday school choruses….

Almost obvious to reason with, I feel I’d be shouting my commune’s harvest and victory songs only, had the early missionaries not evangelized my ancestors.

Better still, when I sit down with her to write again, she somehow reminds me that in my upbringing through these hymns in archaic English, I had an upper edge over my non-Christian friends. They weren’t introduced to English literature before me!!!! (You must support her for this!)

Sometime before, I’d picked up abridged biographies of hymn writers. Notably, the blind lady writer Fanny Crosby of the visionary “BLESSED ASSURANCE” and the lost Joseph Scriven’s reassuring  ” WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE” singspirations. They had written these hymns in such poetic dimensions that I fail to put in mere words, the perfect combination of delicate expressions in powerful lyrics.

Inspired, I also sat down to write a hymn with her. She refused to support me right there and then, trying to convey my lack of their kind of insight and inspiration. I persisted, but she was outright adamant.

In the process, she made me realize that the difference in the mentioned 60’s write and these 17th century greats will remain in the ages, their songs endure and enliven.

In spite of her being boundlessly adamant, I remain indebted to her for helping me erase my hillbilly fears and doubts to be an urbane “Barreling through” writer.

She never fails to compliment my efforts. Her loyalty shows as a result of my inputs to our relationship.

Despite her rich foreign origins, she never frets about sharing the quaint surroundings of my one-room tenement. But if I am dull and lazy, she proves to be doubly inanimate by sleeping or sulking at one posture, unless I hold her back.  The silent old feminine tantrum!!!

I must elaborate on her beautiful features…. Underneath that dark veil lies the proverbial “Gold Crowned” head with fine eye for details. A slender waist that has effortlessly been the same since we became a part of each other’s lives. To top it all, that tall, sculptured body even her peers would envy.”

Lately, I’ve been irked in concern of her excessive drinking habits, when I sit down long hours to write. I am sad to be forced in looking for a new, sensible drinking partner.

Well, to conclude with her story, she was spotted from amongst a dozen others by my dad, who chose to give her to me right after my college.

Before handing the responsibility, my mom dressed her up in matching white chiffon with laces in subtle shades of purple. My parents made her write the accompanying card…  “ Blessings for a fruitful life ahead.”

I accepted her without hesitation. I felt chuffed about her. With those blessings from our parents we marched ahead, hand in hand.

Ever since that first glimpse, she has ever remained my “ MADE FOR EACH OTHER” fountain penwrite fully mine forever.

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RangamChiru’s blog

Hello friend,

  • Just feeding the ego of the blog muse out here..….I post anything, my poetry, prose, or stuff that I picked up from a Groundnut wrapper, and some that got into press websites or people forums beyond this blog!!

I’ve  really hated people classified under  MINORITY and MAJORITY tags, but sadly that’s the world we live in. I keep on learning how to think beyond those terms and hope that the day i die, I’m satisfied  with the quality of work i did in respect of my own  pursuit to an equal, unclassified way of living and thinking.

No minority mojo for me and no majority one for you too!!!:-)

Thanks for reading anything out here, even better if there was something that made your day.

Good cheers and Good health,


 


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