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Poetics Of New Imagery
Written by: Durlabh Singh
The robotic element of our mind tends towards readymade and automatic responses, as it saves us from any intellectual labours. It venerates the conventional, the established, and the cultural norms, which have been given the establishment’s seal of approval.
This conditioning process renders most of the poets ineffectual, as not to seek new venues in the contemporary poetics and just produce that imagery which is only variations of the established patterns. Even if a poet produces something new, it will be met with hostility or lack of understanding by critics, public at large and by the sanctioning peers of the establishments. This mode of poetical insensitivity and lack of any creative intelligence is very common in our society.
No wonder in such sterile surroundings, no new imagery has much chance of taking roots and a poet of some substance will look for new soils where his creations can take roots and grow. Such soil is conventionally called the ‘imagination’, which is considered to be a region unrelated to common way of thought but which is the soul of the things and the ground of spiritual happenings.
A poet has to look out for such a rare happening and when it happens, he should be ready to receive these and give them a material form in the shape of writing and this is a difficult process to accomplish as these images have wings and difficult to trap in a cage of poetical accomplishments of real depths.
Among many faculties of human mind, rationality is one such faculty and very good at keeping us going in a life - plain sailing as it does not allow the other faculties of imagination to intrude into its territory. On the other hand the faculty of imagination has its own control and does not allow any intrusion of rational faculty as it will only harm its natural growth and thus bar any developments of our spiritual consciousness.
And I grow fingers and thumbs to write more
The verses that do not follow straight lines
But zigzagging under the open skies
In chromed yellow sunlight
In canopy of the trees
Of the emerald green.
Deserts there are, heat exhausted creatures
Which demand to know the arrival of dawn
Within the hot sandy dunes loneliness resides
Seized in sounds of silences the wind sighing.
Winters I have seen , in interiors of people
Where motions are frozen in frigid bonds
And down pours from dark clouds echoes
The deaths of the moths on the frozen ponds.
Today I speak from depths of the being
From slits in roofs , from broken charades
From blood soaked minds under the bullets metallic
Or women singing their songs in mud soaked paddies.
Run with syrup on my parched lips
Or disappear in the immensity of the seas
Rain forested creatures wormed of nights
In wakeful of the myths for mutterings in dawn.
Looking at the above verse from un-poetical view point, will not make much sense to ordinary reader but to a poetically refined, it will convey a word of new sensibilities, multi dimensional being, telling us about both inner and outer realities. It does not run away from the unpleasant realties of our world: its violence and its indifference to living creatures. It is a true realism and not the false idealism of conventional expression. Here so called imagination has combined true elements of our existence in the form a creative mode.
It has become now a days a fashionable to reject rhymed verses and opt out for the free verse but results have been disastrous and you will find most of such poetry as only prose cut into lines, there is no poetical sensibilities involved and most of such matter is without any deep contents or rhyme. When you read it, it is as blank as any rhymed poetry with ‘rat’ and ‘cat’ rhyming lines. What to do to make these palatable? Here poetics of new imagery may come to rescue.
PASS YOUR HAND Pass your hand over
The face where I suspect
Some salamander song
Of passions and dreary touch.
Eternity to the eyelids
And dark blossoms to the lips
The perspiration on the brow
When changed to the petals.
Passing your hand over
The face do not bare
Cold paled bleached air
The long turrets
By finger butts
Sweet as a lark.
Born of waters I was
The child sprung of earth
Taught by the winds
A fearless song
Sought by the multitudes
The thistle and the rose
Nor did a beggar sworn
The fervours of venus or saturn
The proud spirit only did stare Face to face in the darkened pattern.