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Best Famous Bombay Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Bombay poems. This is a select list of the best famous Bombay poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Bombay poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of bombay poems.

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Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Post That Fitted

 Ere the seamer bore him Eastward, Sleary was engaged to marry
An attractive girl at Tunbridge, whom he called "my little Carrie.
" Sleary's pay was very modest; Sleary was the other way.
Who can cook a two-plate dinner on eight poor rupees a day? Long he pondered o'er the question in his scantly furnished quarters -- Then proposed to Minnie Boffkin, eldest of Judge Boffkin's daughters.
Certainly an impecunious Subaltern was not a catch, But the Boffkins knew that Minnie mightn't make another match.
So they recognised the business and, to feed and clothe the bride, Got him made a Something Something somewhere on the Bombay side.
Anyhow, the billet carried pay enough for him to marry -- As the artless Sleary put it: -- "Just the thing for me and Carrie.
" Did he, therefore, jilt Miss Boffkin -- impulse of a baser mind? No! He started epileptic fits of an appalling kind.
[Of his modus operandi only this much I could gather: -- "Pears's shaving sticks will give you little taste and lots of lather.
"] Frequently in public places his affliction used to smite Sleary with distressing vigour -- always in the Boffkins' sight.
Ere a week was over Minnie weepingly returned his ring, Told him his "unhappy weakness" stopped all thought of marrying.
Sleary bore the information with a chastened holy joy, -- Epileptic fits don't matter in Political employ, -- Wired three short words to Carrie -- took his ticket, packed his kit -- Bade farewell to Minnie Boffkin in one last, long, lingering fit.
Four weeks later, Carrie Sleary read -- and laughed until she wept -- Mrs.
Boffkin's warning letter on the "wretched epilept.
" .
.
.
Year by year, in pious patience, vengeful Mrs.
Boffkin sits Waiting for the Sleary babies to develop Sleary's fits.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Song of the Cities

 BOMBAY

Royal and Dower-royal, I the Queen
 Fronting thy richest sea with richer hands --
A thousand mills roar through me where I glean
 All races from all lands.
CALCUTTA Me the Sea-captain loved, the River built, Wealth sought and Kings adventured life to hold.
Hail, England! I am Asia -- Power on silt, Death in my hands, but Gold! MADRAS Clive kissed me on the mouth and eyes and brow, Wonderful kisses, so that I became Crowned above Queens -- a withered beldame now, Brooding on ancient fame.
RANGOON Hail, Mother! Do they call me rich in trade? Little care I, but hear the shorn priest drone, And watch my silk-clad lovers, man by maid, Laugh 'neath my Shwe Dagon.
SINGAPORE Hail, Mother! East and West must seek my aid Ere the spent gear may dare the ports afar.
The second doorway of the wide world's trade Is mine to loose or bar.
HONG-KONG Hail, Mother! Hold me fast; my Praya sleeps Under innumerable keels to-day.
Yet guard (and landward), or to-morrow sweeps Thy war-ships down the bay! HALIFAX Into the mist my guardian prows put forth, Behind the mist my virgin ramparts lie, The Warden of the Honour of the North, Sleepless and veiled am I! QUEBEC AND MONTREAL Peace is our portion.
Yet a whisper rose, Foolish and causeless, half in jest, half hate.
Now wake we and remember mighty blows, And, fearing no man, wait! VICTORIA From East to West the circling word has passed, Till West is East beside our land-locked blue; From East to West the tested chain holds fast, The well-forged link rings true! CAPE TOWN Hail! Snatched and bartered oft from hand to hand, I dream my dream, by rock and heath and pine, Of Empire to the northward.
Ay, one land From Lion's Head to Line! MELBOURNE Greeting! Nor fear nor favour won us place, Got between greed of gold and dread of drouth, Loud-voiced and reckless as the wild tide-race That whips our harbour-mouth! SYDNEY Greeting! My birth-stain have I turned to good; Forcing strong wills perverse to steadfastness: The first flush of the tropics in my blood, And at my feet Success! BRISBANE The northern stirp beneath the southern skies -- I build a Nation for an Empire's need, Suffer a little, and my land shall rise, Queen over lands indeed! HOBART Man's love first found me; man's hate made me Hell; For my babes' sake I cleansed those infamies.
Earnest for leave to live and labour well, God flung me peace and ease.
AUCKLAND Last, loneliest, loveliest, exquisite, apart -- On us, on us the unswerving season smiles, Who wonder 'mid our fern why men depart To seek the Happy Isles!
Written by John Matthew | Create an image from this poem

The Bombay Train Song

 He hangs on dangling handholds
As the train sways and careens
Endless nondescript buildings unfold
Their secrets as the tired warrior returns.
The day is over the night falls Thickly through the barricaded windows The man’s sleepy head lolls On his shoulder in a dream disturbed.
The days are a hard white collar brawl The sleepless night stretches ahead There’s no space for a fly to crawl The morning paper is still unread.
You who sleep standing Don’t drool on his shirt It will cost him a lot of spending If you pour on him all your dirt.
Plastic bags, umbrellas, Tiffin The rack is full and the seats overflow What is that smell Peter Griffin? Is it the Sewri sewers overflowing? Beware of pickers of pockets Who surround and slash with knife Careful of your arm’s sockets Lest they dislocate and misery make life.
Welcome to Bombay’s bustling trains Hold on fast as if you are insane!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

One Viceroy Resigns

 So here's your Empire.
No more wine, then? Good.
We'll clear the Aides and khitmatgars away.
(You'll know that fat old fellow with the knife -- He keeps the Name Book, talks in English too, And almost thinks himself the Government.
) O Youth, Youth, Youth! Forgive me, you're so young.
Forty from sixty -- twenty years of work And power to back the working.
Ay def mi! You want to know, you want to see, to touch, And, by your lights, to act.
It's natural.
I wonder can I help you.
Let me try.
You saw -- what did you see from Bombay east? Enough to frighten any one but me? Neat that! It frightened Me in Eighty-Four! You shouldn't take a man from Canada And bid him smoke in powder-magazines; Nor with a Reputation such as -- Bah! That ghost has haunted me for twenty years, My Reputation now full blown -- Your fault -- Yours, with your stories of the strife at Home, Who's up, who's down, who leads and who is led -- One reads so much, one hears so little here.
Well, now's your turn of exile.
I go back To Rome and leisure.
All roads lead to Rome, Or books -- the refuge of the destitute.
When you .
.
.
that brings me back to India.
See! Start clear.
I couldn't.
Egypt served my turn.
You'll never plumb the Oriental mind, And if you did it isn't worth the toil.
Think of a sleek French priest in Canada; Divide by twenty half-breeds.
Multiply By twice the Sphinx's silence.
There's your East, And you're as wise as ever.
So am I.
Accept on trust and work in darkness, strike At venture, stumble forward, make your mark, (It's chalk on granite), then thank God no flame Leaps from the rock to shrivel mark and man.
I'm clear -- my mark is made.
Three months of drought Had ruined much.
It rained and washed away The specks that might have gathered on my Name.
I took a country twice the size of France, And shuttered up one doorway in the North.
I stand by those.
You'll find that both will pay, I pledged my Name on both -- they're yours to-night.
Hold to them -- they hold fame enough for two.
I'm old, but I shall live till Burma pays.
Men there -- not German traders -- Crsthw-te knows -- You'll find it in my papers.
For the North Guns always -- quietly -- but always guns.
You've seen your Council? Yes, they'll try to rule, And prize their Reputations.
Have you met A grim lay-reader with a taste for coins, And faith in Sin most men withhold from God? He's gone to England.
R-p-n knew his grip And kicked.
A Council always has its H-pes.
They look for nothing from the West but Death Or Bath or Bournemouth.
Here's their ground.
They fight Until the middle classes take them back, One of ten millions plus a C.
S.
I.
Or drop in harness.
Legion of the Lost? Not altogether -- earnest, narrow men, But chiefly earnest, and they'll do your work, And end by writing letters to the Times, (Shall I write letters, answering H-nt-r -- fawn With R-p-n on the Yorkshire grocers? Ugh!) They have their Reputations.
Look to one -- I work with him -- the smallest of them all, White-haired, red-faced, who sat the plunging horse Out in the garden.
He's your right-hand man, And dreams of tilting W-ls-y from the throne, But while he dreams gives work we cannot buy; He has his Reputation -- wants the Lords By way of Frontier Roads.
Meantime, I think, He values very much the hand that falls Upon his shoulder at the Council table -- Hates cats and knows his business; which is yours.
Your business! twice a hundered million souls.
Your business! I could tell you what I did Some nights of Eighty-Five, at Simla, worth A Kingdom's ransom.
When a big ship drives, God knows to what new reef the man at the whee! Prays with the passengers.
They lose their lives, Or rescued go their way; but he's no man To take his trick at the wheel again -- that's worse Than drowning.
Well, a galled Mashobra mule (You'll see Mashobra) passed me on the Mall, And I was -- some fool's wife and ducked and bowed To show the others I would stop and speak.
Then the mule fell -- three galls, a hund-breadth each, Behind the withers.
Mrs.
Whatsisname Leers at the mule and me by turns, thweet thoul! "How could they make him carry such a load!" I saw -- it isn't often I dream dreams -- More than the mule that minute -- smoke and flame From Simla to the haze below.
That's weak.
You're younger.
You'll dream dreams before you've done.
You've youth, that's one -- good workmen -- that means two Fair chances in your favor.
Fate's the third.
I know what I did.
Do you ask me, "Preach"? I answer by my past or else go back To platitudes of rule -- or take you thus In confidence and say: "You know the trick: You've governed Canada.
You know.
You know!" And all the while commend you to Fate's hand (Here at the top on loses sight o' God), Commend you, then, to something more than you -- The Other People's blunders and .
.
.
that's all.
I'd agonize to serve you if I could.
It's incommunicable, like the cast That drops the tackle with the gut adry.
Too much -- too little -- there's your salmon lost! And so I tell you nothing --with you luck, And wonder -- how I wonder! -- for your sake And triumph for my own.
You're young, you're young, You hold to half a hundred Shibboleths.
I'm old.
I followed Power to the last, Gave her my best, and Power followed Me.
It's worth it -- on my sould I'm speaking plain, Here by the claret glasses! -- worth it all.
I gave -- no matter what I gave -- I win.
I know I win.
Mine's work, good work that lives! A country twice the size of France -- the North Safeguarded.
That's my record: sink the rest And better if you can.
The Rains may serve, Rupees may rise -- three pence will give you Fame -- It's rash to hope for sixpence -- If they rise Get guns, more guns, and lift the salt-tax.
Oh! I told you what the Congress meant or thought? I'll answer nothing.
Half a year will prove The full extent of time and thought you'll spare To Congress.
Ask a Lady Doctor once How little Begums see the light -- deduce Thence how the True Reformer's child is born.
It's interesting, curious .
.
.
and vile.
I told the Turk he was a gentlman.
I told the Russian that his Tartar veins Bled pure Parisian ichor; and he purred.
The Congress doesn't purr.
I think it swears.
You're young -- you'll swear to ere you've reached the end.
The End! God help you, if there be a God.
(There must be one to startle Gl-dst-ne's soul In that new land where all the wires are cut.
And Cr-ss snores anthems on the asphodel.
) God help you! And I'd help you if I could, But that's beyond me.
Yes, your speech was crude.
Sound claret after olives -- yours and mine; But Medoc slips into vin ordinaire.
(I'll drink my first at Genoa to your health.
) Raise it to Hock.
You'll never catch my style.
And, after all, the middle-classes grip The middle-class -- for Brompton talk Earl's Court.
Perhaps you're right.
I'll see you in the Times -- A quarter-column of eye-searing print, A leader once a quarter -- then a war; The Strand abellow through the fog: "Defeat!" "'Orrible slaughter!" While you lie awake And wonder.
Oh, you'll wonder ere you're free! I wonder now.
The four years slide away So fast, so fast, and leave me here alone.
R-y, C-lv-n, L-l, R-b-rts, B-ck, the rest, Princes and Powers of Darkness troops and trains, (I cannot sleep in trains), land piled on land, Whitewash and weariness, red rockets, dust, White snows that mocked me, palaces -- with draughts, And W-stl-nd with the drafts he couldn't pay, Poor W-ls-n reading his obituary.
Before he died, and H-pe, the man with bones, And A-tch-s-n a dripping mackintosh At Council in the Rains, his grating "Sirrr" Half drowned by H-nt-r's silky: "Bat my lahnd.
" Hunterian always: M-rsh-l spinning plates Or standing on his head; the Rent Bill's roar, A hundred thousand speeches, must red cloth, And Smiths thrice happy if I call them Jones, (I can't remember half their names) or reined My pony on the Mall to greet their wives.
More trains, more troops, more dust, and then all's done.
Four years, and I forget.
If I forget How will they bear me in their minds? The North Safeguarded -- nearly (R-b-rts knows the rest), A country twice the size of France annexed.
That stays at least.
The rest may pass -- may pass -- Your heritage -- and I can teach you nought.
"High trust," "vast honor," "interests twice as vast," "Due reverence to your Council" -- keep to those.
I envy you the twenty years you've gained, But not the five to follow.
What's that? One? Two! -- Surely not so late.
Good-night.
Don't dream.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

Dedication

 To the City of Bombay


The Cities are full of pride,
 Challenging each to each --
This from her mountain-side,
 That from her burthened beach.
They count their ships full tale -- Their corn and oil and wine, Derrick and loom and bale, And rampart's gun-flecked line; City by City they hail: "Hast aught to match with mine?" And the men that breed from them They traffic up and down, But cling to their cities' hem As a child to their mother's gown.
When they talk with the stranger bands, Dazed and newly alone; When they walk in the stranger lands, By roaring streets unknown; Blessing her where she stands For strength above their own.
(On high to hold her fame That stands all fame beyond, By oath to back the same, Most faithful-foolish-fond; Making her mere-breathed name Their bond upon their bond.
) So thank I God my birth Fell not in isles aside -- Waste headlands of the earth, Or warring tribes untried -- But that she lent me worth And gave me right to pride.
Surely in toil or fray Under an alien sky, Comfort it is to say: "Of no mean city am I!" (Neither by service nor fee Come I to mine estate -- Mother of Cities to me, For I was born in her gate, Between the palms and the sea, Where the world-end steamers wait.
) Now for this debt I owe, And for her far-borne cheer Must I make haste and go With tribute to her pier.
And she shall touch and remit After the use of kings (Orderly, ancient, fit) My deep-sea plunderings, And purchase in all lands.
And this we do for a sign Her power is over mine, And mine I hold at her hands!
Written by David Lehman | Create an image from this poem

October 12

 My bag was missing at the airport
"Just one bag?" "Yes, but it meant a lot to me"
I had seen the bartender before, but where?
"You didn't tell me you had been to Oxford"
"Yes, I was at Magdalen College for two years"
"What did you do there?" "Drugs.
" "Did you know that in Hindi the same word (kal, pronounced 'kull') means both yesterday and tomorrow?" "You don't say.
What'll you have?" "Bombay Martini straight up, with olives, very dry and very cold.
" "I like a man who knows what he wants" "Well, I'll tell you.
She was a handsome, self-assured woman, a practicing physician, 48, bright, in great shape, played tennis every Friday night, didn't drink, smoke, or take drugs, and was looking for a Romeo with brains.
So naturally I didn't phone her"
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

Dedication

 To the City of Bombay


The Cities are full of pride,
 Challenging each to each --
This from her mountain-side,
 That from her burthened beach.
They count their ships full tale -- Their corn and oil and wine, Derrick and loom and bale, And rampart's gun-flecked line; City by City they hail: "Hast aught to match with mine?" And the men that breed from them They traffic up and down, But cling to their cities' hem As a child to their mother's gown.
When they talk with the stranger bands, Dazed and newly alone; When they walk in the stranger lands, By roaring streets unknown; Blessing her where she stands For strength above their own.
(On high to hold her fame That stands all fame beyond, By oath to back the same, Most faithful-foolish-fond; Making her mere-breathed name Their bond upon their bond.
) So thank I God my birth Fell not in isles aside -- Waste headlands of the earth, Or warring tribes untried -- But that she lent me worth And gave me right to pride.
Surely in toil or fray Under an alien sky, Comfort it is to say: "Of no mean city am I!" (Neither by service nor fee Come I to mine estate -- Mother of Cities to me, For I was born in her gate, Between the palms and the sea, Where the world-end steamers wait.
) Now for this debt I owe, And for her far-borne cheer Must I make haste and go With tribute to her pier.
And she shall touch and remit After the use of kings (Orderly, ancient, fit) My deep-sea plunderings, And purchase in all lands.
And this we do for a sign Her power is over mine, And mine I hold at her hands!
Written by John Matthew | Create an image from this poem

Bombay

 In your bosom we wake up with fear,
In your sky there’s only unending tears,
You always roar, but within,
Hangs silence like a shroud of death.
You are rocked, periodically, by bombs, Yet, we go about our business, As if nothing happened, all’s well, Are we too dazed to protest? In your hungry, convoluted entrails, Lie pauper and millionaire, Separated only by the whimsy, Of your very partial benevolence.
On your skyline of sooty chimneys, Decaying concrete, bristling antennas, Are the sad stories of fortunes, Made and lost, just as lost loves.
City of gold, they say, which never sleeps, Will you stay awake, tonight, Wipe away our cascading tears, And give our tired bodies some sleep?
Written by Arna Bontemps | Create an image from this poem

Nocturne of the Wharves

 All night they whine upon their ropes and boom
against the dock with helpless prows:
these little ships that are too worn for sailing
front the wharf but do not rest at all.
Tugging at the dim gray wharf they think no doubt of China and of bright Bombay, and they remember islands of the East, Formosa and the mountains of Japan.
They think of cities ruined by the sea and they are restless, sleeping at the wharf.
Tugging at the dim gray wharf they think no less of Africa.
An east wind blows and salt spray sweeps the unattended decks.
Shouts of dead men break upon the night.
The captain calls his crew and they respond-- the little ships are dreaming--land is near.
But mist comes up to dim the copper coast, mist dissembles images of the trees.
The captain and his men alike are lost and their shouts go down in the rising sound of waves.
Ah little ships, I know your weariness! I know the sea-green shadows of your dream.
For I have loved the cities of the sea, and desolations of the old days I have loved: I was a wanderer like you and I have broken down before the wind.
Written by Henry Lawson | Create an image from this poem

The Wander-Light

 And they heard the tent-poles clatter, 
And the fly in twain was torn – 
'Tis the soiled rag of a tatter 
Of the tent where I was born.
And what matters it, I wonder? Brick or stone or calico? – Or a bush you were born under, When it happened long ago? And my beds were camp beds and tramp beds and damp beds, And my beds were dry beds on drought-stricken ground, Hard beds and soft beds, and wide beds and narrow – For my beds were strange beds the wide world round.
And the old hag seemed to ponder ('Twas my mother told me so), And she said that I would wander Where but few would think to go.
"He will fly the haunts of tailors, He will cross the ocean wide, For his fathers, they were sailors All on his good father's side.
" Behind me, before me, Oh! my roads are stormy The thunder of skies and the sea's sullen sound, The coaster or liner, the English or foreign, The state-room or steerage the wide world round.
And the old hag she seemed troubled As she bent above the bed, "He will dream things and he'll see things To come true when he is dead.
He will see things all too plainly, And his fellows will deride, For his mothers they were gipsies All on his good mother's side.
" And my dreams are strange dreams, are day dreams, are grey dreams, And my dreams are wild dreams, and old dreams and new; They haunt me and daunt me with fears of the morrow – My brothers they doubt me – but my dreams come true.
And so I was born of fathers From where ice-bound harbours are Men whose strong limbs never rested And whose blue eyes saw afar.
Till, for gold, one left the ocean, Seeking over plain and hill; And so I was born of mothers Whose deep minds were never still.
I rest not, 'tis best not, the world is a wide one And, caged for an hour, I pace to and fro; I see things and dree things and plan while I'm sleeping, I wander for ever and dream as I go.
I have stood by Table Mountain On the Lion at Capetown, And I watched the sunset fading From the roads that I marked down, And I looked out with my brothers From the heights behind Bombay, Gazing north and west and eastward, Over roads I'll tread some day.
For my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways, And deep ways and steep ways and high ways and low; I'm at home and at ease on a track that I know not, And restless and lost on a road that I know.
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