My tribute to existential angst
was once marred by unsolicited cleverness,
another time by the chirpy rhythm,
and worse still by too much lyricism and also the lack of it.
I ransacked my body for images.
I tortured my mind for confessions.
I revised my rhythms for accuracy.
I traveled heaven and earth for transitory yet eternal moments.
I weaved myths in to magic.
I merged content and the form.
Then I distrusted cloying ornamentations–
For what is authentic is the poetics of immediacy.
I distrusted myself–
For what is me but a product or a structure?
I distrusted poetry–
What is a poem but an assemblage or pastiche?
I philosophized, and then distrusted philosophy.
I lived and then distrusted action.
I prayed for and then distrusted talent–
For what is talent but fortuitous and vested recognition?
I asked if poetry is the simplest art
or the most complex.
I was told neither and both
and so beware and unaware of all dimensions.
I am a woman.
So, write like one but don’t be overtly political.
I am an Indian.
So, write like one but don’t be overtly parochial.
I lost sleep, time, space, love, growth.
I lost life and lost love of the specter of life.
I sacrificed but then I distrusted sacrifice–
For what is sacrifice but megalomania?
So, the winds blew and the seasons changed.
I breathed; I choked but lived in smoke
and fueled my fateful romance in vain.
For what is love if it is not lost and what is art without its pain?
About the author:
Madhumita Roy is a graduate student shuttling between Kolkata and Kharagpur, India. She has completed M.A., B.A. and M.Phil. in English and is pursuing Ph.D in English at IIT Kharagpur. Some of her poems have been published in Bengali and English language magazines in India.