Thursday, February 22, 2007

Deepened by Despair

Despair deters bliss. Many have gone (or were forced) deep into despair by fellow men; some came off blessed; few others perished; many vanquished. What a test for human endurance?

Stress – that much-feared monster in mundane lives today – gets so deeply ingrained in the body, whose wisdom can safely stabilize it.

Veterans of despair vanish but their language “is [not merely] more lasting than man, but it is more capable of mutation.”

Such fine eloquence would have come from only an exemplar of existential angst, Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996). A Russian poet, hardly Russian; an American poet too, feebly American. But, a universal poet, greatly worldly.

In these times, when the slightest shiver can cause a deluge of distress, how curiously courageous was this man who withstood a maelstrom of mental anguish.

He was cited as a ‘social parasite’; coaxed to be mentally ill; convicted for 5 years to straight-jacket his mind that he wasn’t a poet; and exiled from Russia to be accepted by America.

Don’t doubt his heightened humanism by this mental melody:

Man is more frightening than its skeleton

Grammarians will growl at the use of ‘its,’ as it doesn’t concur with the subject of the sentence. Who knows, it may have been how the human subject is turning into an inhumane object. And, how nastily can one get transformed? Listen to whom Brodsky called ‘a poet of and for civilization,’ Osip Mendelstam (1891-1938):

We live, but we do not feel the land beneath us,
Ten steps away and our words cannot be heard

Uprooted and unheard, such people turn into keepers of conscience to root and word themselves in wisdom.

1 comment:

thiru said...

Dear candid,
hows this piece???

When The heart Is hard

When the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me
with a shower of mercy.

When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song.

When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting
me out from beyond, come to me, my lord of silence,
with thy peace and rest..

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner,
break open the door, my kind, and come with the ceremony
of a king.

When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust,
O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.

- Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali, No.39)