Thursday, March 22, 2007

Soul--------Ecphrasis------Poetry Thursday

This time in poetry thursday, we have to write something inspired by images. It is known as ecphrasis. I have done this before but I did not want to post one from my archives. I had been thinking on which image to write about and stumbled upon an image by jac. This image affected me no end and words simply poured out in my mind. I asked him and he was kind enough to let me use this image.

Photo Credit---Jac

I titled it SOUL. As I found out that soul means "A sense of ethnic pride among Black people and especially African Americans, expressed in areas such as language, social customs, religion, and music" from It goes well with the picture.


Why do you look away from my stare?
do you unearth questions that scare
you/me? If they do I am not aware

why. That boy is all I have got now,
for loss of other, to God’s will I bowed
not knowing answers to why/what/how.

Much I have been through- strife, war,
maiming of mind, body, soul; hunger
too, unaware where one started, other

ended. With my misery, wretchedness
I live in my drab world where darkness
prevails. For power, persists lawlessness;

my lone motivation is my child-
I’ll ensure he is healthy, not reviled
as was done to me in this wild

jungle of humanity. Each of those years
I lost a kid, now I tread slow with fear;
nothing to save, leading a life of austere.

His future is in my hands, I can’t shirk that
I would go great lengths, no matter what.
Too long I accepted anything like a doormat.

Our world has no gray shades, it is either white,
black and bleak. Various colours- so very bright
you see is only in my shawl which I wrap tight

around me to save me from further disgrace
where you can look & write on my visage.


This is the longest poem I have ever written. It is as raw it can be, not properly edited as of now. I do not know if I will get around editing it.

Click image inspired.


Homo Escapeons said...

Strong sentiments and a wonderful solicitation for respect and empathy.
I cannot help but think of Darfur. The Rwandan genocide, recent in historical terms, should immediately remind us of how inhumane we can be to each other...
and the world still doesn't get it.
China of course has Oil interests there and blocks all of the UN motions to intercede.

You have zeroed in on the very centre of it all, alone and bewildered stand a million Mothers guarding the most valuable thing in the world...
lost in a sea of sad faces...
frightened and forgotten.

Tammy said...

Very powerful and sad poem but filled with truth and injustice. Excellent work from the heart!

Brian said...

It may be raw, but I don't think that polished would suit this picture. That's the problem, when a soul is buffed to a high polish by others, it ceases to be seen.

Great poem my friend.

Jac said...

Thought happy to know that someone write from heart

Delighted to know that there are people who care.
It is humanity that is at stake.

Thanks for writing about it.

strauss said...

Wow, that poem makes one think. It made me wonder about mothers living is situations and times liek those. How do they handle so many deaths? Do they wait with baited breath day after day, praying their child will be spared. Or can they not get their hopes up like that, survival been the less common outcome?

Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh, Gautami- you have really created something special here... I think it's perfect.
Women and children suffer the most in these wars- her eyes tell the whole story...
Thank you for this...

Kai C. said...

this is very powerful, full of sadness. & jac is so talented.

that baby eyes are so sad!

thanks for sharing!

Kai C. said...


Norma said...

I can tell this image had a tremendous impact on you. You've really told her story. She looks so young herself--not much more than a child. And the light hair of her baby seems to indicate malnurishment. Yes, a lot to think about. Billions and billions in aid goes to Africa and most lines the pockets of corrupt officials.

Whitesnake said...

I would leave it as it is....

When ya starving to death or dying from some deprivation, do you tidy up when the reaper comes knocking?

Kindness said...

edit? i am no expert but i think the voice is so pure. the image is so lovely and your words do it justice. no, don't edit... leave it for now anyway...

Pat Paulk said...

This is a fabulous poem!! You should write more from images.

pepektheassassin said...

Good job, Gautami--I especially like the way you've ended this. A lot of honest feeling here.

david santos said...

Hello, gautami!
Tex and poem are very good. Thank you
Good weekend

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

Happy Birthday!!!! It's still a couple of minutes until midnight here, so I got it just in time. :) I've been putting together a new computer tonight, so I didn't see your comment until now. I hope all was well for you today. :)

kj said...

he and tammy have said all that i felt reading your longest poem. you are a very insightful and sensitive person. and very intelligent. i am always glad to visit your blog and see your comments along the blog path.

trinitystar said...

You have captured the feeling well.
Their sadness.
Through their sadness they do try to smile.
lovely Gautami.

puerileuwaite said...

Wow. Very forceful and moving.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Powerful words and image.

Don Iannone said...

Lovely. Well done Gautami.

gautami tripathy said...

h.e.: We do not see beyond our own selfish needs. Does the world care about the mothers? In any adverse situations, they are the sufferers. Are doing anything for them? Only mere words. That's what I am doing too.

tammy: Injustice perpetuated by us by our ignorance.

brian: This soul will not be polished. This will remain pure and untainted.

jac: Thanks for letting me use your picture. I can feel but what can do other than writing?

straus: yes. We can only ask questions. Can't even fathom what goes within a mother's mind.

kai,don,crafty, pug, trinitystar,david, pepek: Thanks for your comments.

gautami tripathy said...

regina: yes, woman suffer the most all over the world.

norma: yes, it had. I can't tell you how much.

steve/whitesnake, kindness: I agree with that. I will not edit.

pat: Yes, I should. I have.

andrew: thanks. Mine was a quiet one.

kj: thanks for saying that.

polona said...

oh, this is beautiful and so sad...
well done, gautami!

sage said...

you draw wonderful images, giving voice to the boy and his mother. Good job!

Rethabile said...

What a beautiful visage! What a wonderful tribute you've written to all those suffering hearts. I'm impressed.

dsnake1 said...

i think this is one of the strongest poems you have written. it's supposed to be raw, imperfect like this world.

"Too long I accepted anything like a doormat." : this is perfect.

Jone said...

Wow,this is so powerful, raw, and evocative. I like the rawness of it. Adds to the power. Am reading Left to Tell, about the Rwandan genocide. This poem made me think of it.

Fragmentsinsight said...

This is very heartbreaking. I can hear the young woman tell the story. How can we not listen?
Very well done. Beautifully written.


Jac said...

Your writing is more valuable than anything.

Keep up the good work.

gautami tripathy said...

Polona: thanks.

sage: That mother spoke out to me and I had to write. I don't know how I managed to write so much.

rethabile: That is high praise. I have never been to Africa but the pain is eternal. Doesn't matter which country, mothers all over the world feel the ame way.

dsnake1: I will live it as it is, raw. Anyway, editing is not one of my fortes!!

jone: Rwandan genocide is very painful. Nothing we can do about it. Does anyone care?

Yvonne: Yes, it is heartbreaking. Mothers bear the brunt of it.

jac: Thanks. Your photographs speak out.

Robin (Capitulation) said...

A very evocative poem! Brilliant.

swissmiss said...

I agree with Brian, the rawness matches the photo well, forces us to look back at the photo and not turn away.

At first I wasn't sure about the rhyming - it's always a risk - but then I decided to read it aloud rather than just on the screen and I think you've done it well especially the last three stanza where it really builds momentum and power for me.

Ces said...

Gautami, what a beautiful poem!

gautami tripathy said...

Thanks robin, ces.

swissmiss: I have decided to live it the way it is. Editing will take away the essemce of the poem. Thanks for your feedback...