Monday, April 30, 2007

Ten poets in my must read collection

When Dana Guthrie Martin of Poetry Thursday, asked me to contribute for this column for 10 must read books in our collection, I asked why not for poets?

Here is my list of poets. I have taken those from classic to modern. I have read and still reading many poets but this list is my personal favourite. I read them again and again.

Ten poets in my must read collection.

Rumi (1207 - 1273): needs no introduction. He only needs to be read. Rumi to write mystical poetry and tales called Masnavi in the style of Sana'i and 'Attar. Rumi completed six books of these before he died on December 17, 1273. Many of his talks were written down in the book Fihi ma fihi, which means "In it what is in it" and is often referred to as his Discourses.

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321): His most famous work is Divine Comedy. La divina commedia (Divine Comedy) was completed just before his death. It is a narrative poem in terza rima containing 14,233 lines organized into 100 cantos approximately 142 lines each. Written in the first person, it tells of the poet's journey through the realm of the afterlife: Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. The dual allegory of Commedia - the progress of the soul toward Heaven, and the anguish of humankind on Earth - was later echoed by John Bunyan in Pilgrim's Progress (1678-84). Gustave Doré's (1832-1883) illustrated text of Inferno (1861) is among the most famous translations.

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
: His sonnets are a must read. He wrote 154 sonnets. Evoking Petrarch's style (also known as Shakespearean sonnets) and lyrically writing of beauty, mortality, and love filled with moral anguish and adoration of unattainable love, the first 126 sonnets are addressed to a young man, sonnets 127-152 to a dark lady

John Clare (1793-1864): his poetry is wonderfully descriptive of the English countryside as it existed in the early 19th Century and recaptures the spirit of rural life of that era. Clare's attempts to write like other poets of his day, as well as his financial worries, put tremendous strain on his mind, and in 1837 he was admitted to a mental asylum in High Beach, Epping. The asylum poems are among his best known works, but the haunting descriptions of rural landscapes in poems such as 'The Flitting', 'Decay' and 'Remembrances' are more typical of the true character of his poetic voice.
“I am” is his most famous work.

Robert Browning (1812-1889)
: My love for poetry started by reading Browning. I read “The Pied Piper of Hamelin: A Child's Story” and was hooked for life.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
: She is noted for her unconventional broken rhyming meter and use of dashes and random capitalization as well as her creative use of metaphor and overall innovative style. She was a deeply sensitive woman who questioned the puritanical background of her Calvinist family and soulfully explored her own spirituality, often in poignant, deeply personal poetry. At times characterized as a semi-invalid, a hermit, a heartbroken introvert, or a neurotic agoraphobic, her poetry is sometimes brooding and sometimes joyous and celebratory. She wrote 1789 poems.

Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967)
: was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. She published seven volumes of short stories and poetry: Enough Rope, Sunset Gun, Laments for the Living, Death and Taxes, After Such Pleasures, Not So Deep as a Well (collected poems) and Here Lies.

Dylan Thomas (1914-.1953)
: He was a neurotic, sickly child who shied away from school and preferred reading on his own. Thomas was the archetypal Romantic poet of the popular American imagination: he was flamboyantly theatrical, a heavy drinker, engaged in roaring disputes in public, and read his work aloud with tremendous depth of feeling. He became a legendary figure, both for his work and the boisterousness of his life. Perhaps no other poem depicts so clearly the innate spirituality, the romantic and the metaphysical nature of Thomas as a poet than "And Death Shall Have no Dominion", for it is especially in this poem that he expresses his wide and deep love of humanity and the immortalist sentiment that death shall never triumph over life. "Do not go gentle into that good night a villanelle composed in 1951, is considered to be among the finest works by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914–1953). Originally published in the journal Botteghe Oscure in 1951, it also appeared as part of the collection "In Country Sleep." It is one of his most-quoted works. It was written for his dying father.

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
: was an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist She is criticized for her controversial allusions to the Holocaust, and is known for her uncanny use of metaphor. Plath's work is valuable for its stylistic accomplishments--it is melding of comic and serious elements, its ribald fashioning of near and slant rhymes in a free-form structure, its terse voicing of themes that have too often been treated only with piety. It is also valuable for its ability to reach today's reader, because of its concern with the real problems of our culture. In this age of gender conflicts, broken families, and economic inequities, Plath's forthright language speaks loudly about the anger of being both betrayed and powerless.

Mary Oliver (1935)
: I am captivated to her work after reading this:

“From the complications of loving you
I think there is no end or return.
No answer, no coming out of it.

Which is the only way to love, isn’t it?
This isn’t a playground; this is
earth, our heaven, for a while.”

— from Mary Oliver’s A Pretty Song in Thirst

An intense and joyful observer of the natural world, Oliver is often compared to Whitman and Thoreau. Her poems are filled with imagery from her daily walks near her home in Provincetown, Massachusetts: shore birds, water snakes, the phases of the moon.

I must not leave out Pablo Neruda. His "Ode to the Lemon" strongly evokes the smell of the same.

There are too many poets I love to read again and again. Now it is your turn list your poets/books as comments. Let us share our interests.

You can read about poetry books and poets here.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Unseen Wings--Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings wants us to spread our wings this time. Anywhere we like, anyway we like.

When we think of wings, we think of birds. That is to be expected. We all are aware that in addition to fairies, only birds have wings, birds are real, fairies in our imagination.

Most of us wished to possess wings to fly away to far off places. To have that sense of freedom.

Here I write about those dreams.

Unseen Wings

spirit within me is
seeking to let lose.
untamed by conventions
desiring to be free,
traversing through
raging storms,
rugged terrains of the cerebrum.

mysterious destinations
await for the
wings in my mind
to take flight;
soaring into the sky.
Those same wings fold up
after getting tired’
rest a while replenishing;
to take flight again-

after a while.

imagination sure has wings.

Click wings to

Thursday, April 26, 2007

of bygone eras----Villanelle---Poetry Thursday.

Poetry Thursday wants us to write a villanelle. I posted the previous one as a warm up for this. This is my second one. I find that those are not as difficult as I had thought. I wrote this in seven minutes flat.

of bygone eras

peeled, decrepit walls, mildewed paints;
stale air circulating reminding of life
of bygone eras, albeit mild complaints.

not long ago, lived in here some saints
going on with daily chores without strife;
peeled decrepit walls, mildewed paints.

sufficient for their small needs, faint
wants. Wisdom from them flowed, rife
of bygone eras, albeit mild complaints.

when all went away, the house fell silent
doors creaked, no one played that fife;
peeled, decrepit walls, mildewed paints.

desiring sounds in past had constraints’
wishing only silence sliced with a knife
of bygone eras, albeit mild complaints.

closed windows now put no restraints
on craving, old house to be filled with life;
peeled, decrepit walls, mildewed paints-
of bygone eras, albeit mild complaints.


Read more villanelles....

Monday, April 23, 2007

Writing a Villanelle

Finally I managed to write a villanelle. It is one of the most difficult forms of structured poetry. As this is my first villanelle, I can be excused for it not being upto the mark. As I go along I ought to do better. More about villanelles can be found here. One of the most famous villanelle is "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas. Do read that.

So here I write about writing a villanelle, the whole process..:D

Writing a Villanelle

It seems to be such a lost cause,
I feel I am banging against a wall.
words are clogged, being at a loss.

whirling in the mind, they toss
aimlessly wandering for a call.
it seems to be such a lost cause;

hunting naively even under moss
my pen suddenly halts with a crawl.
words are clogged, being at a loss.

creating is difficult, ideas seem gross-
crying for attention, in utmost enthrall.
it seems to be such a lost cause.

with fortitude I firmly trudge across;
reinforcing my will to again scrawl.
words are clogged, being at a loss

no longer holding true. I am the boss.
I finally finish one and no longer bawl,
“It seems to be such a lost cause.
words are clogged, being at a loss!”

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Thinking Bloggers Award

I came to know of my nomination for thinking bloggers award through technorati search engine. I was nominated by Jennifer on her blog post here on 14thApril, 2007.

She read my post, Papa's little girl and nominated me. I am honoured to be nominated.

Next part is to nominate 5 more bloggers who make me think. There are many on my blogroll who make me think and to short list those to five is not easy.
I am doing so in no particular order here.

1. homo escapeons: His blog has all the ingredients from tom-foolery to serious stuff. His use of vocabulary is exemplary. I think some of his invented words should get to the lexicon...:D. One thinking blog, I must say.

2. Poefrica: this is a poetry site about African poetry and African life. It gives me insights into Africa and indeed makes me think.

3. Paul Martin: This one is on spirituality, a must read. Any one from any religion is welcome to participate in his site and give inputs. Do go there and check it out.

4. Lotus reads: A blog about book reviewing. She does it very well. And one gets to know about new books from her site.

5. Sage: His blog is interesting. He reviews books and movies. Writes great travelogues and posts great pictures too. His has a great insight on human beings and brings them to life for all of us by his words. Another thing, he writes poetry too.

There are many others. I would like to mention them here. Floots, Don Iannone, Pat Paulk, J. Andrew Lockhart and enemy of the republic. To name only a few.

Finally, should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme. The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post to so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).That was that! Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get you thinking! It is the first time I am starting something with my blog so I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rooted----Sunday Scribblings

I am kind of honoured that Sunday Scribblings chose my weblog name as this week’s prompt, Rooted.

When I started this weblog almost two years back, I didn’t have to think what to name it. It just popped into my mind and I named it "rooted". The name describes me rather well. Rooted for me does not mean to be rooted to all that is around me, my family, my country, my religion or my culture. It has much broader meaning for me. It means my unshaken faith in humanity, my beliefs that all religions can only teach us something good. It is we who interpret it as otherwise.

I write poetry. Poets are assumed to be dreamers. I am a dreamer too. Despite that I stay well grounded. I do not soar above in dreams never to come back. I am practical, pragmatic and rational. At times too pragmatic..:) For me, rooted does not mean that I have to be at one place in order to have a sense of belonging. It can be anywhere and in anyway. It is all within the mind and not just any mundane place. When one is rooted in the mind, one does not need excuses for places, people, religion and culture. In a way, rooted means spirituality for me. Do I make sense?

mysticism prevails

# I write very short verses too. I can write as little as 4 words verse. I do haigas too. I have a blog too for it. I just do not advertise it at all.

For more scribblings, click Rooted...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Edited Memories-----Terza Rima-----Poetry Thursday

Poetry Thursday asked us to do guerrilla poetry this week. That is, to choose a poem (or two or ten) of our own and print or write it out, find places to leave our poetry for others. For unsuspecting people to read our poetry. Then take pictures, write about their reactions etc etc. I am only partially following it as I found no takers for my poetry other than my poor brothers and they did not know what hit them! I write here the gist of their thoughts which they never expressed but I could read in their minds. I depict my thoughts too at the end of my terza rima.

Edited Memories-----Terza Rima

Writing poetry comes easy for me,
making it read is no feat, most assume
I am wasting my time and should be

pursuing hobbies that consume
less of my time, setting me gratis
of my poetic stuff which they presume

has bloated my head. I need aegis
to save me from further calamity
of hiding under words. My dermis

thickened, trying to avoid adversity
I continue with writing of prosody,
uncaring what others take as insanity

on my part. Anthology of moments nobody
can take away from my edited memories.
The unedited ones in the mind embody

those thoughts filled with ambiguities;
not to be made visible to anyone else
which otherwise are taken as absurdities-

perpetuated by life forces of impulse
so unimaginably true; taken to be false.

Read more Guerrillia Poetry......

Monday, April 16, 2007


parched throat,
dry tongue;
seems like
beckoning death.
body quivers,
mind shivers,
soul craves
with single

crystal clear,
pure, flowing,
absolute bliss,
trickling slowly
down the throat
satiates body,
satisfies soul.
just one single
sip of water,
sustains existence.


As we have water problems in summer, this came into mind. Nothing to brag home about- just stating of facts in simple verse.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Surreptitious Self--------Sunday Sribblings

Sunday Scribblings wants us to write about our secret identity. Over the years, I have desired to take over many personas but never secretly. It might sound weird but even now I can hold conversations in my head. When I was around 11 years old, I wanted to dye my hair purple and paint my nails green and join Deep Purple. Needless to say, it never happened.

It was not very easy for me to write on this but I managed it as honestly as I could. Of course in poetic form, what else!!

Surreptitious Self

what i really am or what i show to world;
where one part of me ends, other part
takes over. no distinct demarcation

no blacks, no whites; only all those
shades bridging in between. trying to
preserve self, i lose out on identity.

my fears live me empty; i try to fill
those gaps. i could never do it
being someone else which I can not be

however hard i try. anyway who
decides what i am or what i am not-
other than myself, maybe not even me.

with unbiased thoughts i must let it
out, i might just be tad too boring
to be someone else other than myself.

For more on this, click secret identities...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Smouldering----Poetry Thursday

This week Poetry Thursday suggests the use of any line from a poem written by any one of us and left here to be used by others in their poems. We have done this before. Once you select a line, it gets easy. I enjoyed doing it again.

I take the line left by Beaman from his poem Prisoner X.

*I had left it untitled---for want of a title. I had titled it Iniquity. I thought it does not work that well. Suggestions for a title were solicited...:D
As per comments, my blogger friends came up with many titles.

I take brian's suggestions. Thats fits perfectly well. Here goes:


My eyes slowly followed any small
movement in that crowded room.
There I saw him leaning against the wall,
his eyes all for the woman at his side-
voluptuous curves with empty looks.

Across the assemblage of people;
I scrutinized them through veiled eyes,
jealousy pouring through me akin to
molten lava, smiling countenance
hiding those hateful vitriolic reflections.

Vividly the past months passed through
in my mind, as in old faded photographs-
sepia tinted images of our time together;
this had meant the world for me. Now broken
dreams lay wrecked on the boulevard of time.

Softening my stance discernibly;
wiping all expression from my face,
conditioning myself not to overreact
I made a calculated move towards them,
where they stood oblivious to the world.

When he noticed me at last, shock
went through him, he lost out on words.
I was not one to lose out my cool,
all of a sudden with no premonition
with a voice unheard even by me,

trapped in shadowed box of iniquity;
I spoke out with quiet deliberation,
“darling, it was good to make out in
office today. Shall I wait for you
tonight after you drop her home?”


Click for more on the use of poetic lines.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


inner-most secrets;
rants on just
about anything,
journals of plan
hitherto unseen.
diary full of
deep dark thoughts-
lies, betrayals,
broken trusts,
impaired dreams.

witnessing it all
in somber bemoan
pencil stays mute
its lead busted.

Monday, April 09, 2007


when the world starts
to you
in ways
you never thought possible
you enjoy the adulation
love the attention

you glow
like the moon
reflecting the sun
like a child
soaking it up
nuzzling closer to the
seeking more of
is offered

sharing of ideas
exchanging of knowledge
notions bartered
thoughts scattered
that are
at times shattered

just as suddenly
you want yourself back
to be with yourself
your inner self
never lets you down
no matter what

just me
trying to
fill that

Good to be back doing what I like best. Free verse!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Papa's little girl----In the news...Sunday Scribblings

Writing this for Sunday Scribblings for their prompt, In the news... This is self explanatory. This is the kind of news which scares me to bits. As I work for abused children and have to deal with all sort of eventualities, there is a grain of truth in here. Writing this from the perspective of a little girl. Hence the broken sentences.

*This is not a poem.

Papa's little girl

Here I am with my momma and papa.
I am their sweet child.
I feel momma does not love me.
She is always so busy to hold me in her arms.
She comes home so late.
By that time I am almost asleep.
I do feel her lips on my forehead sometimes.
Telling me how much she loves me.

But papa, you do.
You always do.
Oh papa, you make me sit on your lap,
kissing me and playing with me.

Those loving touches by you, papa,
thrills me to bits.

I love it when you came home early
from work to hold me
It feels so right.

When you told me it was our little secret.
That I shouldn’t mention it to any one,
I was very pleased.

I did not want to share this with any one.
Not even momma.

How I hate momma sometimes!
On holidays, she takes up all your time.
You too ignore me then.

The other day momma got home early.
She saw me with you.
Why was she so angry?
Why were you so quiet?
Saying nothing?
You kept away from me too.

When I told momma, I liked you touching me,
She said it was wrong.
How can it be wrong?
Why is momma taking me away from you?
Can’t you stop her?

Oh papa, don’t ever let me go.
Hold me in your arms.
We will share our secret yet again….and again.
Shall I undress now?
Why don’t you say something?
I love you, papa.

Papa, why is the police here and asking for you?

For more on the topic, click In the News...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Covert Love----Sonnet

studiously she avoids gazing in that direction
where he sits nonchalant, almost uncaring-
minds send out signals; silence so chilling,
picking up vibrations, she answers the question

being very still, with almost no expression,
she slowly stands with her eyes measuring
the distance, she glides toward his beckoning
mind. her heart beat, was by any indication

making her state, an object of ardent desire;
visible in her stance, in her jerky mannerisms.
smoldering flame, blazing; intense, luminous

pulling him in too; each bursting vein on fire
blowing apart their semblance, volumes
of convulsions still unseen, causing chaos.
For three days I had been struggling to write. After a short period of dryness, my muse was kind enough to let me write.

* I have moved this to top as this got ignored after posting for Poetry Thursday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ode to the Bard---Sonnet---Poetry Thursday

prompt is to (1) Write a poem to, for, or about a poet and/or (2) Write a letter to a poet as given here. I take on part (1). That works well as a letter too, I think.

Ode to the Bard

writing this for you, oh great master
one of the best, your work adulated.
you wrote plays, mostly convoluted;
reading those, your words give pleasure;

the depth of which has no measure-
your work- even now, does not seem dated.
all lines and stanzas are there fated
by your popular appeal, poetic grandeur.

excelling in both comedy as well as tragedy;
you take us to a world full of imagery.
most quoted writer of literature & history;

your repertoires of sonnets are remedy
for beauty, love, mortality. discovery
of all these leading us to joyful allusory!


Here I write a
Petrarchan Sonnet in which the rhyming pattern is a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a, c-d-e-c-d-e. Sonnets by Shakespeare follow the rhyming pattern a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g . Those are English Sonnets . As I am the one writing it, I can chose the style..!! And please do not ask me about iambic pentameter.

For various types of sonnets click,

Finally, I dedicate this to a very dear friend, Stanley Shiel who made me go back to Shakespeare and Sonnets.

To read more on the prompt or optional poetry , please click here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My name is-----G-A-U-T-A-M-I

Why am I writing this post? Because I felt the need to tell the world that I do not like being called GST, GT, G, Tami, Ami etc some persist in addressing me.

Many even misspell it. Guatami instead of Gautami. Is it really hard to spell? I would like your comments on that and not opinions about why should I be called anything else.

I am kind of sick of correcting people.

I was named Gautami and that's what I prefer being called. If that is too difficult than I ask to be addressed as Ms Tripathy....!! My name, I choose how to be called. Not what others want to call me.

After thought: Do have you say folks but please desist from insulting me. Wanting to be addressed by my chosen name is not tyrannical.