Monday, April 13, 2009

Pablo Neruda rewritten

I have added my own lines to The Dictators by Pablo Neruda as per suggestion in Poefusion.. The bold lines are mine. Do let me know if this works. Do write your own poem similar way taking one poem of one of your favourite poets. Have fun writing it! And leave a link here if you do, so that I visit you.

An odor has remained among the sugarcane:

fermenting unevenly in the heat

a mixture of blood and body, a penetrating

piercing thought about a rose

petal that brings nausea.

I don't know where else to look

Between the coconut palms the graves are full

of women, and children too not spared, consisting

of ruined bones, of speechless death-rattles.

Even now in the midst of dancing death

The delicate dictator is talking

softly into his satellite phone, attired

with top hats, gold braid, and collars.

He surveys around critically examining

The tiny palace gleams like a watch

What he sees satisfies him, but why not.
and the rapid laughs with gloves on
touching the gold panelled walls, his men

cross the corridors at times

looking out at the half alive people

and join the dead voices

in a crescendo of singing

and the blue mouths freshly buried

turn even bluer by the insults

The weeping cannot be seen, like a plant

which wilts under the harsh sun

whose seeds fall endlessly on the earth,
trampled by thousand feet
whose large blind leaves grow even without light.

Have we learnt anything at all from history
Hatred has grown scale on scale,

from end this world to the other

blow on blow, in the ghastly water of the swamp,

nothing can make it right, when wounds are raw

with a snout full of ooze and silence

as long as fear is there, dictators will play on that


Meri said...

I especially like the last four lines.

polona said...

your lines seem to blend naturally with the poem, giving it new connotations. well done

poefusion said...

Hello Gautami~ Strong poem. Your words fit nicely between Neruda's. You have a knack for making someone's poem your own. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice night.

SweetTalkingGuy.. said...

Yeah cool! Gautami, this looks like fun - I'd like to do this with somebody, sometime!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Your lines really work into the narrative. If you hadn't bolded yours, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference in the voices.

Jeeves said...


ds said...

There were places that I couldn't tell which were Neruda's lines and which yours. Well done!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

so true!

deepteshpoetry said...

Powerful n thought evoking.I've one for the train too on a surreal city.Pls don't forget 2 chk it out.N Happy Easter 2 u as well!


anthonynorth said...

Brilliant stuff.

Neverending story said...

Hi Gautami, your poem works very well, I'll have to read the original to see how it works without your contribution. I posted a comment with a link at Monday Poetry Train, last night (over 16 hours ago) and it's still not showing, I was wondering if I might have been spammed as this has happened before.

Sherri B. said...

What a clever did a wonderful job! This poem is powerful, and your own words only added to its emotion.

Lorraine said...

I have to say I don't like it. Not your input, you're a wonderful poet and philosopher, but to me inserting your own into another poem is just plain wrong, you can't intrude in the poet's view or perspective or even hatred...You can like or dislike you can bless it or burn it, but you can't add or take from it...because then the poet's thoughts are unheard they are shaped into something else, the reaction to it is different. I wouldn't say this if I didn't think you'd take it ;)

gautami tripathy said...

Lorraine, it does not surprise me that you don't like it. You don't even like it when I am inspired by fellow poets and write instant poetry on the comments. I respect your wishes and don't do that on your blog but there are others, including me who rather welcome such poetry. Infact I have even asked fellow poets to make use of few of my poems as they wish to. Trash it, if they wish so.

It is not that I am claiming it as my own. I know what I am doing here and given due credits to Pablo Neruda. I think if he was there he would have been flattered.

Our writing is inspired by so many sources. Our surroundings, nature and other peoples writings.If I say that you are adding your own inputs to the nature taking away from it, is it not the same thing? Maybe you don't see it that way, but I do.

Anyway, we all are entitled to our own opinions. So you do your way, I will do it my way.

Anonymous said...

wow..your lines just blend with his.

i love this...i might try this one of these days...

Anonymous said...

Well done my friend. The thoughts meld together so well.

desert rat said...

Very cool - the new lines fit right in. I think I might have to find a poem to play with now.


Anonymous said...

this is really cool! your lines integrate well!

Anonymous said...

BTW, I absolutely agree with you in your comments to Lorraine.

You give suitable and appropriate credit to Neruda and take his framework and put your own spin on it and that's exciting to me!

Unknown said...

I love Neruda, and I really enjoyed what you did with these lines. Language, including poetry, is so rich and always changing based on what people do with it in the present moment. I also admire how you use the beauty of language to comment on the ugliness of the world. It makes it all so bittersweet.

Whitesnake said...

Certianly Different!

Wayne Pitchko said...

how can one add to all these comments...other than GREAT..and I really like Neruda also

one more believer said...

hey, g... i thought you did well to a wonderful challenge... i kicked one around for a few days and just felt plain lost between the potency of the existing poem and my own... you have inspired me to keep at it and try again... you have done the author justice as it seems seamless to me... maybe it is the passion intertwined between the two thoughts... as neruda is one that always speaks so is a wonderful topic as well that makes one ponder ourselves and our history...

Pam said...

Great challenge response. I love Neruda's poetry and you did well inserting your lines. I may have to try this exercise sometimes.

Gavin said...

Beautiful, you did a great job. I will have to pop over and try this prompt. I completely agree with your response to Lorraine though I might have felt differently a few years ago, taking myself way to seriously:)

ladygarfield said...

such a fun exercise! and very well done... the blending of lines reads well.

lorraine's comment had me thinking though. she might have a point there.

Lorraine said...

Let me guess you don't agree, not a problem, I love your poetry and that won't change :)

Anonymous said...

Well this is your poem now!!
Good work buddy. The lines fit in just well.

Anonymous said...

You ve very beautifully woven your lines into Pablo Neruda's :)
Great job done !!

PS: Thanks for visiting my blog.

Beth Camp said...

Hello, Guatami. I'm new to Poefusion but took the challenge as well to #30 to "rewrite" a poem by a poet I admire. Surprisingly, I also chose Neruda but a very different poem. I really liked this exercise and found it difficult as well as stretching how I think about what the poet's intentions are. Some lines were so tightly connected, I couldn't easily reshape them! But it was fun. That's what writing is about. I'm remembering that painters begin by COPYING the masters. So, although I too had a few reservations, the result was very much a learning experience. Thank you for posting your comments on the process as well as your fine "revision".