To arrange words

November 23, 2007 at 4:42 am 3 comments



To arrange words
In some order
Is not the same thing
As the inner poise
That’s poetry

The truth of poetry
Is the truth
Of being.
It’s an experience
Of truth.

No ornaments
A crucible.
Fire reveals
Only molten

Says Tuka
We are here
To reveal.
We do not waste

[Translated from the Marathi by Dilip Chitre]

He really doesn’t waste words, does he? Here it is, the creed of the poet distilled down to its very basics; the poem allowed no more than a single image, one that melts effortlessly back into its principle; the confounding of purity with simplicity to arrive at the gleaming metal of the truth.


P.S. More about Tukaram – a seventeenth century Marathi saint-poet, part of the Bhakti movement, here and here. Today’s poem comes from Says Tuka (Penguin India, 1991)


Entry filed under: Dilip Chitre, English, Falstaff, Marathi, Tukaram.

I called death down The God Forsakes Antony

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Space Bar  |  November 23, 2007 at 5:13 am

    You do know Dilip Chitre blogs, right?

  • 2. falstaff  |  November 23, 2007 at 6:39 am

    Space Bar: No, actually, I didn’t know that. Interesting.

  • 3. Idetrorce  |  December 15, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you


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