The Magic of Poetry

The Magic of Poetry

As American poet Robert Frost said, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”. 

Meena Kaushik

Often while rushing through the humdrum of life I’d find myself repeating the lines. “What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare” by WH Davies. 

What else would aptly define the busyness of the day, when to-do lists were longer than the arm, yet life silently begged for us to stand a while and just be? 

My love of poetry started in middle school, where English teachers made poetry come alive – the passion they infused the class with, the debates they encouraged that kept me engaged. 

Reading the English translations of Nobel Laureate Tagore and Kalidasa made me wonder about the beauty of the originals and how much more powerful they would have been!

I count among my favorites Byron, Keats, Shelley, Tagore, Kalidasa to name a few. 

 I fell in love with poetry in general and especially with “Bangle Sellers” by Sarojini Naidu. 

The poem that describes the journey of a young girl through her life with colors of bangles, the bangles that she wears at every stage in her life – why does it stop after the woman becomes a wife and a mother. Why wasn’t there a bangle color after that stage in her life? This was a question that has often bothered me. 

Poetry has been a part of my life even after graduating school. Like everyone who loves Bollywood, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the sheer magic of Bollywood lyrics. 

Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Majrooh Sultanpuri amongst so many others gave word to songs to suit every mood. If you can’t find a poem to express in Bollywood song what you’re feeling, you just haven’t looked hard enough! 

Of my current favorites is this gem, that I can’t resist sharing, penned by Javed Akhtar from the movie “Kal Ho Na Ho” 

Chaahe jo tumhe poore dil se

Milta hai woh mushkil se

Aisa jo koi kahin hai

Bas wohi sabse hasin hai”

Poetry transports us to another world – a world of mystique, a world of fantasy, a world of hope. It is therapeutic – a way to process experiences and emotions. Poetry enriches, challenges, empowers and inspires the human spirit.

Poetry steps in to provide solace, reduce tensions and give us hope. To fill in the silence with meter, words said and unsaid. Poetry is that balm that heals the soul, a salve to wounds that we were yet unaware of. 

In these unexpected times, when families are cooped up in close quarters, we have a greater appreciation of solitude.

If I were to sum it up in verse- 

“They flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude.

 And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils”.

                                    ——-  

Some of my favorites are listed here- [need links for poems]

I wandered lonely as a cloud – William Wordsworth

Bangle Sellers – Sarojini Naidu

The Elegy on the death of a Mad Dog – Oliver Goldsmith

Charge of the Light Brigade – Alfred Tennyson

Abou Ben Adhem – Leigh Hunt

Autumn – Kalidasa

To a Skylark – PB Shelley

Ode to a Nightingale – John Keats