Kalidasa was India's Sanskrit poet and dramatist in the middle of the 4th and early 5th centuries. Of his works, " The Cloud Messenger" and "The Cycle of the Seasons", and his play, "Sakuntala and the Ring of Recognition" are highly admired.


Isn't It That Kalidasa's Calligraphy?


"We Indians are great romantics; rain castes a spell on us;
for no apparent reason, we celebrate the season."
from Monsoon Magic, Zoya Zaidi

1.

Monsoon, that's Kalidasa's elixir of life,
that cloud-messenger for sad hearts
living apart in dry-hard lands off the coast;
yes, in this tropical heartland's North

where at last after sunshine's steel-
hard glazes like pristine spears thrown out
into exhausted eyes with summer's heat-
waves lashing at desperate retinas,

it comes with the winds of change,
(O, isn't it that Kalidasa's clouds again?)
with cloaks of coolness on their shoulders,
ruffling sun-paled boughs of arjunas,

ketakis and kadambas, electrified
flashes of lightning and the high-decibel
rumble of raging clouds, then raindrops
sprinkling like bliss on thirsty lips,

ankle-deep dust turning into thick mud,
later the newly-weds' hastening to bed-
chambers as in old Kalidasa's rain-soaked
days when even the season united

the separated in love-making. Then
everything you touch starts bristling
up with gleams of a new life; smoothly
comes the fragrance of monsoon

flowers that remind wayfaring husbands
of their wives back home and smells
arising out of their bodies; nicely
glitter the rain-washed trees at North's

historical sites where people's rush was
less in midsummer though now rotten
leftovers and thick mud float into the streets,
sewage in every city's clogged drains.

2.

Boys & girls, let's celebrate the season,
take off what you let go dry in hearts'
chambers, forget that it's our carrot hearts
hard boiled in summer's big cauldrons:

O come and go bathe in diamonds
raindrops falling soft on naked faces, arms
see your women's lusty second skins
getting wet in rain's bliss. Come straight

away and watch flashes of thunderlight
these fine tapestries done on darkening skies,
the sap of freshness rising into this life:
ah, it's the end of desert's dryness.

3.

Wayfarers, as I watch in the lovely rains
sprouts of green grass everywhere,
maalatis creeping over rusted iron-gates,
and the rainbow dyed in hearts' hues,

the rain-trees green against clouds
'dangling down with the weight of water'
like ladies' earrings and waist-strings,
I see in my mind's eye Kalidasa's

calligraphy of clouds on the wide blue,
and hear the rains' guttural music,
and O yes, 'Heart, indulge your desire'
like the King in love with Sakuntala.

Oh, even if solicitors' etiquette is fine,
their papers full of wit and cunning,
and senators' lapidary speeches great,
it's awful not to go out in the rain,

not wetting hearts' inveterate dryness;
my heart is on a go-slow campaign:
those sizzling hot days being at last over,
let all hearts be spiced with romance.




Poetry by Sofiul Azam
Read 772 times
Written on 2005-10-14 at 17:45

Tags Hope  Warmth  Hope 

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BlueyedSoul
i did read your poem and comments afterward....first off i think your poem is just exquisite, and i am in awe of its beauty. i personally find longer poems to be a little harder to read but that is because i am so used to the standard shortness of most poems. Yet, if a work is that good...it only adds to the enjoyable quality of the work. I for one found this to beg another read, to feel its impact, to consume its soul. I have come to love India and it's people and culture...so i learn much from this and you . Thank you for a beautiful piece...and a look into the rain i so love also.

~BlueyedSoul
2005-12-01


chasingtheday The PoetBay support member heart!
speaking on this though, i have just been saying in another site, on a two-lined haiku piece i thought it was too short! haiku poetry is a diferent matter though, i think they are a little 'easy' to do. and they do not challenge much the writer or reader, no offense here to haiku dream poet. he/she writes well in that form, and does not just write singular haiku pieces but experiments a lot with the other similar forms.
2005-10-15


chasingtheday The PoetBay support member heart!
i don't think it is a necessity to have shorter poems, i have many long pieces. but i do agree in part with posting as shorter sections, mainly because as is pointed out, people do seem to have attention spans that are low. but that's down to them really. i think as a writer though we must consider who our readers are going to be and if we wish thoughts on the work, to accomadate them to a point, not giving into the demands though too much and compromising our thoughts/integrity. but long poems are fine in my view. i have no problem reading them/writing them. i have found in the past, some say to me this is too short or this is too long, what is then the perfect length for a poem? it is like asking how long is a piece of string!

the poem itself, i think it is very good. it speaks of nature, beautiful life, and how it is perceived. rich in description. i think people are just so used to seeing poetry that is done online by the masses and find it hard to appreciate something deeper.
2005-10-15


Sofiul Azam
Readers, I am not talking about myself alone. I don't know why it should "necessarily" be a must that poems should be shorter to let readers become familiar with one's style, the readers who have "a short attention span" and don't want to spend time to go through intricate pieces, and why it should be the only "way people would not be intimidated by its length and could concentrate on each section a lot more." And long poems don't necessarily mean those always written "in the narrative style", and I wonder what the "readers" would feel while they are having a go at much longer pieces, and much harder and more complicated texts as of Pound or Eliot. I want all of the readers to get straight away accustomed to the longer style of poems they are probably going to read in the days to come if they want to be expert readers. Once again I have to say that I am not talking about myself alone.

Anyway, is a poem of mere 64 lines and of easy readability that very "long" and short of catching readers' attention?
2005-10-15


R.K.Singh
It's a good poem in the narrative style. Since you have a confident pen, I may like to suggest to you to write shorter poems (where you really make a very good impact)and try to write WITHOUT adjectives. Your poems will become the model for others to emulate. You may ignore it, if you so wish.
I still admire your skill.
R K
2005-10-15