A Sloka and Commentary

Day 9 of NaPoWriMo 2020.

A Sloka and Commentary

Notes:  Day 9 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt is “inspired by Kaschock’s use of space to organize her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “concrete” poem – a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. This might seem like a very modernist idea, but poets have been writing concrete poems since the 1600s! Your poem can take a simple shape, like a box or ball, or maybe you’ll have fun trying something more elaborate, like this poem in the shape of a Christmas tree.”

For context, Day 9’s resource is “Kirsten Kaschock’s chapbook, Windowboxing”.

This exercise reminds me of a prompt from 2015 which was to write a visual poem – a calligram.

I’m not even sure if this qualifies as a poem, its more a meditation. The “concrete” part, which hopefully most will recognize is the symbol om, is a sanskrit prayer from Upanishad with translation.  And the rectangular “base” is essentially commentary associated with it.

I think the intent is for the readers to interact with the formatted poem.  But if you made it this far and maybe missed it – then here it is in plain form:

 

From Brihadarnayaka Upanishad:
Asato ma sat gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrutyor ma amritam gamaya.
Translated:
From falsehood lead me to truth
From darkness lead me to light
From death lead me to immortality.

The middle line was a school motto.
From rote we recited everyday
Only later we understood the meaning of the line.
and the whole sloka
The three lines capture perhaps a
Fundamental human yearning:
That our brief lives have some meaning
Beyond just mere existence.

0.9 Poems

Missed Day 24 of NaPoWriMo.  I didn’t start writing till late and finished something by midnight.  So posting it today.  Day 24 prompt was to “write a parody or satire based on a famous poem.”  I had come across Aram Saroyan‘s poetry just in last couple of months and read about how his one word poem “lighght” created controversy.  He is known for his minimalist and concrete poetry.  Though, I am drawn to haiku and minimalism (yes I even like some of Philip Glass’ work, especially the ‘qatsi’ trilogy), thought this would be a good way to write some parody or satire making light of this work.  So for this prompt, I picked Saroyan’s nine poem.  In process of writing, I read and re-read some of the poems and actually started seeing different meanings and nuances.  So this might be mix of parody and admiration.  Each of mine is preceded by Saroyan’s original in parentheses.

.1
(sky
every
day)

dew
leaf
drops

.2
(a
dish
of
irish
setter)

a
plate
of
Lady
Di

.3
(I crazy).

def crazy.

.4
(room now
door Humphrey
Bogart)

.4a
temple pick
fight Amitabh
Bachchan

.4b
I have
ma Shashi
Kapoor

.4c
sleep child
else Gabbar
Singh

.5
(    pagne
 cham.
)

    nation
car.

.6
(j;u;n;g;l;e)

.6a
l.o.v.e

.6b
m:e:t:r:o:p:o:l:i:s

.7
(car swerves
injures 11;
driver held)

car speeds
nothing happens;
driver leaves

.8
(seek
air
tragedy
bodies)

oxygen
bars
rich
parties

.9
(wind     oil    to
 blows    out    sea)

no         trade   great   show
dishonesty deal    than    details