Thinking briefly of poetry at 2 am

29 January 2015

2:19 AM

Dear Void

Are you able to sleep? I am not. I am here and awake and about ready to have an epiphany that I know will not come. Words are coming out as though they are the impatient commuters on the Swiss SBB CFF FFS rails; they have to get somewhere and get there on time. I don’t know where I’ll end up at the end of this ‘stream of consciousness’- type of writing but I hope it’s somewhere good. Somewhere more sleepy. Is this what happens if you read too much poetry? I am imagining writing a poem as a tribute to Yeats’ The Lake Isle of Innisfree. I want to make it about my home city in India. An ambitious project but the seed has been sown.

I will arise and go now, and go to Bangalore
       And a small lodging build there, of brick and concrete made;

And so it begins. That was the easy part and it helps that out of Yeats’ 26 syllables in the two lines I had to change just 8! A cheat you say. Yes, you are probably right. I will attempt the rest of this challenging accentual-syllabic poem tomorrow and see how far I get. That poetry class is paying off dear Void.

Now moving on to the poem that has haunted me ever since I read it:

(An excerpt from)
Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain–and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped by eyes, unwilling to explain.

To me this is about depression and every time I read it my heart gets heavier. Damn you Frost! Damn you!
I don’t know why it should affect me so. I am not depressed, or am I? I am awake after all at some ungodly hour.

The winds are blowing heavy outside and the snow is orange under the streetlight. Switzerland can get mighty quiet. No person, no life in sight. There is naught but the brief howl of the wind as it gushes down the streets and around the buildings.

This blogpost now finally makes this space a personal blog. A place, to store my brain leakage and, then in a few hours when I wake up (ha!) to come back to be astonished and then embarrassed. I am sorry for you dear Void. You’ll be hearing a lot more of the post-midnight me. At least until I find something to put me to sleep. Poetry is not helping!

Here’s a random thought:
The first time I heard about the Oxford comma, which was here in WordPress, I thought it was a metaphor for the fleeting pause that is higher education in the larger academy of life teachings.

Hm. Eyes feel sore. Bed. Now.


14 thoughts on “Thinking briefly of poetry at 2 am”

  1. As I lay here, on the 28th preparing to draft a bedtime Chōka about the nature of home, I read about your future insomnia that you wrote before retiring in the middle night hours of a day that has not yet come for me. The very mathematics of meridian paradox renders me somnolent! “Good Night” or “Guten Morgen” as the case may be!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I am going to have to look at this poem of yours. That small preview has a great power in its words and now I am intrigued. Hope you slept well now I must go find.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! I seem to have set myself a challenge here and I have openly claimed to attempt it. There’s no backing out now. In my half-asleep state now it seems doable but I am sure in a few hours I will feel different! I am off to bed. PS: please read my previous post. There’s a surprise for you 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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