Back to Work, Introspective
1. That Seeping Question, "Why am I here? "
Emptied of rain, the convalescent sky
Grows luminous again, all is cleansed.
Cycles emerge from passageways
And meld in long formations.
Hedges are in sheen, suburban lawns
Shine like card tables.
The washed air ripples like a sari.
Boys thump on puddles,
I smell that drenched animal, the earth.
What can I do? No answer yet.
I dare not doubt my own adequacy,
Still less my relevance. Muffle then
All subversive hesitancy,
Do what you must, and live
As others, wiser, do
Within a sufficient world,
Built of splinters too,
But loyal to the purpose and command
Of the dazed mind, cemented
With ordinary concern
For family and friends,
Waterproof against the seeping question,
'Why am I here? '
2. We do not know enough
I know of ways to cheat
The doubter in myself,
Of the indifferent will:
To soar upon a glider
And see the tenements below.
Tragedies in scale
Are not so terrible.
To plunder history
For false analogies -
Babylon, Nineveh -
Seen in perspective,
All is invisible.
To squeeze out ironies
Like adolescent pimples;
To diagnose the sickness
And surgically probe
The festering tumour
And leave it there to mend
Or fester if it will.
We do not know enough
About the brain or glands
To come to conclusions.
Facts held up in tweezers
Vanish in scrutiny.
Who knows, but that a shot
Of anti-adrenalin in the arm
May turn a tyranny
Or that a super-duper computer
May find a means supersede
The pains of agriculture?
We do not know enough.
The flies visit my face and hands.
The sky is ill again, opaline, then grey;
A pin-stripe rain begins, too sparse to tax
My faulty windscreen wiper. Changing gears,
I take the corner gently.
A dank heart goes to work.
- - - - - - - - - -
New Delhi, August 1966.
Ananta Madhavan's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
'Why am I here now? Who am I? '
Comments about this poem (Back to Work, Introspective by Ananta Madhavan )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(13-7-31 (see reverse))
- (Adi Sankara) 07 Sankara's works, Rajaram Ramachandran
- (Adi Sankara) 06 A Guru was found, Rajaram Ramachandran
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Am the Only Being Whose Doom, Emily Jane Brontë
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
Poem of the Day
- She Came to Me, Md. Ziaul Haque
- Life Begins Again, Md. Ziaul Haque
- A Good Soul, Md. Ziaul Haque
- Best Wishes My Love, Valentine Mbagu
- Relativity And Love, Sambanath Denis
- 2014, Joseph Archer
- For violating state law, Cyndi K. Gacosta
- De optelsom van al het Kwaad, Madrason writer
- Summer, Jordy lustig
- Once More, Ahmad Husain