Ananta Madhavan


Epistle to Fellow-Scribblers


Poetry is fine when it comes unbidden, like Sleep.
Muse must be wooed, like Sleep on a night
Of Insomniac Jubilee, marking the hours.
'It is 1.15 now. How many hours to go before I dream? '

Woo her by counting sheep, dismissive though she is.
You lisped in numbers and the numbers fled.
(Few of our tribe can rival Alexander Pope) .

Poetry is not Poesy.
Forget "the rosy-fingered dawn"
And Wonderlands of wafted breeze
Chasing those kid-lamb clouds across the playground of the sky.
Avoid Mimesis: it is not a Muse
For all that it may amuse
With metaphor and simile
Or feline contumely
In a private blog
Of analogue and apologue:
"Methinks that cloud is very like a camel,
It nibbles your helmet, Son, " said Polonius,
But Leartes replied, "It has a silver lining, Pater!
See you later, Alma Mater."

Do not personify abstract nouns like Fate,
Unless you are content to let
Your fallacies grow dim pathetic;
Better stay sympathetic
To rules grammatical.
Let us get practical:
Study Fowler's
‘Modern English Usage'
And shun howlers.
It takes a Fowler to catch a Partridge.
I like the Greek word, 'pathos'
Which rhymes so neatly with the Greek word, 'bathos'

Prose-poems, I think, are superior
To poetic prose, with inferior
Mottoes of soothing sentiment
Fit for greeting cards,
Replete with euphony and words,
Salable from supermarket racks.
Get genuine, go for candour,
Why imitate the cadence of a Landor
Who never drove a car or parked it?

Be yourself, seeking words for feelings
That could maybe aid your self-healing.

Submitted: Thursday, July 03, 2014

Topic of this poem: poetry


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