Ananta Madhavan


To Know A Face - Poem by Ananta Madhavan

To know a face
Return a thousand times,
And scrutinise

Each vibrant grace,
Each shadow of surprise
That fleets across

The den of crimes
Beneath the tell-tale eyes.
To map a face

Survey the gross
Promontories and capes,
And learn to trace

The creasy track
Where grief pursues the past.
To scan a face

Forget the shapes
Your hands and visions raise,
And, tearing back

Each mask, unhinge
The layers of deceit,
Until at last

There comes the maze
Where memories retreat
In thwarted quest

Of rest, and cringe
Before a host of fears,
Return, repeat

The eyes' behest
Within a web of tears
To love a face.

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote this poem as a graduate student in Madras (now called 'Chennai') in south India, in 1955. Published by the 'Illustrated Weekly of India'. Later I sent it to the PEN anthology
of new poems in England. Published in 'New Poems 1958', London.
That anthology included poems by Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath among
others. Later this poem of mine was included in my small collection of Poems, (Writers' Workshop, Calcutta, edited by P. Lal) .

Comments about To Know A Face by Ananta Madhavan

  • Gold Star - 18,186 Points Roseann Shawiak (12/15/2014 12:52:00 AM)

    Great poem, Ananta! It is sublime and I love it! Really great rhythm! Thank you for sharing. RoseAnn (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 16,075 Points Mandolyn ... (7/11/2014 9:27:00 PM)

    it's brilliant- i love it. well done. *claps (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 35 Points Lucifera Santez (12/31/2013 8:47:00 PM)

    its an mind blowing write.
    happy new year.
    :) (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 20, 2013

Poem Edited: Monday, December 30, 2013


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