Who Am I? - Poem by Valsa George
‘What a piece of work is a man! '
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? '
From Shakespeare, through Hamlet
It rings down to generations
And falls heavily on my ears too
In vain, I attempt to probe into the mystery
Nay, the enigma called man
Both in the silence of my solitude
And in the learned circle of pundits
Unable to find who you are
Can you venture to say who the other man is?)
Man, a jumble of contradictions,
I know….A hard nut to crack!
So unfathomable, so mysterious
At once a Satan and an angel
To the outer world I am someone
But in the well guarded cellars of my privacy
Aren't I different?
Hiding my innards to light
As every other man
At times, I feel so proud
Excessively in love with my own image
Like Narcissus, the poor hunter boy
Fated by gods to languish
On the bank of a pond,
Over his own floating image!
However with all my strength within
Do I not feel as helpless as Prometheus bound?
Waiting for a Hercules to come
And save me from my plight
If Prometheus' bondage was God willed
Mine is self willed…! Is the difference so very crucial?
Sometimes I feel I am Janus
Looking backward and forward
Into my past and my future
Never living in the present
Or am I more a Sisyphus
Eternally rolling a rock over to the cliff
From where it keeps falling down
Sometimes I wonder
Amid the splendour, do I not starve?
Like Tantalus of Greece in the pool
Beneath the tree, with the low lying branches of fruits
Constantly eluding his grasp
And the water, ever receding before
He could take a drink!
As a poet how I wish I could
Equate myself with Calliope
Carving my mind on the wax tablet
With stylus, my pen and coloring it with my fancy
Or Orpheus, so skilled in music
That with my sad musings
I can make even Hades weep
And the rocks fall in line
I shudder to be a Medusa
Turning everyone to a stone
With my sinister glance!
Instead, I want to be one of the Graces
And never one among the Gorgons
Pitched in this gallery
Of queer mythological entities
I wonder how I appear to others
And whom I resemble more!