not to be the night when I lick my fingers

it was not to be the night when I lick my fingers,
you laughed at me, chortled at the way I spilled
everything on the canvas of the sky. a roundlet
of onion stuck in our conversation, our poetry.

I remind you of a pie you were to make for me,
and I worry today if I am an irksome ingredient,
like those peppercorns in your vadas that you
spit away saying you find them ground better,

but I am this whole, not a powder of intimacy,
I am a dripping stick-kulfi that coats desires,
I am the extra spice that burns your words,
I am just not a bullet in the index of the menu

that you skip over and come back to, because
I am affordable and easily available today, even
if I come out to be not what you really wanted.

after all,

it is not to to be the night when I lick my fingers,
invisible tears emerge on downtrodden cheeks,
painting colorless sky grey and blue. a julienne
of a fantasy is shattered, to become my poetry.

.

For dVerse Poetics.

Image source

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Book Review: Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

Sons and LoversSons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sons and Lovers by David Herbert Lawrence is a profound novel about love, if explained in a few words. And yet, you can’t limit it to that. Published in 1913, it received a lukewarm response but today, it is considered a classic masterpiece by many. How the book discusses the complexity of love and relationships and draws a contrast between nature and industry is, according to me, quite exceptional!

The story begins with a landscape of a mining town, urging the readers to see everything as it is. The third party omniscient narration first talks about Mrs. Gertrude Morel, who has married a miner, someone who is downward in caste to her people. Morel is an illiterate, an alcoholic and a simple minded man, with violent outbursts towards his wife and kids. Taking it fast forward, Mrs. Morel has three sons(William, Paul and Arthur) and a daughter(Annie), all of whom despise their father in their own ways, with a slight exception of the youngest boy, Arthur.

The mother who has never found happiness from her husband strives to look for it in her sons. In some way, she takes first the eldest, William, and then, the second eldest, Paul, as her lovers. (The story is not about incest, but rather about deep rooted feelings of companionship and adoration)

But her love for them makes all their lives crumble. The two sons could never love any woman through and through and that is what makes them miserable and suicidal. Paul (a character envisaged in similarity to the author himself) derives a bond of spiritual love with a farmer’s daughter, Miriam, who worships him. They have a relationship of mind, intellect and spirit. Paul also begins a passionate affair with a married woman, Mrs. Clare Dawes, who stays away from her husband. The harder they may try, they could never have Paul as a whole person.

Paul’s relationship with his mother is mingled with love and its produce, hatred. Sometimes, they are lovers enjoying a visit to different places and sometimes, they are distant to each other, brooding in their own worlds. Mrs. Morel could not approve of her sons’ lovers, her sons can’t devote themselves to their lovers, the lovers can never have enough of the sons, and everyone suffers in this overwhelming propinquity.

In the nexus of these characters, Lawrence brings forth a story of coming of age, of family, of love and hate, of relationships that are indefinable.

Some thoughts about the book:

1. The book was quite scandalous on its release, with its open portrayal of sex and related symbolic imagery. Lawrence has a knack for depicting the sensual moments in the form of colors, textures, and flowers, depicted in the scene.

2. The three lady characters: Mrs. Morel, Miriam, and Clara, form a circle around the male protagonist, Paul.
Mrs. Morel is the conscientious mother who has devoted her life and love to her sons. She derives happiness from Paul’s successes in painting. Paul succeeds for his mother. They have a bond deeply rooted in their need for each other. They make a whole, which no one is allowed to penetrate and if one does, one can’t stay for long. This relationship is naturally attributed to The Oedipean complex.

3. Miriam is my favorite character in the novel, and the most intricately structured, according to me. She is shy, introvert and deeply religious and finds first intellect and then, a love that goes beyond the realms of the world, in Paul. She is someone who lives for the afterlife much more than the life itself. Paul describes her love as, “You don’t want to love-your eternal and abnormal craving is to be loved. You aren’t positive, you’re negative. You absorb, absorb, as if you must fill yourself up with love, because you’ve got a shortage somewhere.”

4. Clara is a feminist, and yet, she is confused in her resolve. She is stuck between her husband and her lover, Paul. Paul’s relationship with Clara is that of passion, which withers with time. Clara is not a main character, but you can’t ignore her either.

5. The writing is impeccable; the sentences are short and poetic. The words weave living and breathing images and the complexity of the love is so finely articulated in these pages. This is a book which tends to get boring in between due to repetition, but that repetition is also necessary. It is quite long and is intended to be read patiently. It took me about 8-9 days for reading it.
Quoting an excerpt from the novel,
“To know their own nothingness, to know the tremendous living flood which carried them always, gave them rest within themselves. If so great a magnificent power could overwhelm them, identify them altogether with itself, so that they knew they were only grains in the tremendous heave that lifted every grass blade, its little height, and every tree, and living thing, then why fret about themselves?”

Why indeed!

I would recommend this book to patient readers, who loves the art of language and the need for the understanding of love and relationships. It is quite a depressing read, and that must be taken into account before you decide to hurl yourself into this story.

View all my reviews

Day 06: A Book That Broke Your Heart

Okay, I am continuing with the 30 Day Book Challenge. So, now is the time to discuss a book that broke my heart. That is a very powerful phrase. I don’t know if some book shattered my soul or broke my heart, as being mentioned. Yes, I have felt sad and there have been some books where i shed tears during some instances that were painful to read.

A Week in Winter is one such novel which stirred quite some emotions in me. It is written by Marcia Willett. I have mentioned it before but haven’t discussed it so far. I guess I am going to do that right now.

A Week in Winter is a family drama in simple words but it is much more than just that. It is an exploration of human emotions and how people come to see themselves and their relationships at various stages of their life. It tells of how complicated certain relationships can be and how a house can come to symbolize feelings of love and belonging. Maudie Todhunter is the protagonist who is the owner of a farmhouse in Devon countryside and she is going to sell it. And that comes out to be a central part of the entire story, which involves her step-daughter and her family along with a woman who comes to explore the country house by the name of Moorgate.

There are certain other stories involved enlisting many other characters but in the end everything comes together. This book gives you such a reading experience that you would laugh, smile, cry a bit, feel elated, a little frustrated. It is a complete package of human feelings and emotions.

Let me tell you, when did I cry in this book? It was when a character whom I come to adore died. It was already told before hand that she was going to die but finally when that chapter came, I felt really sad. Because she was someone I wanted to be like.

Author Marcia Willett

That is all for today.

The One Who Stands Alone

Sometimes it becomes difficult for me

to know who can be a friend and who can’t be one

I thought I succeeded in making some of them

but ended up knowing I was still alone, outcasted

for the reason, that I don’t know.

I remember I have always been an outcast-

a distinct personality, a leader in himself

with neither followers nor supporters,

the person who always stood alone, that is me

Is it good for me or not to be like this,

that I don’t know but what I know is that

I won’t mind standing alone in the crowd

but I would never lose self-respect,

never will I become your tail-

I will always stand for what I find right-

friends or not, even if the courtesy of

acknowledgment you take away

from me, I won’t mind

standing alone because that is who I am-

the outcasted one, the one who stands alone.