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Sep 19, 2016

Twilight: Mahapatra

Twilight  by Jayanta Mahapatra
Bijay Kant Dubey

An orange flare
lights the pale panes of the hospital
in a final wish of daylight.
It's not yet dark.

In the children’s ward
under a mother's face
the dead, always so young.
Water startles in the river's throat.

Its cry:
a plea to share in its curse?

Somewhere, this twilight shall fall
and hide the whiteness of jasmines about to bloom.

Newly-lit lamps
in the houses across the street
make me look out at the wet August evening
that holds up the vast unknown
in such small delicate hands.

Before writing about Twilight, one needs to know it that Jayanta Mahapatra is not a simple writer to be taken simply as is tedious and complex, hard to comprehend and mean. If one knows him not or has no idea with regard to his traits, one may not comprehend him in full as because nihilism and existentialism take the readings away from him. A poet who plays with words and images is very often seemingly meaningless as do come and light and darkness breaking upon and retreating back, as is the creation of the universe is, the break of the sound, who can ever resolve the mystery of life and the world? What is that permanent and durable here and lasting? Everything but short-lived, be that human glory or noteworthy attainment. Nothing, nothing, a poet of nothing and nothingness, nihilism and existentialism, he walks down the ways never trodden, never laid it bare where words mean it not.

So many evenings, mornings, dawn breaks, twilights, dusks, eve falls, night falls and midnights constitute the crux of his poetry so the moods after taking in various turns and twists of thought and idea and reflection. There is not one, so many poems named as Twilight, which Twilight is it, the matter will tell you, you need to know it by the body of the poem, not the title. Her the twilight he is relaying is one falling on the window-panes of a hospital with a flare, flashing upon and picturing the patients and the wards and the waiting or attending relatives, the kith and kin, the near and dear. An afflicted mother glancing or staring at the dead young tells a different story of pain and anguish.

Jayanta Mahaptara as a poet writes not for our pleasure and joy, but to tax the mid and brain with his observation and the other thing that he means to say is this that the things of the world and Nature go in their own way and they nave nothing to be penitent or broodful about. The other aspect too is that there is a vacuum all around. What it is written here? How to write the unwritten? Life of moments, hours, years and decades and each of the moment is passing by. Everything lies it in a contradictory position. This moment we feel something with, the next moment not with is the thing.

The hospital wards with the children and morose mothers lighted by the orange flare of the twilight are the first imagery that we come across. Again, the scene shifts and takes sides with another set imagery. The jasmines blooming in the hide of the twilight, about break open and spread a redolence of own, is another set of imagery and reflection.

Again, the newly-lit lamps in the houses of the street make him look at the wet August evening holding the vast space and vacuum to be lifted into such  delicate hands.

Twilight is an excellent poem from Jayanta Mahapatra wherein the imagery is splendid and extraordinary. It is a poem to see and feel rather than meaning it. The words used in the poem are beautiful, as such, orange flare, hospital pane, final wish of daylight, children’s ward, mother’s face, whiteness of jasmines, newly-lit lamps in the houses, the vast unknown, delicate hands, etc.

Twilight as  a poem does not remain a literary piece, but turns into an image, as the children do while attempting to draw, sketch and paint, pencil it. A small poem it says many a thing unsaid and undescribed. The language employed for the imagery is excellent and a brief poem can contain in so much amazes us.

This is what differentiates from other poets. Jayanta Mahapatra has really come a long way from where it is difficult to look back. Into the poetry structure of a small poem, he fuses in art and craftsmanship with his master strokes of imagery and landscape-painting. Almost all the lines, words and images add to the poetic beauty of his poems. In the beginning one may not take to liking, but one keeps track of his poems, one will be definitely to comprehend his vision. A poet of nothing is what it seems to be and what it seems to be is nothing, he has miles and miles to go into the domain of poesy, this much we can assure about. What one can do is this that one may compare this Twilight with other poems if really one wants to make a comparative study and thinks to be endowed with.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading this poem it gave me a very Emily Dickenson/Robert Frost vibe. It hit me on a spiritual level and I think it's so great when a piece can touch your soul like that.


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