Thus Spake Mr. Round Square ....

...and every of his written literary thought!

Friday, April 26, 2013

As it is in Art...

From elegant Ivory Tower of intellectual theory
A professor plods, a parched poem in hand
To rough plains of ordinary experience.
There he shares, surely, softly and slowly
His philosophy and wisdom to a plebeian.

Thus spake the articulate professor
With Oronte’s* eloquence to Alceste:
‘Rubrics* go heavy in metred blank verse
Finds its free footing in cathartic heptatet
Lineation fall loose like a chandelier
Subtly spun is my metaphoric motif
In a maladroitly detached caesurae
The eclectic content juxtapose form
Inspired as antiphon to a post-modernist piece
Writ, mind you, in the heat of a purgative muse
Fixated enjambment charms the rhyme scheme…’

The don delves deeper and deeper
But lost, the plebeian interrupts, unsure if
She’s following him or chasing after meaning
‘But sir! My mind is more mesmerized
And mislaid in jungles of my subconscious
For how do I appreciate what I can’t apply?
What one doesn’t have knowledge of?
What goes beyond the bounds of the ordinary?
That has nothing to do with everyday living?
Can a ‘clinically detached style’ put salt on my table?’

She is a stranger on this side of the world
And most words won’t obey her tongue
But her rough riff-ruff voice endures—
Devoid of emotive lingo, she analyses
Characterized by a pedestrian interpretation—
Like a dog placing a prized bone at his master’s
Disinterested feet—she annotates.  The prof becomes
Student. She a mentor. She revises, refines his philos.
Purifying the poem with lyres of shared wisdom
Of singing and dancing with the soil, sowing, raking,
Scything hay stalks—the concerns of common humanity!

One creates a work in solitude, independently
Meticulously and cautiously and with restraint.
One pens and polishes poems like Basho*, until
They shine like a fox’s tail in the winter moon.
One deems it perfect—but unless you breath
The insight of daily life into your thoughts
Your philosophy of crowned wisdom remains
Dry and withered—no more than scraps
Of writing, a man with a pen in his hand
Might make for idleness or for practice

Purgation pours forth the prof’s brow
He is most poet! But she is most philosopher!
He is hearing the theory of relativity from Einstein himself!
He needn’t approach her in unfamiliar academic tradition!
He needn’t win her with airy arguments or gentle coaxing!
He needn’t quote an ancient Elizabethan sage that:
‘A mark of great poetry is to communicate
Even before it is fully understood.’

His buoyant thoughts, a hamlet habitation is given
She replaces his arm-chair theories with plebeian flavour
Trying to give him wisdom—which nature had denied —
To spice up an understanding for his academia
Out of the indulgence of her own peasant life.
Abstract meets concrete, theory seeks out practice
Intellect finds senses. Man woos woman. For one
Without replenishing the other is incomplete!

Wit, subtlety and cleverness tampered and churned
Serves not to display craft of the artist
But rather to reveal the truth of the poem.
That of erasing boundaries, between one world
And another. His and hers. She is a world
He can enter only through her.

He learns, discovers, the power to enrich,
To bring universality in art, and craft,
And learning, and life, is through harmony
Of the ideal and the real. The spiritual and secular.
Intellect and sensual. The ying and the yang.
As it is in art; so it is in life.


*Oronte – in Moliere’s Misanthrope, Alceste dismisses Oronte’s puffed up poem, which the latter doesn’t take it lying down.
*‘Rubrics…rhyme scheme…’ – very deep literary devices!
*Basho – a legendary and ancient Japanese Haiku poet, though Basho and the Fox story is apt and serves best the context.

Mendel’s Method (A scholoimester’s worldview)

Alone and thinking his lonely thoughts.
And he said: ‘Let there be peas!’
And there were peas.
And it was good.

And he put the peas in the garden
Saying unto them: ‘Increase and multiply,
Segregate and assort yourselves independently.’
And they did—filling the earth.
And it was good.

And it came to pass that
When Mendel gathered up his peas,
He divided them into round and wrinkled
And called the round dominant
And the wrinkled recessive
And it was good.

But now Mendel saw that
There were 450 round peas
And 102 wrinkled ones
This was not good
For the Law of Trinity stateth
That there shalt be only
Three round for every wrinkled!

And Mendel thought unto himself
Gott in himmel, an enemy hath done this!
He has sown bad seeds in my garden
Under the cover of the night!’

And Mendel smote the table
In righteous wrath saying:
‘Depart from I, ye accursed evil peas
Into the outer darkness
Where thou shalt be devoured
By bats and rats, pests and mice!’

And lo! and behold, it was done
And there remained 300 round peas
And 100 wrinkled peas. A ratio of
1:3=3:1 or the holy trinity of peas!
And it was good. It was very very good
And he published his creative power
Also known as the genesis of genetics.


*Father Gregory Mendel is to Genetics what Darwin is to Evolution!

Real Appearance

Wash off the over-soaked Mexican Soaps
Gag Tyra and all irritating talking traps
Plague public theatres—the epicentre of tramedies—
The youth’s mind, they corrupt and addle.
Sweep them clean of its melodramatic poems
Wipe out Homerians and blow up every weeping
Tragedians. And from page to stage,
Slash Shakespearean texts. Destroy his
Masquerades and those appearances of reality.

Acting, performing, sketching, singing,
And in fact all dramatic imitations
Are quite far removed from the truth
The plastic audience, engrossed in puerile art form
Excited like a goldfish in an aquarium
Blast the disdainful banal world of popular
Public performance. Where common people,
Charitably drawn, to peevish and
Surreal characters, are objects of satire!
Stab mortally Odysseus and his villains
For misrepresenting historical figures
Hang every Iliad hero for depicting turbulent events
While engaging in such questionable display
Of emotion as spinning out long melancholic lamentations
So disfiguring themselves in grief.

Bear not such intimate sorrows, condone them not.
Murder Hamlet. Slay Macbeth. Heed Plato:
‘If you receive these pleasure-seasoned
Muse, of song and epic, drama and poetry,
Speeches and soliloquies,’ he admonished,
‘Pleasure and pain will be kings in your cities,
Instead of law, logic and reason.’

Esteem the cold sweeping pronouncements
Of apostle Wilde summed up in his most
Unholy anti-arts argument: ‘All art is quite useless.’
But then, wasn’t he merely an elitist
Double agent of art? In his dark epistles?
When he began with a poetic onslaught,
And ended up writing one too many.

Cancel poetry readings and censure live theatres
There being free and accessible and raucous,
Gives them an extremely popular status.
Ban all mass entertainment. Instead of comedy
And poetry, and Socrates and Sophocles,
Read NY Times, listen to BBC and watch Al-Jazeera.

Reconstruct a Plato Republic, empty of all libraries
Theatres, cinemas and museums. Destroy all repositories
Of art, in case, God forbid, they have survived the Dark Ages.
Revive Plato’s personal utopia—that dream that never came
To pass! Disguise not your true disgust when it comes to art.
What art! What artistic expression! What inferior characters!
What art! What vulgar subjects! What corrupted audience!
What art! What confusion between appearance and reality!


Monday, September 19, 2011

O Aspirant Poet

Never cut your milk molar
Toying, doodling ideas, to pen a piece
Written ere, by past contemporaries, 
If your poems, would look similar
To theirs, or far worse, inferior.
Never, desiring to make a difference
Write a piece worthless of sense.

An aspiring author and poet,
Must create such a novel piece,
Neither read nor writ afore.
Or perfect what poets of past,
Would have dreamt to realise.
And a matchless way to investigate
If your poem is not an eyesore,
Is to contrast it against
A dead, but accomplished poet.

Popular poets, so Unpoetic
Are Catos* created by a critic,
Constantly seeking out for an artistic
Fairy. A carpe diem* poet, of the occasion,
A rhyme(a)ster belching exaggeration,
Pompously puffed up by pouring praise.
But when these invented fairies
Depart, they fade in extinction
And RIP quietly in misty oblivion

Of the great artists an aspiring poet
Can contest against as pacemakers,
Are the dead; revered most inimitably.
That way, you are like an athlete
Sure-footed, running a race, set
Against the timer. Not simply
The perspiring proverbial champion,
That trounced the limping jokers
And joggers out of a marathon!

If you never run against time,
How would you ever know,
If you’d be aborted, or grow,
To write, an eternal rhyme?
Like master, like gent;
Like—but oh! How different!


*Cato – mythical marking scheme for morality. Perfect in everything!
*Carpe diem – seizing the moment. Here, just for the time.


Sweats ambitiously,  
Mars a brow tirelessly
Than good ol’ Wordsworth*.
Lives to scribble and squiggle   
To write not a complex sentence,
But a simple and a single
Line of a plain sonnet.
Extols this line, supposes
It the greatest in all earth.
But the ‘great’ lyric he composes
Alas! Is as scantily set;
Deficient of all senses   
As Sisyphus’* existence.

The unpoetical
Sells aesthetic skill and all
Artistic talents. Trades the soul
For false fame. For prosaic sake.
For a penname, immortal like Blake*,
Obsessed with fleeting success.
Forgetting the flighty consequences
That leaves life with nothing less
Mocking than bigotries, theories,
And philosophies of failed artistries,
In the footnotes of poetic histories.

The only poets so appealing,
Unaccomplished and unmarketed,
Yet charming and enchanting,
Are verily the poets so inferior.
But popular poets so superior
Dangle high in bubbly air, floated
With whirl winds. Bloated, so appear
Blown out of proportion. Inflated,
Exaggerated, in what they really are.

A gifted poet?
A truly gifted poet
Sadly is the most unpoetical
Character of all creative creatures.
Or creature with creative characters.
But a no-talent substandard poet,
With third-rate lines so unlyrical
Is feted ‘such a distinguished genius;
Ingenious! Gorgeous! Magnanimous!’
The dimmer their verses gleam,
The more sensational they seem.

Plenty of petty poets
Publish and perform
Voluminous piles of Psalms
Of such mediocre rhymes,
That only puff up these poets
As pretty much attractive parrots.
Prattling, mimicking pantomime
Fooling around boasting of lyrics
Their beaks can never connive.
The other can compose lyrics
But in tunes they daren’t pulsate
Nor are predisposed to resonate.
Poetic lines one can never live.

©Roundsquare .

*Wordsworth – an aspiring but failed poet in V.S Naipaul’s Miguel Street.
* Sisyphus – in Greek myth, cursed to endlessly push a giant rock up the mountain but would roll back.
* Blake – William Blake, a great English poet, also known for religious sketching (Book of Job) and Dante’s Inferno.
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