17 June 2008

Changed, But Seemingly Same



Ten years after a farewell,
A decade of silence and whispers.
Not a friend too close;
Carried away by the clock-work life,
Where everything's a ritual.

It may have been years
Since I last saw the face.
We - two of a quartet,
The best minds in a lyrical asylum
And the perpetrators of chaos.
And thus I sighted him -
Wider and ears redder -
Changed, but seemingly same.

Feet from him, and I called -
A recognition? Maybe surprise.
Eyes wide and ears redder,
And then a crease of the temples.

Eyes searching for a name;
His face wasn't lying -
Recognition absent, but just that hint.
Or was I just hoping?

The same man, the very same,
In ticks of clocks,
In spinning of gears,
And in the passage of time,
Had a feeble mind.
'Twas the age of silence, in ignoration.

The head turned and
His feet took him away.
And I stood there, just there;
Looking up, seeing, not the sky
But the truth of time.

That it wasn't the same as then,
'Twasn't a twist of fate,
An everyday error: to forget.
That it had to happen then;
That it made me think he was
Changed, but seemingly same.

4 comments:

Ainesh said...

its simple yet simply awesome..!

Megs said...

Wow....I can guess at the inspiration for this one...in this season of tumultous change(as we head off for separate colleges) its easy to fear tht one day, nothin will be the same. Brilliantly brought out with your usual intricate subtlety:)

Priyank said...

You wield the written language with such profound mastery that it is nearly impossible for me to comprehend the depths of your poetry. I have so many questions, and honoring your requests, I offer you my thoughts...

"In Ignoration" -What might this title suggest? I was surprised by your choice of diction and thought that it might just be an error (perhaps you meant to say "in ignorance"), but knowing you, this was unlikely; then I looked up the word:

ignoration
1. The state of being ignorant
2. The action of ignoring something, or the state of being ignored


"Ten years after graduation" -So your poem is set in the future, as the speaker reflects on his past.

"A decade of silence and whispers.
Not a friend too close;
Carried away by the clock-work life,
Where everything's a ritual." -To me, this speaks volumes about the estrangement and monotony that time and distance can inevitably bring…

"It may have been years
Since I last saw the face.
We - two of a quartet,” -I am assuming here that the speaker gets to see an old friend again, one of ‘the quartet’ from before the days of graduation?

“The best minds in a lyrical asylum” –It is at this point that I started thinking that speaker might not be different from the poet. i.e. you’re writing about yourself and the experience of seeing a good friend again; but how can this be if the poem is set in the future? Are you projecting some unforeseen reunion, or am I analyzing all of this hopelessly wrong?

“And the perpetrators of chaos.
And thus I sighted him -
Wider and ears redder -
Changed, but seemingly same.” -I am gripped by the overwhelming sense of possession and pride with which the speaker is relating his friend to the reader… Clearly there’s some unspoken love and tenderness here, reinforcing the idea that the speaker has unexpectedly run into a good friend from his past.

”Feet from him, and I called -
A recognition? Maybe surprise.” –This made me smile inwardly. :)

”Eyes wide and ears redder,
And then a crease of the temples.” –haha, so the friend was caught of guard!

”Eyes searching for a name;
His face wasn't lying -
Recognition absent, but just that hint.
Or was I just hoping?” –And this is where the tone of the poem completely changes for me. Is this stanza meant to suggest that this friend cannot recall the speaker? And if so, I cannot tell you how painful it was to read the lines “or was I just hoping…”

“The same man, the very same,” –This is to assert that the speaker has made no error in judging that the man before his is his friend from the past, correct?

”In ticks of clocks,
In spinning of gears,
And in the passage of time,” –yeah, you’d definitely be an inmate of any distinguished “literary asylum.” ;)

Had a feeble mind.” –I am uncertain how to interpret this: Is it supposed to be a reflection of the speaker’s disappointment that his cherished friend did not recognize him? Is this disappointment, or is it spite? The word “feeble” suggests that speaker thinks less of his friend now…

”'Twas the age of silence, in ignoration.” –I am lost. The “age of silence”? Are you protracting the speaker’s brief encounter with his friend to emphasis the complete disconnect between the two? “In ignoration”-Is this reflective of the fact that the friend didn’t recognize the speaker, or that he was willfully being ignored?

”The head turned and
His feet took him away.” –So the friend just leaves without even trying to ascertain the identity of the speaker who had called out his name? The speaker who, unknown to him, still posses precious memories of past days…

”And I stood there, just there;
Looking up, seeing, not the sky
But the truth of time.” –Profound lines…

”That it wasn't the same as then,
'Twasn't a twist of fate,
An everyday error: to forget.
That it had to happen then;
That it made me think he was
Changed, but seemingly same.” –I can only imagine the thoughts that were brewing in the speakers mind…
And yet, to me, it seems as thought the speaker reached a catharsis: “changed, but seemingly same”

The Armchair Philosopher said...

Priyank, your absolutely right on every stanza. Thanks a lot!!