Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Movement

      “The world is always in movement” — V.S. Naipaul


“I do not believe in political movements. I believe in personal movement, that movement of the soul when a man who looks at himself is so ashamed that he tries to make some sort of change – within himself, not on the outside.”— Joseph Brodsky

      Midweek Motif ~ Movement

I was listening to a Bengali song the other day when suddenly I heard the voice of the words in a different note I was not familiar in my childhood. I was aware and amazed how the song writer had captivated a ‘movement’ all around him. In the song the focus is mainly on a plant, engrossed in the bliss of life merrily singing of its motion. It’s a Tagore song. Here is a translation which I did:

River dear, in a fit of frenzy you rush at will
I, a dazed magnolia, insomniac, sit fragrance-filled
Ever quiescent, I keep my deep treading concealed
In each sprouting leaf and flower trail my path reveals
River dear, motion-thrilled you wildly race
Losing yourself in course endless   
Ineffable is my rhythm; a life’s stir towards light
The sky knows its bliss as do the silent stars of the night

Movement is a layered word to me; both its noun and verb forms. What picture does it create in your mind when you see the word?

To me the word immediately sketches the image of physiological posture of pain and suffering of ageing. Then on second thought it becomes a voice of that organized effort to bring about or resist changes in the society.

Let’s see how the word speaks to you.

Souls’ Festival
by Matsuo Basho

souls’ festival
today also there is smoke

from the crematory

The City In The Sea
by Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.

There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.

Around by lifting winds forgot
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently-
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol the violet and the vine.

Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

                                 (The rest is here)

The Owls
by Charles Baudelaire

UNDER the overhanging yews, 
The dark owls sit in solemn state, 
Like stranger gods; by twos and twos 
Their red eyes gleam.

 They meditate.

Motionless thus they sit and dream 
Until that melancholy hour 
When, with the sun's last fading gleam, 
The nightly shades assume their power.

From their still attitude the wise 
Will learn with terror to despise 
All tumult, movement, and unrest; 
For he who follows every shade, 
Carries the memory in his breast, 
Of each unhappy journey made.

Please share your new poem below and visit others in the spirit of the community --
(Next week Susan's Midweek Motif will be - Masks)


  1. Hello everyone. I'll be a bit late today. Enjoy :)

  2. Thank you for another interesting prompt

  3. This prompt moved me to play along, I will be in and out to read.

  4. A prompt that starts the thought processes swirling. Thanks, Sumana. I LOVE your translation. You have such a gift for translating Tagore.

  5. Hey everyone,

    Okay so my laptop died today.. it refuses to turn on.. will take it to get repaired.. fingers crossed!!

    Lots of love

    1. Oh Sanaa....that is really horrible. I hope you get it fixed very soon!!

    2. Hope so too💖 I am using my dad's laptop now.. so I'll be there at poetry pantry on Sunday and at midweek motif next week!💖


  6. New to posting here. Look forward to reading and getting to know you all.

  7. Thank you all and you, Sumana.

  8. Hello everyone! thank goodness I was able to write this this week!! Just linked in my poem. Hoping to read all the lovely poems. Thanks Sumana.

  9. Hello! This was my first time participating in Poets United- this group has been recommended to me by several people. I happened to have been working on a poem on the theme of movement this past week so this was serendipitous. Thank you!


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