A. K. Ramanujan(16 March 1929 - 13 July 1993 / Mysore / India)
- by A. K. Ramanujan24
In Madurai, city of temples and poets, who sang of cities and temples, every summer a river dries to a trickle in the sand, baring the sand ribs, straw and women's hair clogging the watergates at the rusty bars under the bridges with patches of repair all over them the wet stones glistening like sleepy crocodiles, the dry ones shaven water-buffaloes lounging in the sun The poets only sang of the floods.
He was there for a day when they had the floods. People everywhere talked of the inches rising, of the precise number of cobbled steps run over by the water, rising on the bathing places, and the way it carried off three village houses, one pregnant woman and a couple of cows named Gopi and Brinda as usual.
The new poets still quoted the old poets, but no one spoke in verse of the pregnant woman drowned, with perhaps twins in her, kicking at blank walls even before birth.
He said: the river has water enough to be poetic about only once a year and then it carries away in the first half-hour three village houses, a couple of cows named Gopi and Brinda and one pregnant woman expecting identical twins with no moles on their bodies, with different coloured diapers to tell them apart.
Elements of Composition
- by A. K. Ramanujan20
Composed as I am, like others, of elements on certain well-known lists, father's seed and mother's egg
gathering earth, air, fire, mostly water, into a mulberry mass, moulding calcium,
carbon, even gold, magnesium and such, into a chattering self tangled in love and work,
scary dreams, capable of eyes that can see, only by moving constantly, the constancy of things
like Stonehenge or cherry trees;
add uncle's eleven fingers making shadow-plays of rajas and cats, hissing,
becoming fingers again, the look of panic on sister's face an hour before
her wedding, a dated newspaper map, of a place one has never seen, maybe no longer there
after the riots, downtown Nairobi, that a friend carried in his passport as others would
a woman's picture in their wallets;
add the lepers of Madurai, male, female, married, with children,
lion faces, crabs for claws, clotted on their shadows under the stone-eyed
goddesses of dance, mere pillars, moving as nothing on earth can move &mdash
I pass through them as they pass through me taking and leaving
affections, seeds, skeletons,
millennia of fossil records of insects that do not last a day,
body-prints of mayflies, a legend half-heard in a train
of the half-man searching for an ever-fleeing other half
through Muharram tigers, hyacinths in crocodile waters, and the sweet
twisted lives of epileptic saints,
and even as I add I lose, decompose, into my elements
into other names and forms, past, and passing, tenses without time,
caterpillar on a leaf, eating, being eaten.
Poems by A. K. Ramanujan, A. K. Ramanujan's poems collection. A. K. Ramanujan is a classical and famous poet (16 March 1929 - 13 July 1993 / Mysore / India). Share all poems of A. K. Ramanujan.