Monday, February 11, 2008

Meet Jeet Thayil

I recently chanced upon one of Jeet Thayil's poems and subsequently managed to get a copy of his first collection titled English. It is a brilliant and lyrical set of poems, written in a refreshingly simple style. These are two of my personal favourites.

September 10, 2001

How much harder it is to speak
when I have spent the whole day silent.
I would like to stop someone,
leave my room in the evening
and stop someone, a man without hope,
or a woman bent double, as if she were
searching the sidewalk for gems
caught in the cracks, and I would tell her
that each of us walks with the same
impossible burden, knowing
that only the stars will last --
she will listen to me, hear what I say
and go on her way, bent over as before,
never looking up at the approaching sky.

How to Be a Leaf

Hold your breath until
you are God's green thoughts.
Stop eating,

air will suffice for food.
Water is another matter:
the skin absorbs moisture,

eyes adjust,
limbs grow inward.
Conjugate patience.

Worship women and trees.


Anonymous said...

Nice. Like the second one better.

Life and the Living said...

How to be a leaf is one of my favorites too! Have you read his latest collection - These Errors are Correct - VERY GOOD.