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.

2 comments:

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.