Tracks in the Private Country

The memory in need
Is the implacable enemy of the creed,
Waits and watches its foe

The all-clawing frenzy on tip-toe;
Quiescent in the instant's repose
The thud of flurried gnawing years evoke.

The poet in his solitary moments, spoke
Those whispered words, memory's secret ear yoke.
His wares, his scares, ailments and balms

Suddenly at the oasis of his thirst, awoke
Transilluminating the hard wad of his private notes,
Clutching at the infant's murmurous innocence

The clear innocuous dogma of cries;
While his immodestly preened notes of travesty
Hark back; and the first poem playfully struck

Teaches him now too late the laugh, the critic's qualms.
Just as the poet had wandered away from childhood,
So will the child thwart the unspoilt man

And shyly, shyly he turns away from the poet
Coming in like a stray camp-follower to brood.
For who may ask which the supreme poet

The child's sweet ineffable musings disrespect
While language etherises meanings proudly sown:
The title in two is halved - one the art, one, lone.

And the man, memory's ill-begotten infant
Lurking round the corner, pranks the urgent moment
Or two - then restores the poet to the poem.

T. Wignesan

If I might be allowed to say so, I think my "first" love was poetry. Unfortunately for me, the British curricula at school did not put me in touch with the Metaphysical Poets, nor with the post-Georgian school. Almost all the school texts after World War II contained invariably Victorian narrative poems and some popular examples of Romantic poetry. I chanced upon a selection of T. S. Eliot's and Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and a little later on Pope's An Essay on Man and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. That did the trick. Yet, I regret not having taken to prose in earnest earlier than the publication of my first collection: Tracks of a Tramp (1961). There's nothing like trying your hand at all kinds of prose exercises to come to grips with poetry. Or rather to see how poetry makes for the essence of speech/Speech and makes you realise how it can communicate what prose cannot easily convey. I have managed to put together several collections of poems, but never actually sought to find homes for them in magazines, periodicals or anthologies. Apart from the one published book, some of my sporadic efforts may be sampled at of Poems.htm

Last updated July 05, 2016