Sushrut Munje shares on his blog, Frankaffe, why poetry is an exercise of a limited expression, not unlike a rainbow being forced through a single ray of light.
Culture and Society,  Love

Why Poetry is a Trapped Release

Sushrut Munje shares on his blog, Frankaffe, why poetry is an exercise of a limited expression, not unlike a rainbow being forced through a single ray of light.
courtesy: Jeronimo Sanz

I wonder why my obsession with means of expression is gaining ground these days or rather, these nights. The cold ones, with dark brew fueling wakefulness, mind numbed by some insane music of the 80s and the world is quiet, mostly fast asleep – it doesn’t know better.

A Release

As Anushka shares, writing a poem is an exhilarating process. Almost liberating, she stresses. What compels us to string together words and paint a picture which attempts to reflect the beauty we see within? Is it something that we see and are very keen to share? Is it something that we see in a certain way others don’t, thus an insistent effort to project a perspective? Do we do it to communicate, perhaps, just like a bird calls out and just one particular bird gets it?

What is incredibly beautiful about the world we live in, is its ever evolving nature. It reflects joy and it reflects gloom. It is noisy, offers the daily hum of activity, strews the streets with people for you to interact with. It takes you through life – from the time you met your first love with freckles to the time you met your last one who made your heart skip a beat – allowing stories to build you and allowing you to build stories.

Every realization hits you with a rapturous kiss, and it always tastes different. You seek solace in conversations, espressos and melodies that offer a glimpse of the unreal – and you try to pick out pieces which match with what you have been feeling inside – seeking to hug them close to see if they sink in. It is a mad effort, because colors cannot be described if you do not know their names – there is no blue which is almost blue and no yellow if it’s wee pale. You often cannot describe the notes that you cannot sing, neither can you recreate the taste for your beloved even if the espresso made your tongue burn with ecstasy. How would you climb mountains of ocean, if swimming isn’t allowed?


We have a habit of looking back at our trail through the moor, and we spend days at length understanding the reasons behind the choices we have made. Since we are little more than wisps of mist, we are hardly the same people we were yesterday – every breeze and every sun changes us into what we allow ourselves to change into. Identifying ourselves with the choices of yesterday is a recipe for being too close to the ground, it stops us from floating away as a cloud, instead we keep hovering low.

As you write a poem, it writes you as well, for every choice of word ends up deciding how you’d perceive your thought pattern later. Attempting to contain the storm inside you into a thin stream of words is a responsibility to let go. A written word stays written, one snapshot of what you went through. It is tempting to only focus on how cold the storm is, at times, else we only end up talking about the blinding thunder. Sticking to this frozen description makes you forget what it was really like, and you are scared to let go of this record. Your memory of the storm thus limits itself to one description recorded by your younger self, thus limiting yourself in the process.

Poetry is a real struggle, but an exhilarating one, yes, it is an orgasm of thoughts and you move on to being a happier being, blessed with the love of the Universe. For at that given moment, you’ve had the strength of Atlas to squeeze this world into a few verses – and to help those who are wee new to this, add a painting or a picture to help them imagine what it was like – the raw sunlight and the virgin wind and your momentary breathlessness.

“Mind thus overtaken, speed is now incomparable.”

The purpose of life is to be happy, and we achieve it by letting go, and understanding that the world and its people are a mere reflection of our thoughts. Interestingly – our every emotion is an explosion of love and angst, a whirl of color and symphonies played at the same time. As a result, that’s exactly how we experience our world, which scares us, so we take a step back and start looking at it with prefixed windows. then choosing that view only to send out a stream of words as a record – and that becomes our story. Red might be a really pretty color, but it is only one part of white light, which is invisible but packed with all 7 colors. Our lives are white light – not single pretty colors.

What has been iconoclastic is the way heroes shed their definitions on a daily basis and are audacious to the core. It is an attempt to complete themselves. Perhaps that’s the reason writers seek visual support to express, musicians seek wordsmiths and photographers seek words to go with the smiles. This bravery and thirst to communicate better stories is made possible by the lightness they feel by overcoming their own past baggage, their own mind.

No matter how much we write, it’s still perfumed air in a jar. I wonder how many ways exist to showcase what we really feel inside. Till then, we may just have to force rainbows through a single ray of light.

[written with reference to What Poetry Means To Me]

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