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Dr A.V. Koshy is presently working as Assistant Professor in Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has authored or co-authored seven or eight books of poetry, theory and criticism. He is an editor and anthologist. He is also a distinguished teacher of the English language and literature and a critic, with a Ph.D in modern poetry, specifically Samuel Beckett's poems in English. He was a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry in 2012 and his book Art of Poetry was selected as Best Reads 2012 by Butterfly and the Bee. He has been editor's pick on Camel Saloon thrice and poet of the month thrice in Destiny Poets UK besides often having his poems appear in the highly selected category. Has other international awards, diplomas and certificates to his credit too.

An Examination of “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” by Bob Dylan.

© Dr Koshy AV

I should be working but feel forced to write on Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.

As a point of entry let us take what people call poetry which draws them to it like women draw men, in droves. What people mean by poetry, what women swoon over in reading Neruda is imagery and here we have a few lines that equal Neruda.

“…your flesh like silk…

and…your face like glass…”

But she is a “sad-eyed lady” and “of the lowlands” where no man comes.

Yet, all men are after her.

Who is she?

“With your silhouette when the sunlight dims
Into your eyes where the moonlight swims,”


I hear the women go ‘uff! If only someone’d write about me too like that!’ Uff, uff, uff.

I remember Pater on Mona Lisa.

“The presence that rose thus so strangely beside the waters, is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years men had come to desire. Hers is the head upon which all ‘the ends of the world are come,’ and the eyelids are a little weary. It is a beauty wrought out from within upon the flesh, the deposit, little cell by cell, of strange thoughts and fantastic reveries and exquisite passions. Set it for a moment beside one of those white Greek goddesses or beautiful women of antiquity, and how would they be troubled by this beauty, into which the soul with all its maladies has passed! All the thoughts and experience of the world have etched and moulded there, in that which they have of power to refine and make expressive the outward form, the animalism of Greece, the lust of Rome, the mysticism of the middle age with its spiritual ambition and imaginative loves, the return of the Pagan world, the sins of the Borgias. She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants; and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has moulded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands. The fancy of perpetual life, sweeping together ten thousand experiences, is an old one; and modern philosophy has conceived the idea of humanity as wrought upon by, and summing up in itself, all modes of thought and life. Certainly Lady Lisa might stand as the embodiment of the old fancy, the symbol of the modern idea.

This extract is taken from Walter Pater, Studies in the History of the Renaissance (Oxford: University Press, 2012). Pater referenced 1 Corinthians 10:11

Dylan has created a ‘character’ that rivals Mona Lisa, and Cat Stevens’ Lisa, Lisa, sad Lisa, Lisa… who “hangs her head and cries on (his) shoulder.” A ‘character’ who makes even Dylan, the artist who knew he was great write “my warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums, should I leave them at the gate, O sad-eyed lady, should I wait?”

It is difficult to analyse poetry at its best and explain why it moves us so intensely.
As in here. Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place supposedly to start.
She has “a mercury mouth”. Does the world slide towards mercurial or does one think of mercury rising in the mouth of the meter on the wall to show the heat increasing? In the missionary times? A veiled reference to her being a Playboy model once if this is Sara and to the missionary position or her chastity and purity in the face of the odd paradox that she makes men become like bitches, in/on heat. A mouth too can bring down kingdoms.

Eyes… that smoke and prayers that rhyme, a silver cross on the end of the chain and a voice that is like wind-chimes, she is ethereal like the skylark, whether Shelley’s or Wordsworth’s. Also American or Mexican or Spanish, with smoking hot eyes, and that cross, and those prayers…

No more someone who can be buried. No more poor having met the bard. Worthy of being carried in a palanquin, no longer fit to travel in a streetcar (un-)like Blanche in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, having become revealed as a queen but who fit enough to carry the four ends of that palanquin? None.

No man bold enough to approach her. She comes from the depths. Only the prophet, sad-eyed like her, and the poet but even he may have to set aside his pecuniary fiscal eyes and esoteric music, his gifts or valuables, and have to wait.

A virtuous woman whose bed-sheets are like metal and belt like lace, whose deck of cards – dictating her life or with which she gambles away her life – have the king and the joker but not the jack or the ace, still having traces about her of her genteel previous poverty and its hollowness shown in her face, who is street-smart, she is, this sad-eyed one, or swan. She has gypsy blood in her and her songs are flimsy like matchbooks, but her sunlight dimmed silhouette when the moonlight swims in her eyes is either so much a sight to make one stop, stand and stare or so much one that puts you off that no one will try to impress her. Scared. Irresistible.

Not the kings of Tyre, who wait as do the suitors of Portia, for a “geranium kiss,” and with their lists of their prisoners, who want sex with her and not just a loving real kiss. She was forced to compromise, but the voice who sings this poem asks why. Haunting us. “And you wouldn’t know it would happen like this!”

As a child she had flames on her midnight rug, not of boys, but of arson, and as she grew up she kept curfew, and took the same medicines her mother took as well as had Spanish manners and that mouth that suited cowboys better, than women, being mercurial. Who can resist someone like that?

The rich and the poor – the farmers and the businessmen – wanted her on their side but how did they not understand that she was beyond all ‘sides’, transcendental, with flaws – a phoney false alarm, being the true one – , yet able to fall in love with the child of a hoodlum, having the sea at her feet like woman in Apocalypse/Revelation, and not drawn to or by dead angels hiding in the closets of the rich and the poor. Blameless. Not to be persuaded.

Only one could persuade her. Not her husband. Not her past. No one fit enough to employ her. “And your gentleness now, which you just can’t help but show,” not being the kind of achievement we can put on a CV to get hired.

“Now you stand with your thief, you’re on his parole
With your holy medallion which your fingertips fold,
And your saint-like face and your ghost-like soul,
Oh, who among them do you think could destroy you?

We come to the crux of the poem. She is not Pater’s Mona Lisa, she is the Bride, as Dylan envisages her, American, gypsy, Spanish and implicitly Mexican, but also Beatrice, Dantescan and an Italian breeze, virgin Mary and fallen Magdalene, and even the prophet and poet, the singer or bard, the wandering minstrel, the troubadour, the thief – which one of the two on the cross? – and not the joker, who she is ready to share the parole of, the child of the hoodlum, is forced despite his courage and foolhardiness to ask her, therefore:

Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Even he is treading softly, as he does not want to tread on her dreams.

I never saw the lesser poetic vehicles, poetic tropes, of the simile, questions and anaphora (repetition) used redundantly but redeemed so well as in this poem. Call me Ishmael or Queegeeg or even Quinn the Eskimo, but this poem or song is serious, sad, romantic, melancholy and leaves one unable to leave it behind. Makes you search and search desperately for a sad-eyed lady to whom you can ask, should I leave my gifts by your gate, O(r) Sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

The one you know you will never find or if you find you will always lose or have already lost before you met and can never get to keep. Unless you are like Dylan who can write a song on her to keep her forever in it like a leaf pressed in a book, dead or alive.

Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

Bob Dylan

With your mercury mouth in the missionary times,
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes,
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes,
Who do they think could bury you?

With your pockets well protected at last,
And your streetcar visions which you place on the grass,
And your flesh like silk, and your face like glass,
Who could they get to ever carry you?

Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I put them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

With your sheets like metal and your belt like lace,
And your deck of cards missing the jack and the ace,
And your basement clothes and your hollow face,
Who among them can think he could outguess you?

With your silhouette when the sunlight dims
Into your eyes where the moonlight swims,
And your match-book songs and your gypsy hymns,
Who among them would try to impress you?

Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I put them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

The kings of Tyrus with their convict list
Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss,
And you wouldn’t know it would happen like this,
But who among them really wants just to kiss you?

With your childhood flames on your midnight rug,
And your Spanish manners and your mother’s drugs,
And your cowboy mouth and your curfew plugs,
Who among them do you think could resist you?

Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Oh, the farmers and the businessmen, they all did decide
To show you the dead angels that they used to hide.
But why did they pick you to sympathise with their side?
Oh, how could they ever mistake you?

They wished you’d accepted the blame for the farm,
But with the sea at your feet and the phoney false alarm,
And with the child of a hoodlum wrapped up in your arms,
How could they ever, ever persuade you?

Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

With your sheet-metal memory of Cannery Row,
And your magazine-husband who one day just had to go,
And your gentleness now, which you just can’t help but show,
Who among them do you think would employ you?

Now you stand with your thief, you’re on his parole
With your holy medallion which your fingertips fold,
And your saintlike face and your ghost-like soul,
Oh, who among them do you think could destroy you?

Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Songwriter: Bob Dylan. from Blonde on Blonde.

Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands lyrics © Audiam, Inc

I could write more on this as poem and music, talking of alliteration, rhyme, the keyboards, drums, the acoustic guitar, his signature voice and singing style, the bass, the versions, the covers, the imagery, the references and allusions, and inter-textuality, the frame, the contexts, the significance or importance of the song in the album and its influence on others, the figures of speech and so many other things, but it would make it boring and so leave the rest of the essay for all of you, my dear friends, to create in your minds for yourself…

The Universe is Books


‘Knock, knock,’ she said.
‘Who’s there,’ he asked,
coming to the door-less opening
of the wall of books
to wall out or wall in.
‘May I come in,’ she asked.
‘You may if you like books’.
‘I do, I never met a boy
who lived in a house made of one, before.
One day, soon, I too will make my house
of my own books, like this,’ she replied.
‘Then “come in,” he said, “I’ll/they’ll give you/us
shelter from the storm.”‘
© Dr Koshy AV

Elegy for Tina by her brother immediately elder to her.

Someone put some mud in his extended left hand
He looked at it, uncomprehending
Put it in, down there, a voice said
He looked down at his feet
And as his eyes travelled, from left foot forward
There it was
A two foot by one foot hole, dug in the ground
Holding the small box of wood
In a shape he could not describe
Not having the word for it
Ten years old is too young to know much
(Elongated, hexagonal, it was, he knows now)
He could no longer see that face
Only the clean, almost white, yellow of the wood’s grain
Around him the voices which he could not make out, in refrain
of sad song or funereal chant of prayer
Around him the milling crowd of people, people, faceless, faces, known ,unknown, when all he wanted was to be left alone, everywhere
What had drawn so many there?
He opened his hand and let fall the earth
Watched it fall with no sound he could hear
And disperse into its tiny particles
Along with other clods of earth
‘Dust thou art and to dust thou dost return’
Then he understood
Something wet his cheeks burned
He wondered had she discerned
The sound of the sand
Hitting her roof
That it was different
And from his hand
Then jerked
Out of that mad reverie
She was gone
Under, forever
Even her tiny face
Tiny, how funny, so close to her name
You just change one letter and a whole world shrinks and a person is gone
Only the hope was left
Of meeting in eternity or heaven
Or some other life
Or the memory
Or both, or whichever
Was more true
So with Nothing left to do
He left
Before they covered her and the box up
With spades and shovels and picks
Gravely, as befits a new grave
He does not remember if he turned and looked
One last time –
How lame! –
The scene to frame
Not knowing it would never fade…

Abhinandan – A Tribute to a Soldier

We congratulate you
as your name deserves
for chasing the enemies
Your good Varthaman* (rumour)
has spread far and wide.
Though you were shot down
and had to eject to safety
and wounded, are now in custody
we know your bravery
is rewarded
by our anxiety
for your safe return
to us, and your loved ones.
For from the ground it is easy
for fools to strut around naked, dressed only in words, and digress
to talk war and defence, and offence, as strategy
but for you it is no social media joke
but grim reality.
May the Almighty 
bring you back safely
reward you fittingly
and give you fit recompence
while others speak of vengeance
and all such triviality.
May you be kept safe
and brought back to the bosom of your country
our home
well and hale
to tell the story
to our children
and grandchildren
that they may not be fooled
by civilian prating
but take to heart
that some things are worth defending
living for 
fighting for
dying for, if necessary
like our freedom
and long lasting

*Abhinandan means to congratulate.
*Using it instead of Varthamanam here as its abbreviation

Angel of Death

Nobody should love me.
It is good that you don’t.
I carry the angel of death within me.
I see through history.
I see through time.
No memory soothes me, to help me make up my mind
to take sides with the/any enemy.
I come after Nietzsche
and do not gainsay for vainglory.
I may look helpless to you and your kind.
But know that a bitterfly’s wings
can start,
afar off
a tsunami.
That is quantum.
That is me.
When Christ comes back he does not come with peace
but with a winnowing fan
and a fire to burn
the chaff from the wheat
and gather his grain into the barn.
You think there is no destroyer in the trinity.
There is none because each has four faces.
Face of a man, a lion and a bear
& the face of an eagle.
Each knows how to create, sustain and destroy.
This is true, I swear.
Them wheels on fire, rocking, rolling, are all covered with eyes turning around in all directions,
flying straight through air.
Or the cherubim.
Or when the glory of the Shekinah shakes the thrones of the kings
so that even the priests and Levites cannot minister so thick is the smoke that fills the entire realm
This is mystic revolution.
And it does not come from the East.
The angels will their curses, vials, thunders and lightning.
Johnny Cash singing God gonna cut ’em down.
And speaking of Messianic Time, Walter Benajmin.

“pour Manuel Acuña”


Softly, softly, a breeze is blowing
across the salt lake, to resuscitate –

Gently, gently, that dear, young corpse
in the eddies, seems to bloat and mutate

Slowly, slowly, it sinks without knowing
Feed, fish and time, do not hesitate

Calmly, calmly, at twenty-four took he
his life. Death & Love to mutilate.

Quietly, quietly, the living eat his bread
Broken for us through his poetry

Sadly, sadly, his words swim like wine
In the blood of that Tragedy on which we now dine

Patiently, patiently, wait for me, kindred
The horns blow, the cattle lows

Coldly; coldly, the weather is gathering
to my demise too, though the storm’s still slow.


My poem “pour Manuel Acuña” translated by Deepti Singh – copyright belongs to respective authors


हौले हौले , बहती बयार
खारे तालाब के ऊपर से, पुनर्जीवित करने

हल्के हल्के , एक प्यारी, नौजवान देह भँवर में , फूल के त्राण पाने की ओर

धीमे धीमे, डूबती है, जाने बिना
कि भोग, मछली और समय, किसी का इंतज़ार नहीं करते

शांति, शांति से, चौबिस की वय में वो अपने ही प्राण हरता।मृत्यु और प्रेम विकृत करते हैं।

चुपके, चुपके, जिंदा खाते उसके हिस्से की रोटी
वे टुकड़े जो उसकी कविताएं तोड़ जाती हैं

अफसोस, अफसोस,उसके शब्द शराब-से तैरते हैं, उस त्रासदी के खून में , जिस पे हम अब भोज करते हैं

धैर्य धर, धैर्य धर, रुको मेरे लिए, मेरे अपनों
समय पुकारता है, मवेषियों का वृंद रंभाता है

धीरे, धीरे जमता सा, ये मौसम , जमता जा रहा मेरे अंत की ओर, बस अभी तूफान धीमे है ज़रा


The Flood in Aluva – A Glimpse

The water rose in our house
to the first floor

The water came suddenly
from the river
to where it had never come before
as the dam had been unleashed into it
and it had overflowed, even to the midst of the town
We left without further ado
An old man and an old woman
a daughter and her husband who both cannot speak or hear
and a granddaughter who could
the son being away
to the nearby house
of the old woman’s sister
We left like the five find outers and we too had with us a black dog
The house became Kirrin island

The phones died
The neighbours cried
Life does hide
We had to, our time, bide and abide

36 hours they waited
our other daughters
to hear from us
Our grand-daughter charged her phone from a neighbour’s car
(“Haven’t I told you to put a charger in the car?”)
The water kept rising
to the first floor in our house nearby
It was the old man’s birthday when it started receding
and they could go back to get him a shirt for a change

No calls got through
that the daughter’s husband made
from Bangalore
except to someone in Thrissur
and someone in Thiruvananthapuram
A Rebin who bothered to answer and listen patiently and even try to help at the son in law’s insistent pleas born of anxiety
All lines were bust, or busy
or phones switched off
Getting no news was like eating fire
No electricity, net, little water, less food

A cousin and her husband was trapped in a church with some fifty others
Their son abroad took to facebook to try and help
The children ate fire
Finally a boat came and rowed them all to safety

Water got into all the cars
but the old man’s was kept on a raised platform
and they were working on it
when the floods came
They left
It remained high, stranded
And all that was left was the sound of the water
lapping against the legs of the raised platform
but the car was saved

9000 people in UC College, Alwaye, in a hastily put together relief camp
run only by a few staunch volunteers
waiting anxiously for supplies of all sorts
medical, fiscal, clothing, food, water
and next day a 50000 waiting to register for aid to reconstruction
but an old student of the old man had mercy on him
took him to the front of the line
as he was too old to wait
and got him registered

Cleaning and restoring the house will take ages
How many more such stories
How many months and years
how many lives
and bruises
How much time and how many dangers
How many fights with insensitive vultures
Hear the message the waters left behind
time and tide
wait for no one
and do not differentiate between the mad outsiders
not in danger who can say any shit they like
and the sad insiders
who had to face the battle and war
of sudden collapse
brought on by years of neglect to the warnings given
by nature and the wise
At the end remains the task of rebuilding
and remembering the dead
avoiding the poisonous
for there is only one sky on earth
and you will always have the water and the vipers with you
which and whom you have to live with
the next time too
& eat fire
and come out
unscathed, because you are just simple people and true.

Today I finally found you*

*Happy that my poem has been translated by the person I consider Turkey’s leading Laz poet of today, namely Serkan Engin

Today I finally found you
in between badly written poems
and well-written ones
I found you
like never before
my study in brown

reading the sculpted images of cataclysm
running my hands over their troughs and crests
wishing they were grooves of wet paint
longing to traverse your mounds and valleys
of life, made still by my art
I found you
in my mind, strapping on bombs
around our bodies
suicide lovers
terrorists of poetry, fiction and art
who wanted to die for it while climaxing
I found you

Over and over
I found you
wanted to love you
wanted to die and live for you
make a new religion of love for you
not out of water, but this insanity
mad with longing
with no vaccination for rabies
I found you

You were not there Never there

You are not here

I found you in my words
of swearing
forever, those words of hyperbole
and in yours
eternity, those words of meaning
in flesh melting
in centigrade
of high-voltage density
in the heat of this never-ending desert

and though I did not have you
had only words
and feelings
Seared, I still feared

I feared that now having finally found you
yet not having got hold of you fully
I would lose you
before I had you
and wanted to die

You told me
that is love

It must be

If so, it is more powerful
that a Van Gogh painting
than an Apollinaire poem
than ISIS or saffron fascism
than sex slaves and selling of armaments
that it burns me down entirely
like World War Three
to ashes
and honey

Let me find you again like this tomorrow too
or there will be nothing left of me
for love to cordon off and turn away
behind its barbed wire fences of no entry
with nowhere to go back to
as its last refugee before the end comes
when all subsides

in washed up bodies of children on the shores in their blown up bodies on land

but not before
I meet you one last time
to take you with all my intensity
shuddering moments of entrance and exit
that you will never forget to remember

having found me
having loved me too
so that there’s a land of milk and plenty
and I tell you too

Do you know what that is?

You say no

I say apocalypse

Simply that you love me

So lost in that meeting and melting
we celebrate
the Advent
the agony and the ecstasy
the lust for life and more life
the long trek to a manger
and the …Nativity.


Bugün, Nihayet Buldum Seni

Bugün, nihayet buldum seni
berbat şiirler
ve has olanlar arasında dolanırken
Buldum seni
Daha önce hiç bu kadar
derin düşüncelere dalmamışken

Felaketten yontulmuş imgeleri okurken
Ellerim çukurlarına ve zirvelerine inip çıkarken
Taze badana gibi ellerime bulaşmasını dilerken yivlerinin
Boydan boya katetmeyi özleyerek hayat dolu
tepeciklerini ve vadilerini, sanatımla sakinleştirdiğim
Buldum seni bugün
aklımın içinde, gövdemize
sarılmışken bombalar
intihar seviciler
şiirin, romanın ve sanatın teröristleri
doruğa ulaşmak için ölümü göze alanlar
Buldum seni

Tekrar tekrar
buldum seni
seni sevmek istedim
senin için ölmek ve senin için yaşamak istedim
aşktan yeni bir din icat etmek istedim senin için
ama “suyun dışında”* değil, ama bu cinnet
bu çıldırtıcı hasret
bu aşılanmamış kuduz gibi
sudan kaçar halim
Buldum seni

Sen orada değildin
Hiçbir zaman orada değildin

Burada da değil

Buldum seni sonsuzda
küfürlü sözlerimin içinde,
bu abartılı laflarımın arasında
ve seninkilerin de
sonsuzu vaat eden,
santigrat hesabıyla
tenimizi kavuran
yüksek voltajlı
sözlerinin içinde
bu bitmek bilmez çölün içinde

ve sana ulaşamamışken henüz
sadece sözcüklerim
anılarım varken
ve duygularım
kurumuşken, hâlâ korkuyorken

Korkarım sonunda buldum
henüz seni tamamen ele geçirememişken
Seni kaybedeceğim
daha varamadan sana
ve senin için ölmeyi isteyemeden henüz

Dedin bana evet
aşktır bu


Şayet öyleyse, bir Van Gogh tablosundan
daha güçlü bu
bir Apollinarie şiirinden
IŞİD’ten ya da safran faşizminden
seks kölesi veya silah satmaktan
bu var ya bu aşk
Üçüncü Dünya Savaşı gibi
tepeden tırnağa yakıp kül etti beni

Ko bulayım seni yine
tıpkı bu sabahki gibi
yoksa benden geriye bir şey kalmayacak
aşkı kuşatabilmek ve başımdan savabilmek için
zinhar girilmez dikenli tellerin ardındayken aşk
geri dönüşü olmayan yollardan
son mültecisi de gelmiş gibiyken
her şey dibe çökmüşken

kıyılara sırılsıklam vurmuş çocuk bedenlerinde
karada parçalanmış bedenlerinde

ama seninle bir kez olsun bile
kavuşamadan değil
seni tüm gücümle
sarıp sarmalamadan önce değil
hatırlamayı asla unutmayacağın
zevkten titreten giriş-çıkış anlarından önce değil

beni buldun
sevdin de
sütlü bereketli bir diyar var diye
ve ben de sana anlattım işte

Bu nedir bilir misin peki?

Hayır mı diyorsun

Ben buna kısaca kıyamet derim

Beni seviyor olmana

Ve böylece biz, bu buluşmanın ve erimenin içinde kaybolup
Mesih’in gelişini kutladık
ızdırabı ve esrimeyi
yaşamak, daha çok yaşamak arzusu
ahırdaki yemliğe doğru uzun bir göç yolu
ve…Mesih’in dirilişi

Ampat Varghese Koshy
Türkçe’ye çeviren: Serkan Engin

• Philip Larkin

Dr A.V. Koshy, halihazırda Suudi Arabistan’daki Kazan Üniversitesi Kız Öğreciler Güzel Sanatlar Fakültesinde yardımcı doçent olarak görev yapmaktadır.

Images of a Poor Man

I cannot really write of snow,
of tall masts and sails of ships from
ancient worlds
or maces used in battle blows.

Can tell you of reddish-brown drops of resin
on the bark of jackfruit trees
and how they remind me of
of the
smaller things of life;
sweat beads above your upper lip
where you have thin, fine hair
a little dragonfly that lifts itself a little stone
tortured by wanton boys and girls
like you and me from our hometown
and those that come out in droves to die when the lights are on.

Minimalists that poverty makes of us,
how can we ever stride like giant figures on the stage of life?

Can only strut on the streets of grime and dance
like painted leopards that need kerosene to take the
colours off that make them
for a few hours shine.

Everything Is Happening at This Very Instant!

somewhere a child is being born
somewhere someone is dying
somewhere a woman is getting raped
somewhere rapists are raping a woman
somewhere a child is being molested or abused
or doing child labour or getting ready to go to school or already in school
or having a holiday or playing alone or with other children or doinh homework or housework or sleeping or nothing
somewhere someone is killing someone else
and that someone else is getting killed
some people are killing others
and they are trying to kill them back too
somewhere a couple are making love
or many couples
in the night or in the day
in different parts of the world
someone is getting hitched
someone is getting unhitched
some become friends
some lose friends
somewhere someone is cooking
someone is reading the newspaper
i am writing this poem

people are happy too
celebrating dancing signing eating drinking
urinating defecating living
somewhere someone is collecting firewood
someone is meanwhile committing suicide
someone is travelling in a plane or train or by car or scooter or motorbike or autorickshaw or cycle rickshaw going through a riot hit area
someone is in a metro waiting to catch the commuter’s early morning arm in the shot
and lonely men and unemployed women or vice versa are circling jobs or matrimonials in magazines and papers or searching for them in the internet
some others are surfing porn
or watching videos or links or whatsapping or facebooking or twittering or g-plussing or something or the other
some are shopping
lovers are kissing
married people are bickering or too busy looking after daily chores to
somewhere there are natural disasters
and elsewhere there are private or personal disasters
some people are praying alone or singly
some are leading and some are being lead
it is all about human beings
families relatives and those others
somewhere in the west the sun is sinking
and in the east it is rising
though that is only a way of seeing
it is all about nature and the universe
men and empires will come and go
but will man go on forever?
life teems around us
and does not care for life or death
except for Life and Death
somewhere I am on the verge of completing the poem
and I do not know why I wrote it
or why anyone should read it
except that it contains this terrifying revelation
that no one will care if I die or live
except a few till they die too
that my life may be insignificant
this made Buddha search for immortality
and he found it in the way of alleviating suffering
and Jesus in doing good
and artists find it in the beauty of nature and in beauty
and hedonists in pleasure and some in the love of the beauty of women
some in alleviating the sufferings of the poor
but some find it in cruelty and excess
in the love of power and in other things like force
what do children find it in
in innocence and the sense of wonder?
trees plants animals birds insects micro-organisms that the eye cannot see
all exist simultaneously
as do other things that are words but have life
and inanimate things exist too
one goes on till one no longer does
on this p(r)etty sober philosophical note
let me end this poem and leave it too for others
to consider it rot or on it to dote
or gloat or ignore to prefer to look at a sun mote