Song of the hammer

Song of the hammer
In the improvised forge
Covered by a torn tent,
On the outskirts of the
Dusty grey town,
Near the polluted river
Gasping for a whiff of breath,
The sinewy man in
White vest and black shorts,
Rhythmically beats a
Red-hot iron held by
Another bearded man,
In powerful pair of hands,
The rhythm matching
The sweet cadence
Of Shakespearean songs,
Heard once in the Elizabethan bower,
And, again,in an Indian post-graduate class
On Shakespeare taught mechanically
By a young bearded professor,
More English than the Anglo-Saxons,
The regular thak-thak sound,
Reminds of the sonnets of Wordsworth,
The rising/falling hammer composes a
Musical ode unique,
Dripping with the sweat
Of labour,
Over the furnace hot,
The fire illuminating,
The broad, lined, rough visage,
The smiths, in sync,
Creating a harmony,
Out of motion and energy fast,
The dulcet melody,
Heard on the quiet highway afar;
A bold hammer song,
Issuing forth
That forges
Out of a
Burning fire,
A splendid
Useful form!

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About Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 22 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA: For more details, please visit the website:

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