The Starry Night

The starry night
Forced by the power cut,
Suburbanite went up
To his deserted terrace;
Was hit by the immensity
Of the starry night,
Felt overwhelmed by
The primeval beauty
Spread out,
The breath-taking magnificence
Of the swirling night sky
Stretched taut overhead,
The eternal space
That glowed with twinkling silver bulbs,
And beckoned the little child gaping
At this rapturous sight, along with his mesmerised dad,
The huge moon and the pale-white light
Washed the blue of the vast sky and produced
Strange lights that streamed down on a French village,
In a different era, when things were more quiet,
The darkness mild and the well-lit sky
Was an enthralling discovery by Vincent van Gogh,
Who had painted and immortalized this ethreal spectacle,
Through his Starry Night over the Rhone and The Starry Night,
The poetic painter, committed to sanitorium,
Suffering from delirium and what not,
Studied the curious effect of darkness and light,
The two paintings still transmit
The same sense of first-time wonder and delight
To the subsequent viewers, living in polluted cities,
Breathing fumes and pure carbon dioxide;
As the cold wind of November buffets the
Father-son duo that stood silent,
Before gods of yore, now not recognised,
The two felt standing in a pagan shrine,
Found accidentally,
In the heart of a commercial city,
Overawed by this rare divine sight,
Stared at the infinity and felt their own
Small size,
They then understood that
There exists a unique mysterious realm
Beyond the sodium vapour lamps,
For centuries,
That has been trying again
To communicate
With humankind but in vain,
This rich world that was once deeply understood and captured
By the likes of Gogh and Wordsworth,
Now lost forever for the ever competing,
Homo Economicus.

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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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