To Papa Hemingway


You continue to inspire me

One among your die-hard fans

Across the world still in turmoil.

You drove an ambulance during the

World war I and got wounded,

You were always there leading

From the front be it Paris or Madrid

You hunted and fished and boxed

Bullfighting was another passion

That provided insights into the

Game of life and death for him

The man who saw the wars and climbed hills

Did the safari and talked of a code of conduct,

And committed suicide, when fed up with life,

And became known as Papa Hemingway to others,

Giving succour and hope in the face of ugliness

And a world brutalized by the power-hungry.

He tells us there is no gap between his beliefs and

Daily conduct, thus making his work truly authentic.

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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:

8 thoughts on “To Papa Hemingway

  1. Louis Kasatkin

    A laudable poetic synopsis of the great writer’s life. I am left to wonder whether the familiar ” You ” might have added something toward the end of the poem ? For example , ” life and death for you ” ,” You tell us there is no gap between your beliefs..” , ” thus making your work..”

  2. Kamlesh Acharya

    Very unique style of writing this is. Also tells me some stuff that I didn’t know about him in a very succinct way. As Louis mentioned earlier, the poem begins referring to him as ‘you’ but laters refers to him in 3rd person as ‘he/him’. Not sure if the transition is needed. Second person could’ve given it a more personal appeal, I guess.

    The point is well taken though. 🙂

    1. Sunil Sharma Post author

      Thanks Kamlesh for stopping by and reading it with critical interest. Grateful!
      Regarding the transition, I have already written above. At some early stage of life, a writer speaks intimately to the reader and after sometime, passage of time, the influence is more deep and pervasive and later on, memory makes the self-same writer a distant figure with a voice that continues to haunt for the rest of life, like a remembered parent that you love, despite distance and death. The space between you and he captures that feeling in general.

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