Monday, March 1, 2010

"Remote and thorny like the heart's dark floor"

To watch the rarer birds, you have to go
Along deserted lanes and where the rivers flow
In silence near the source, or by a shore
Remote and thorny like the heart's dark floor.
And there the women slowly turn around,
Not only flesh and bone but myths of light
With darkness at the core, and sense is found
But poets lost in crooked, restless flight,
The deaf can hear, the blind recover sight.

From "Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher" by Nissim Ezekiel. The complete poem is at Old Poetry. The Guardian's lengthy obit for Ezekiel is here.

Shakuntala and her friends, Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906)