Skip to main content

On Poetry and the flow of thought

What differs verse from prose? In verse, we have imprinted in words the momentary flash of thought that chooses to illumine our minds. Admittedly in the process of characterization, in the very act of writing it we are destroying the innate nature of the thought i.e the fleeting and completely porous trajectory that it follows in our mind, veering from tangent to tangent as it traces a course from the middle of something prior to the beginning of the next. In essence, the nature of a thought is its non linearity and it's impermanence, its almost purely sensory information.

To prevent the confusion of the reader, let me add an interlude: 'thought' here does not refer to the conscious collected assimilation of logically organized data that we do while we 'think things over' or 'ponder'. In my text I refer to the thought as being innately sensory in nature. A carrier of a momentary sensation, a perception, an ephemeral glimpse of a truth that in itself will fade out, will never be consolidated into the solid pillars of reason. Yet it's effect will remain in a hint of a change in the vision of the host mind, a subtle variance in the pattern or 'train' followed by the thinker. Whether of a different course than priorly followed, or a re-consolidation of previous traits, the change will be there. And such a train of changes, gentle 'pushes' if you may eventually accumulate and result in a shift of cognition and thus perception.

To come back to prose, it is innately organized i.e it has a context, a premise and an ultimate, however vague, conclusion. This is why as a medium, prose cannot convey the 'map-pattern' of the mental state at a point in time that verse can. Neither should it for both are very different in nature and purpose. Verse on the other hand, can to a limited extent, give some idea as to the state of mind of the thinker. This is because verse is uncalculated, it is random and unorganized. Some of the most powerful examples of it don't even rhyme. (gasp!) Comic interludes aside, true verse is from the mind. And from the mind when it is at its most random, most chaotic and hence most informative. Pure sensation untainted by conclusion or analysis and though sullied by the various prejudices of the observer, is verse. Attempts at prose-verse or intentional verse aimed at creating sensation rather than describing  the effects of it can only be disastrous because the very cause-effect relationship is skewered. Abominations such as 'national anthems' attempting at patriotism and 'happy music' (I consider true music to be verse) thus persist because of this desire to engender thought in the mind rather than register sensation. This leads to disaster because the mind is naturally adapted to only truly accept second hand either information (prose) or sensory input and therein form its own 'mental pattern' per se. An attempt to restrict the flow of thought to a narrow channel is unnatural and hence repulsive in its essence. And of course, against the true spirit of things.


  1. I know. Just got carried away. Wanted a cold and didactic piece just for fun. :p Cheers!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Companion

A gray-walled room with a window. That's how he remembers it. It looks the same now: a large window in a small room. It makes the room look even smaller. The window-sill is thick with dust. Beams of sunlight stream in singly, their path illuminated by many-sided dust particles spinning. Or seeming to spin. Is the room this dusty everywhere? He wonders to himself, trying not to breathe it in. The sunbeams merely illuminate what's already there.

Slowly, as his eyes adjust, more details of the room start revealing themselves. The room is bare. Devoid of anything except walls and tiny patches of plaster embedded in the cobwebs at corners. The effect is almost artistic. He wonders if rooms could feel. If they could, what would this room be feeling. Do they remember the people who lived in them? It's almost impossible to believe that people would have lived here once. The walls would have been new and shining with paint and resonant with echoes of laughter or tears or screams. …

The Stranger

She is sitting for her usual cup of coffee in the evening, at the usual place; B____'s; and at the usual time 6pm sharp. However there is something different about her usual place: the desolate corner she is used to occupying is filled with a strangers presence on the adjacent booth. He is a an...unusual man. She watches his face hungrily, surreptitiously, furtively, but she struggles to remember details of what he LOOKS like. She sees the sharply angular, high cheek-boned face and the angular jaw. She thinks he is all angles and edges. Then she sees his eyes. She remembered very little about them afterwards. Almost nothing except that they hold her gaze for an infinitesimal shard of eternity. It is an instant that spells oblivion. He gets up, wipes his mouth with his napkin and walks off. He is unaware of what he has caused.
She finishes her coffee and for the first time, in the strict routine she has followed for the past 5 years, she sits idly in the coffee booth with her empty …

Yet Another Party

Party to conversation, party to experience. See what I did there? Of course you didn't. Or maybe you did. It doesn't matter either way does it? Because, the pleasure lies in the experience and not the description. That always struck me as rather odd. Because the description, or rather the action: narration or reading, are both experiences.

Enter valuation. Valuation. Value. Values. Odd aren't they? These words that are mere abstractions of one of the oldest experiences: prioritization. Oldest? Hmmm.... Rather odd isn't it? Let me explain:

The First Birth
The act of physically coming into existence. Droll isn't it?

The Second Birth: Awakening
You now realize that you are alive. Being alive NOW automatically means (not so automatically, if you get what I mean; *cough* Egyptians *cough*) that you'll be dead at some point in time. Note that I don't use point of time. Such a coarse expression isn't it? Point of time. As if Time could own or claim ownership of…