Jun 14 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (note Thursday, not Friday)
Aug 10 Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome
Sep 14 Poetry of Robert Browning
Since Sunil and Mathew will have Lodge meetings on the third Friday of the month we'll try to stay clear of that.
Akhmatova's influence was acknowledged by all the poets of her time. She possessed stately good looks, grace and she was, intellectually equal to the brightest among them. One senses subtle feminine traits in her poems in spite of that.
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
She referred to her experience of seeing vast fields of bluebells and daffodils. KumKum from her gardening knowledge in America said the chipmunks there propagate daffodils by burying their bulbs all over the place. Wordsworth may have been in the Lake District observing fields of them growing on the hill-side next to a bay of the sea. You can check out the following to note that it was a diary entry by his sister, Dorothy, that actually triggered the poem:
'I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing.'
Gopa has lived in the Lake District and she mentioned the cuckoos calling. Kumkum wondered if they really are our koels. No, it's another bird, quite common in Europe, with its famous cuckoo clocks. Mathew mentioned the cuckoo spotting efforts of people in England as the precursor to spring. They would write letters to The Times of London, and these letters have been collected in an amusing book titled, The First Cuckoo: New Selection of Letters to "The Times": see
This poem was read previously by Amita when she was in Kochi. The poet is of Gujarati extraction but has lived in UK and USA. She was in America studying English, and feared she was being ‘Americanised’ and losing her Indian identity. She was convinced she'd forgotten her mother tongue. Then she dreamt of the tongue growing back again, in the image of the poem. She manages by exerting herself to excavate the Gujarati language back to her consciousness.
– What the devil is best pleased with?
– What the world is best pleased with?
– What he was best pleased with?
“Adrienne Rich’s death leaves a hole in the culture that can’t easily be filled.” See
Aur hijr (separation) mein vasl (meeting) ke maza liya karo.
and take delight in the joy of meeting even when you are separated]
The first two are from her uncollected poems and fragments, composed between 1904 –1917. They do not carry any titles.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
You ask me what I mean
by saying I have lost my tongue.
I ask you, what would you do
if you had two tongues in your mouth,
and lost the first one, the mother tongue,
and could not really know the other,
the foreign tongue.
You could not use them both together
even if you thought that way.
And if you lived in a place you had to
speak a foreign tongue,
your mother tongue would rot,
rot and die in your mouth
until you had to spit it out.
I thought I spit it out
but overnight while I dream,
(may thoonky nakhi chay)
(modhama kheelay chay)
(fullnee jaim mari bhasha mari jeebh)
(modhama pakay chay)
grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins,
it ties the other tongue in knots,
the bud opens, the bud opens in my mouth,
it pushes the other tongue aside.
Everytime I think I've forgotten,
I think I've lost the mother tongue,
it blossoms out of my mouth.
Poems by K. Satchidanandan, translated from the Malayalam by the poet.
1. On My First Son
3. Song to Celia
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich