Sunday, 14 September 2014

[Poem] As flies to wanton boys...


 The title of this poem comes from Shakespeare's King Lear:

          As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods,
          They kill us for their sport.
                                             King Lear Act 4, scene 1, 36–37


What must it feel like
for a fish
to be in a tank.
With fancy names-
Corydoras, cyprinids, characids, darters...
Swimming, colliding, battling in a small space,
Feeding on timed crumbs,
seeing the world from a glass cage
watching a humanity that is free!
A captivating captive,
It's beauty its bane.

Is there
hope or despair?
What hope - but cleaning, feeding, mating  
Utter despair
Of life spent endlessly
swimming in a claustrophobic well,
Exercising in an artificial Hell
 flitting through false lights
 hiding amid plastic exotica...

Is my life too
A study in meaninglessness,
Immersed in a tank of air?

What is hope then and what is despair?
Cleaning, feeding, mating.
Who is my audience
And who do I entertain?
Am I "As flies to wanton boys..."
As Shakespeare might say?

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful. The poem itself is so beautiful, 'swimming in a claustrophobic well'. The last lines set you thinking, if I am a fish in a tank of air, who is watching me? who is controlling me and feeding me the crumbs? Wow, wow endless possibilities.... you pack quite a punch madam. :)

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  2. Thank you so much Srinivasanji! You are always so generous in your praise!

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  3. This is profound and deep....While most of it is about fish's life and yet it's not about fish :)

    If only we knew the answers to your questions, we can call ourselves gnani! Good poem and sets you on to some soul searching !!!

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    1. Thank you Sridharji! Thanks so much for your appreciation, of the central philosophical question... Yes, how I dearly wish, we know the answers...

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  4. This is beautiful. Yes, Aren't we all caged?

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    1. Thank you Sutapa di! Yes there are cages, pens aquariums and what not! :)

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