Nocturne - anand thakore
I’m sharing a love poem today. God knows we all need a bit of love, eh? Often times I turn to love poems be reminded of that flash of brilliant light that illuminates the soul with the lived experience of having been loved, of having glimpsed immortality in a moment. Caught in the cacophony of the social media doomscroll, I sometimes feel detached from reality, as if one is wading through artifice in various forms - constructed trends, curated headlines, orchestrated attacks on artists, journalists, young people everywhere. A love poem, in these moments, makes me aware of a reality that is shorn of artifice, where the world feels more alive and real with the pulsating breath of the present. A leaf fluttering in the wind, or the reflection of ripples on an inert wall is pregnant with sensation, thrown into startling relief and whispered into being in the shared wonder of lovers’ meetings. This is the miracle of companionship, that it cracks open the safe of the natural world, showering light with the brazen curiosity of the sun - a light that both observes and stores time in small capsules of memory annotated with the calmness of witnessing. I share Anand Thakore’s Nocturne, on his birthday, as an example of this kind of witnessing. The poem has a sense of langour about it, a quiet ease. The lovers seem to recede slowly into the background watching the tableux from some hidden corner where they can’t be seen, but find themselves fortunate to be present - “Then deep in the shallows dead still we lay”. The poem ends with a flourish, as if the lovers have finally decide to take their rightful place in the picture and complete the landscape. The poem has been anthologised in the gorgeous collection edited by Jerry Pinto and Arundhathi Subramaniam, Confronting Love. Also, Happy Birthday Anand Thakore!