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nocturne - ranjit hoskote

I think it was Van Gogh who observed that the night is infinitely more colourful, than it's paramour, day. He also talked about the layers of melancholy as an emotion, the complexity and beauty, as compared to the flat, sometimes, unidimensional effervescence of joy.


No theory can be built on these deeply felt, but lightly held aesthetics of compassion; but Hoskote's 'Nocturne' disinters the abstractions in both these impulses. Lovers sighs are the oldest threads that poets use to emerge from the labyrinths of their nostalgia. This is why I treasure every new piece of magic that manages to bring the visceral, immediate, passionate presence of the beloved- the "flaming chorus of swords". The attention to detail, the evocative visuality, the economy of language in teasing out desire and the bittersweet pungency of sensation - mashallah! I read this poem when I was in college (pause for jokes and banter about adolescence and young love), but even today, when I read this poem, I find myself biting my upper lip, nose wrinkling at the faint trace of cherries in the air.





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