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the stains on the tablecloth are trying to say something - Sohini Basak

There is a special category of poems which pry open a tear in the fabric of our everyday interaction with things around us. With the nonchalance of seasoned birdwatchers they learn the song of beating wings, and make small talk with the breeze. David Whyte refers to this “converational nature of reality” in one of his popular poems. Basak’s sudden awareness of her “research” for poetry reiterates Whyte’s observation - “alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity”.

I find this thought liberating. This comradeship of things reminds us that we are not alone. It recalibrates our lenses to a deeper engagement with our surroundings, with nature. Basak’s words tread a winding path, a dual journey. As we begin to relate to the “nothings” of things outside of us, to form relationships with things and experiences that are strange in their ordinariness, we find the sharpening of the gaze inwards.

I like this conception of poetry - to cut the noise, gather the universe in a knot and slowly, with love and language, unravel it, only to find ourselves. Is that not the “discipline” of the poet - to savour “delicious amateur nothings”?



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