two movements with ak ramanujan
Ramanujan was a genius. He was a polymath- a polyglot, an academic, a scholar, a philologist, a folklorist, an educator and literary critic, a translator, playwright, and, of course, a poet.
This poem embodiess his keen eye, his sensitivity, and, for me, the humility and distancing of the self as ego, the act of creation requires. What is interesting to me is, of course, the vibrant and many-layered application of metaphor, but his exploration of dualities.
I think artists love dualities. The awareness that things are rarely as they seem is an intuitive byproduct of attention. It is in nature of observation to find a deepening of meaning. And so, while Shakespeare talked about "looking like the innocent flow'r and being the serpent under't", i think he saw neither as distinctly drawn out personas. It is the space between the two that he, like all poets, enjoyed.
Poetry of this kind can be beautiful, in the same way a raag is beautiful because it does not see aaroha and avaroha as ascent and descent, but as arenas of movement to frame the "swaroop". Ramanujan knew this, I'm sure, as he articulated the dual nature of "two movements" that denote vastly different lifeworlds, yet retain a character of piercing truth.
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