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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A comparison of two poems -The Mad and Stammer,both by Sachidanandan

     The mad are not mad as we are.They go on walking restless because they know some thing better than we do.They know that the earth is boiling.They can meditate and understand the big bang theory.They know more about the origin of the universe and life than we do.That is why they are restless.We think that everything is calm and cool here.Most of us are not conscious of the subtle changes the humanity undergo.We have forgotten the realm of virtues and are poised for destruction and violence. But the mad have wings of fancy in with which they get close to God.The poet places  madness as a plane of   enlightenment where  flies are respected as divine  souls and grasshoppers as green gods.They may seem eccentric or excited but they are innocent, loving -Their love overflows in full moon-and realistic than we are.They don't live inside ideologies but we do. There is no life for us outside ideologies.We love slavery but they live above all kinds of bindings of caste religion or gender.The mad are better living beings than we are.This leads us to think about the ecological perspective evident in these lines.The beautiful images of flies,grasshoppers and moonlight remind me of the Green movement which is often interpreted as unrealistic,utopean and sheer madness.The poem seems to say that Kanden Pokkudan who spent all his life to protect the mangroves and thereby to save this earth was not mad as some of us thought.The Green movement is right.

 Sachidanandan ,as he has always done it in his other poems like stammer and cactus,presents a different perspective of life.Or all he wants to say is that life is about perceptions.In stammer,he humorosly brings out this idea of perceptions declaring that all of us are stammering at present,as we face many social challenges.This becomes evident in the times of demonitisation.Are we articulating our feelings as strongly as it should be?No. Instead the Indian society is stammering.At the same time we can see that there  is irony when the poet highlights Stammer as our language.Stammer is not a handicap.It is a mode of speech.There is self mockery when poetry itself is presented as stammering.At the same time stammer is highlighted as a language .Even the creator would have used this language at the time of creation and that is why we all stammer.!
 This irony and black humour is missing in the poem "The Mad".But one cannot miss the light touch of hidden humour, when the poet presents the shrugging of their shoulders as the shaking of the wings by some angels.Both the poems are written in free verse.Both of them engage the reader with their deep rhythm and lucid language.Both poems use analytical metaphors like "love is moonlight" in the 'the mad " and 'stammer is a mode of speech' in the stammer.Both poems seek the truth in concepts like God, Creation and Life.Analytical approach and philosophical tone are characteristics of the two poems.The different perceptions on madness and stammer are striking and revealing.
- CKR ;04/01/2017( A comparison of two poems -The Mad and Stammer,both by Sachidanandan )

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