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Pabitra Mukhopadhyay


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What is your poetry?

Poetry communicates what nothing other than poetry can. We all have those unspoken stories, the resounding silence and the brilliance of darkness that defy the structures of prose. Some of us can have poetry to speak for us, like Suheir does. Some of us do not have it and read it to know that someone else has spoken for us.

Leonard Cohen said, 'Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.'

How well is your life burning? How much ash did it gather? What is your poetry?

Dedicated to my TED friend Jim Moonan.


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  • May 21 2013: Pabitra, my dad listened to a lot of Leonard Cohen. That quote brings back good memories.

    It's hard for me to say, whether the achievements in my life have produced ash... I'd certainly like to think so!
    I think, my poetry is my children. They are products of my genes (and my husband's, obviously), but very much unique individuals, with their own thoughts, feelings, opinions.
    If the virtues and traits I hold dear are absorbed and practiced by them, I would consider that evidence that my life was well-burnt...!
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      May 21 2013: And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
      And he said:
      Your children are not your children.
      They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
      They come through you but not from you,
      And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
      You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
      For they have their own thoughts.
      You may house their bodies but not their souls,
      For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
      You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
      For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
      You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
      The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
      Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
      For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

      Children Chapter IV - Kahlil Gibran
      • May 21 2013: Yup, you made me cry.
        Happy tears, Pabitra.
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        May 21 2013: My friend Pabitra,

        This (the passage from Kahlil Gibran) is how poetry, at it's best, works. It speaks the truth.

        What an honor to have this conversation about the fire and ashes of our lives dedicated to me - Your life is a poem, Pabitra.

        So good to see some of the familiar aliases :) here on TED (Kate, Scott, you)

        Thank you for bringing me to this conversation. We have found poetry.
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          May 22 2013: Now that you are here, it will be further meaningful :) Stay with us and enrich us with your comments, friend!

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