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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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    Jun 18 2013: all men are little boys

    And as a little boy we were greatly influenced by our mothers.
    We ask our mama’s where did we come from?
    And, what is love?
    Very often we tell mama we want to marry a girl just like her.
    Then, just like that, we are no longer little boys
    But grown up men,
    And yet, we still are little boys in our heart
    Especially when we want to be the hero for the woman we love.
    It seems almost impossible, to us men, that a woman can say,
    “I don’t understand men.”
    Because, we men are very simple
    And our mothers trained us.
    As little boys, we cry just as hard as little girls,
    Perhaps louder and more often,
    And yet, as we grow—
    Big boys don’t cry
    Except in our hearts, but we don’t show it.
    How can it be that women don’t understand us?
    All we want to do is please them and make them happy.
    When we see a woman we desire and want,
    We immediately become afraid that we will be rejected.
    Some of us can’t bear the thought of it.
    Others of us just pretend and hide our fear.
    Oh how often I have fallen apart inside my heart
    And how many times I’ve hidden the fear?
    Oh how often I wondered whether or not I am even lovable?
    And yet, I continue on—
    Looking for the success to overcome my many failures
    And hoping I am not laughed at or made fun of
    Because I don’t know whether or not I can bear it?
    Oh mamma, where are you?
    I feel so alone and afraid so often.
    My tears are everywhere, and nobody even notices.
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      Jun 19 2013: Thanks Jeff. I have never seen a big boy without even a bigger mamma :) I remained a mamma's boy myself.

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