Sunday, July 18, 2010

Past and Future



I'm posting this poem to cerebrate our Indian heritage in the world.
And I want to say thank you to Ashok and Deepthi for our friendship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarojini_Naidu
In the photo of the above site, I see a Japanese woman next to Sarojini Naidu. I wonder who she is. This is a surprise to me.




Past and Future

By Saronjini Naidu

The new hath come and now the old retires:
And so the past becomes a mountain-cell,
Where lone, apart, old hermit-memories dwell
In consecrated calm, forgotten yet
Of the keen heart that hastens to forget
Old longings in fulfilling new desires.

And now the Soul stands in a vague, intense
Expectancy and anguish of suspense,
On the dim chamber-threshold . . . lo! he sees
Like a strange, fated bride as yet unknown,
His timid future shrinking there alone,
Beneath her marriage-veil of mysteries.

17 comments:

keiko amano said...

I took the photo last week and saved it for a special blog because the roses were so beautiful.

Rebb said...

Keiko, The poem has a sadness to it and then an optimism. I like how the two stanzas represent past and future. Lovely imagery.

Is it a surprise to see the Japanese woman because of political tensions at the time?

Beautiful happy roses! I like the little purple flowers at the bottom too.

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

Yes, I like the contrast also.

About the Japanese woman:
Because to be in the photo means that she probably spoke English. Not many Japanese spoke English then especially women, and also very very few women acted for Independence. I’m not talking about 1% of the population. It must be much less, and in my non-scientific imagination, I can almost count them using my hands.

The metaphors in the poem make me think in many levels. At first, veil, bride, he and other words distracted me. But when I digested them, the words turned to the layers of meanings. I love it. And I feel it how she was looking at life and things.

Do you see purple flowers? I enlarged the photo, but I still didn't see it.

ashok said...

Keiko, is that a picture of your home in USA ? That is a lovely and very healthy bush of Pink roses indeed! I think there is another younger bush of red roses near the wall in the background.

keiko amano said...

Ashok,

I took that photo in my neighborhood. No, that's not my house. Oh, yes, I see a few red roses in the background on right hand side.

Rebb said...

Thank you for explaining, Keiko. I now understand the great significance of this moment.

Yes, that’s wonderful. You were able to meet the speaker of the poem at the level in which she probably wrote the poem. That too is the beauty of poetry—the many layers, as you say, and how when we keep entering the poem and digesting it, we begin to taste it more and more and see things we had not seen before. So much is contained within such a seemingly small space. I love it, and thank you for sharing this poem.

Keiko, try to enlarge the photo again and begin in the lower right corner and move your eyes up the diagonal. You will see little purple flowers that look like two clumps. I think I’ve seen those around here, but I don’t know what they are called. Do you see them?

Dorraine said...

"Old longings in fulfilling new desires." This is rich. The whole poem was. Thank you for sharing it!

And, oh, do I love a rose bush that pops! I can almost smell those chubby pink roses. Just beautiful, Keiko. :-)

keiko amano said...

Dorraine,

About "Old longings in fulfilling new desires," isn't it true?
And the past struggle used to stand in front of us like a mountain, now it's like a cell.

Yes, the baby pink roses looked so feminine and sweet. It was rare for me to see such a perfect bush. Thank you for your visit.

ashok said...

Rebb, There is a clump of deep purple flowers under the rose bush. They are pretty but I do not know their name.

keiko amano said...

Ashok,

Thank you for reminding me about the purple flower. I thought it odd when Rebb described it before because I enlarged the photo and found no colors at the bottom. I looked at your message, and I thought it even stranger. I wondered why Ashok said the same thing. Ahhh. I enlarged the photo further to 400% and at last, I saw it! My eyes must be deteriorating. I must watch out. The other day in a meeting, I thought a woman was wearing a near black and white print outfit, and when we went outside, her outfit turned a blue and white. I was a bit shocked because the blue wasn’t navy but very blue.

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

I'm sorry for previous deletion. I posted the same message to Ashok. I have to push ctrl key a bit harder

Because of Ashok’s message, I looked around in the Web, but I couldn’t find it. But please wait and please don’t tell me what it is even you find out. I think it is phlox, but when I checked it in the Web, something unfamiliar flower appeared. So, let me investigate. I had that flower once, but it didn’t last. Oh, my memory and eyesight and my small muscle in my fingertips!

keiko amano said...

I found it! At last.
It's lobelia sapphire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobelia

http://www.saito-n.com/search/index.php?action_search_detail=true&id=923

The above is a Japanese site, so if you can't see the photo, I'm sorry, but all the photos I saw through Google are not very pretty.

That's my favorite flower. It was gorgeous when I planted it in shallow pots with golden pansy in the middle.

keiko amano said...

This is lilac color. Isn't that gorgeous? By the way, Lobelia is originated from South Africa.


http://www.saito-n.com/search/index.php?action_search_detail=true&id=918

Below, you'll see 20 different kinds, but in my memory, lobelia Sapphire is actually much darker purple than the photo. Maybe the soil in Japan make it lighter. Alkali soil in Southern California makes the color rich.

Rebb said...

Keiko, Hurray! You found the little purple flowers. I knew you would track them down. I saw a clump yesterday on one of my walk about town. When I visited the link, yes that’s it. Thank you for finding it.

Yes, that lilac colored plant is gorgeous!

keiko amano said...

Hurray, Rebb! Thank you for your patience. It was a puzzle. Maybe, I need cataract operation. Also, I'm glad you could access the Japanese sites.

ZACL said...

"The marriage veil of mystery" what lovely imagery, the desire to know more, to seek and find.

The photo is a lovely calm picture. Aren't the blooms delightful.

keiko amano said...

ZACL,

How good of you to drop by. Thank you. I think about your socks post whenever I see socks now. Yes, there is cultural elements not only in equipments, but bed/futon and so on. I thought that pair reunited cerebrated your happy marriage.