G V Desani

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G V Desani

Post by Guest on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:48 pm

Here is a poem by G V Desani. I want to share and discuss this poem with all because it teaches us many things on many levels and the style is simply ethereal. I am a big fan of G. V. Desani (imagine a 16 yr old rock and roll fan who is now a tottering hag but still besotted with the rolling stones). Please share your comments. And please see my comments below.
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NO REASON, NO RHYME

Come, or Correspond, Ezra Pound

By G.V. DESANI

I will make a pact with you, Ezra Pound!
(Because you made a pact with Walt Whitman and) because,
For no reason at all, and because
To do something abnormal and extraordinary is a psychic necessity
for us poets and artists, and because
This is the declared International-Tourist-Year, you understand.

II

Lacking communication with the great, the images yielded by life
hitherto have been too too ordinary.
See here: the ketchup’s on the shelf, the paraffin’s in the tin, and
The rice’s lost its ‘pearling’ (the grains do not separate as they
did in Dun):
(How do you rhyme it? Dun with Maldoun? Rice with averice? Dig
the rhymes of that lovely bloke O. Nash! ‘Swoon’ with “Rubies
of Rangoon”!
That with ‘Afternoon’, “Daniel Boone” “Lorna Doone” ‘Immune’
“Governor Ruby La Foon”!
And I will give you ‘Moon’, ‘Loon’, Khoon: and here’s a shocker,
How do you rhyme ‘illicit’? With ‘felicit’? qua ‘illicity’ ‘felicity’?
And, finally, how do you rhyme Nash? With cash? hash? mash?
dash? lash? rash?)
Got a touch of rhyming, Pound! But all that too is too normal, too
ordinary!

III

Ordinarily, too, frogs croak, because a neighbour’s in farming, and
he waters it,
Nothing heroic ever happens at all!
No peacock with sapphire fire upon’t ever dances,
As once danced once, with the rose of daybreak around, about,
upon and on all sides of it
(as a sapphire set against a glowing sphere)
And the marble (upon which the peacock alighted for a dance)
was splendoured too by the winter sun
And the glittering river flowed past (coursing towards the sea)
And I had in my palm then the romance of all of Hindusthan, in
the span of an instant!
The East is East and the West…notwithstanding.

IV

This is the Hindusthan International Tourist Year A.D. 1967: but
Spiders spin hereabout as ever they did: lizards race upon the
ceilings,
Squirrels run and rump atop the roof, nois’ing it:
Mice have mastered my meagre miniature coffee-estate cottage,
The boy next door’s chasing the pup Gonder (its name),
Hang it all, Pound!
What’s extraordinary about that! And that!
Something abnormal and extraordinary must be done forthwith,
and communication established between poets, artists, space-
limitation overcomed, distance won!
So, come, Pound! Or correspond!

V

I am set in South India and it’s disconcerting because
I do not know the languages of it (am burdened with the North
Indian Lingo, dialect, et al)
(Yet I left Bengal, my last semi-permanent home, because they
render ‘Malay’ as ‘Maloy’: ‘Jai’ as ‘Joy’ (“Joy Hind!”), and
‘Ajaya’ as Sri ‘Ajoy’)
Here I don’t know what they are saying at all, in
Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, lingo, dialect, et al!
Hang it all, Pound! Let’s lean on English, and leave all
language altogether apart and, at all!

VI

Now that T.S. Eliot has gone to heaven, do come (or correspond)
And so help me out of it all, gentle Pound!
To douse this melancholy, this sorry state of things,
This normality, this so ordinarily ordinary affair,

Eh, Pound!





Notes:





I: “I will make a pact with you, Ezra Pound!’ Phrase acknowledged to Mr. Pound’s “I will make a
pact with you, Whitman
” (Ezra Pound, distinguished American poet , to Walt
Whitman, distinguished American poet.)
II
: Dun: Dehra Dun, U.P., India. Dun rice is well known for it
superior quality and taste
Maldoun
. A common name.
O. Nash
. Ogden Nash, American poet.
Khoon
. Hindi for murder (Khoon). Is obvious.
III
: “East is East…” Phrase
acknowledged to Rudyard Kipling, British poet.
Hindusthan: Is obvious. India.
IV
:"Hang it all Pound!" Phrase acknowledged to Mr. Pound.
He has, “Hang it all Browning!”
“So, come, Pound! or correspond!”
To make a success of the International Tourist Year – and for
other reasons cited – Mr. Pound is invited to come East, visit India, failing which,
to correspond.
V
:“….left Bengal because….” etc. Is obvious. The writer
is sensitive to phonological purity. “Sri Ajoy”, chief minister Sri Ajay
Mukherji of Bengal. Further examples of the
tendency, which may be cited, are: ‘Borop’ (Bengali for Hindi ‘Baraf’
– ice) and ‘Poshom’ (‘Pasham’ wool) and ‘Ghodi’ (Bengali
for hindi ‘Ghadi’ – watch). The tendency is not altogether without a
certain virtue in the Indian context. In the course of a recent Lok Sabha
debate, Sr Ram Sevak Yadav, M. P., recalled that the Chair had permitted Dr. R.
M. Lohia to speak in Bengali (rather than in English or Hindi). Thereupon Sri
Bhattacharya, himself a Bengali, observed that Dr. Lohia’s Bengali was “indistinguishable
from Hindi”.
A recent All India Radio Hindi News broadcast carried “…Bonus
me’n katauti”
– for the English “…Cut in (the) bonus,” the Hindi,
in this case, being almost indistinguishable from the English. If this tendency
is encouraged, as a result, objection to adopting Hindi by the Southern Indian
States, could be meaningless, and the so called language issue resolved as –
while communicating in English – the states would be (indistinguishably)
communicating in Hindi and vice versa.
VI
: “Now that T. S Eliot has
gone to heaven….” Is obvious. As it is not possible to convey an invitation to
the late Mr. Eliot, Mr. Pound – who is mercifully with us in this great age –
is invited to come and visit us, or correspond with us, and so celebrate the
Tourist Year with us fittingly. The rest is obvious.







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My comments


This poem is not in print. I had posted this to anothersubcontinent.com in 2007. The moderators there made me truncate the poem to satisfy their no-copyright-infringement nerves. However, reproducing the poem here (or there) is under fair use. Yesterday I noticed that the official Desani website links to the poem I had posted in anothersubcontinent.com. (Here.) Yesterday i mentioned this to the moderators in anothersubcontinent.com and requested that I now be allowed to post the whole poem (more so 'cos it was now linked in the official Desani website). I was summarily banned, but not surprisingly, 'cos i have older issues with them. However, it is important to remember Desani. It is a bit less important is to be worried that Desani's estate is going to nuke your ass -- that when you are merely a chat site that is largely devoted to discussing indian cuisine with illusions of grandeur of course; perhaps they think they are Wikipedia. Regardless, I will be writing to the Desani webste to kindly link to this page now (for it carries the whole poem) in place of the current. Meanwhile those interested in the dialogue I exchanged in anothersubcontinent.com can visit this link. Both vineet and voyager are my ids in that conversation.

If the moderator here thinks my post is an infringement of copyright, I shall promptly delete this post.

Guest
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Re: G V Desani

Post by Guest on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:35 pm

Huzefa Kapasi wrote:I shall promptly delete this post.

I mean the moderator can delete my post (for I no longer can).

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Re: G V Desani

Post by Guest on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:43 pm

Huzefa Kapasi wrote:
II
: Dun: Dehra Dun, U.P., India. Dun rice is well known for it
superior quality and taste

typo:

II: Dun: Dehra Dun, U.P., India. Dun rice is well known for its
superior quality and taste

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Re: G V Desani

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:48 am

Huzefa Kapasi wrote: with illusions of grandeur

delusions

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Re: G V Desani

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:41 pm

just heard this anecdote over dinner:

ram manohar lohia was a voicefous member of the parliament in nehru's time. a question to nehru (by him) in lok sabha:

ram manohar lohia: sir, india is corrupt from top to bottom.

nehru
: what corruption? money is going from one pocket to another. it is happening in india! money remains in india! where is corruption here?

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Re: G V Desani

Post by charvaka on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:45 pm

Huzefa Kapasi wrote:ram manohar lohia was a voicefous member of the parliament in nehru's time.
One question about his name... is Lohia a real surname in northindia? Or did he take the name like Stalin took his?

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Re: G V Desani

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:47 pm

no no lohia is a real name. i think it is marwari.

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Re: G V Desani

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:59 pm

Huzefa Kapasi wrote:no no lohia is a real name. i think it is marwari.

i mean i have found this last name (lohia) only among marwaris.

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Re: G V Desani

Post by artood2 on Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:00 pm

Rammanohar Lohia was a distinguished socialist (and not marxist) and a top anti-congress leader. He along with JP Narayan was one of the most respected politician who took the fight against congress.

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Re: G V Desani

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