Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A. V. Koshy writes

Swapna Sundari
(First Draft.)Comments



a) Epistemology

You were Nature first

and then the influence of my mother

You whispered sweet nothings in my ear

and every time you made me your channel

it was nothing but girl; all woman power

I realized the pattern was not created by me

The third time you wore the face of death(10)

but then I searched for you anxiously in face after face

Each face holding a piece of the puzzle

But never matching or making the whole

Only hints and clues and life no Holmes

Or Watson but the search goes on in the bones and marrow

In the blood and joints and in the subterranean fields unborn

Found three or four almost matching or five, six or seven -

Each time the fix was not yet the right mix

When you are an addict you keep playing with the doses

trying, against all hope, to get hold of the purest

b) Second coming.

Bangalore was the place for hardcore junkies like me

I almost found you in it. My veins were easy to find.

I did not need a rubber to make them stand out, unlike Jeet

The stuff went in through my eyes and I od'd

Chemical romance gives rise to beautiful visions

I had Renaissance on my mind in those days

Dante, Florence, Italy, Milan, Naples, gondolas, Venice, Beatrice

Rome? - it could not hold a candle to your nipples

outlined against the thin fabric of your striped shirt

You were young and stylish then and no film star could match

you, in your new avatar

the you from whom I stole nothing

except two kisses

but on a beach in Libya

I had to write your swan song

after staying away from you in Jeddah

Marriage took you away

or was it just that you grew old

mature and suddenly realized

poems and people are not telephone calls

You did not die, you always returned 
in the advancing nights

as someone else, being sought

like those flocks of rain birds

that in formation would fly

across foreign skies

near the beach opposite Malta, across the deep blue Mediterranean

while I grieved for the light of family, friends and missing or dead/dying muses

stranded, far away from me

In Bangalore - dark and bright.

(10) Refers to my sister Tina's death. She was seven months old and I ten and I wrote a lot of poems to get out of the anger I felt at life or God or science then. She is also referred to in the last line of the section "The first place."

Image result for addict painting
 The Addict -- Rupali Motihar


  1. Bangalore is officially known as Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka.
    The word “epistemology” was derived by J.F. Ferrier in his “Institutes of Metaphysic” (1854) from the Greek “episteme” (knowledge) and “logy” (logical discourse) to describe the meaning of knowledge. However, in 1591 James VI of Scotland (James I of England, “the wisest fool in Christendom” according to Henri IV of France of his chief minister Maximilien de Béthune, 1st duc de Sully) had written a philosophical dialogue between Epistemon (scientist) and Philomathes concerning the religious perceptions of witchcraft and their punishment in a political Christian society. (According to Sir Walter Scott, James “was deeply learned, without possessing useful knowledge; sagacious in many individual cases, without having real wisdom…. He was fond of his dignity, while he was perpetually degrading it by undue familiarity; capable of much public labour, yet often neglecting it for the meanest amusement; a wit, though a pedant; and a scholar, though fond of the conversation of the ignorant and uneducated...He was laborious in trifles, and a trifler where serious labour was required; devout in his sentiments, and yet too often profane in his language....” Epistemology studies the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief and deals with subjects such as the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification; various problems concerning skepticism; the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief; and the criteria for knowledge and justification.
    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson were created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his novel “A Study in Scarlet” in 1887, appearing in “Beeton's Christmas Annual.” Holmes was a “consulting detective” known for his observational skill, forensic science, and logical reasoning; Watson was Holmes’ biographer. The pair returned in “A Scandal in Bohemia” in “The Strand Magazine” in 1891 and appeared regularly in 56 short stories and novels until 1927, although thousands of other stories have been written for stage and radio plays, television, films, video games, and other media.

  2. When Dante Alighieri was nine years old, his father took him to the home of Folco Portinari, a banker and one of the Priors of Firenze, for a May Day celebration. Seeing Portinari’s eight-year-old daughter Beatrice, he later wrote of their first encounter, “Behold, a deity stronger than I; who coming, shall rule over me.” Nine years later, in 1283, he saw her walking near the Arno river, accompanied by two older women. “As they walked down the street she turned her eyes toward me where I stood in fear and trembling, and with her ineffable courtesy, which is now rewarded in eternal life, she greeted me; and such was the virtue of her greeting that I seemed to experience the height of bliss. It was exactly the ninth hour of day when she gave me her sweet greeting. As this was the first time she had ever spoken to me, I was filled with such joy that, my senses reeling, I had to withdraw from the sight of others. So I returned to the loneliness of my room and began to think about this gracious person.” In his room he fell asleep and had a dream that would become the subject of the first sonnet in “La Vita Nuova” (1293): “And betaking me to the loneliness of mine own room, I fell to thinking of this most courteous lady, thinking of whom I was overtaken by a pleasant slumber, wherein a marvelous vision was presented to me: for there appeared to be in my room a mist of the colour of fire, within the which I discerned the figure of a Lord of terrible aspect to such as should gaze upon him, but who seemed there-withal to rejoice inwardly that it was a marvel to see. Speaking he said many things, among the which I could understand but few; and of these, this: ‘I am thy Lord’. In his arms it seemed to me that a person was sleeping, covered only with a crimson cloth; upon whom looking very attentively, I knew that it was the Lady of the Salutation, who had deigned the day before to salute me. And he who held her held also in his hand a thing that was burning in flames, and he said to me "Behold thy heart’. But when he had remained with me a little while, I thought that he set himself to awaken her that slept; after the which he made her to eat that thing which flamed in his hand; and she ate as one fearing” (tr. Dante Gabriel Rossetti).

  3. In 1287 she married the aristocrstic banker Simone de Bardi, one of the most influential men in the city, and died three years later at 24. Dante had already married Gemma Donati in 1285, and they would have three sons and one daughter together. (In the 1290s, the Bardi and Peruzzi families established branches in England and were the main European bankers by the 1320s, with 13 branches in Barcelona, Seville, Majorca, Paris, Avignon, Nice, Marseilles, London, Brugge, Constantinopolis, Rhodes, Cyprus, and Jerusalem. The two banking families became tremendously wealthy by offering financial services and providing merchants with bills of exchange (“checks”) that made it possible for a debtor in one town to be paid out to creditor just by presenting the bill in another town. During the 14th century the Bardi family became so powerful that the Florentine government forced them to sell their castle to Firenze because “fortified castles near the city were seen as a danger to the republic.” The Compagnia dei Bardi lent Edward III of England 900,000 gold florins, and the Peruzzis 600,000 florins; Edward’s failure to repay the loans in 1345 led to the collapse of both families’ banks. But in the 15th century the Bardis were able to finance Christofero Columbo’s and John Cabot’s voyages.) After Beatrice’s death, Dante withdrew into intense study and began composing poems dedicated to her memory, which he joined with other entries he had written in his journal. The book that resulted, “a Vita Nuova,” was a prose work interlaced with lyrics in which he described their meetings and his own intense reactions to her kindness or unkindness, praised her beauty and goodness, explained the nature of his feelings for her, and mourned her death. In the final section he vowed to write nothing further of her until he was able to write “concerning her what hath not before been written of any woman.” Years later in “La Comedia” (1308-1320) he again expressed his exalted and spiritual love for Beatrice, who in Canto 2 of the “Inferno” descended into Limbo to pray that Virgil can rescue him, reappears in Canto 30 of “Purgatorio,” when Virgil disappears, and acts as his guide through “Paradiso.” As he wrote in “La Vita Nuova,” “Whenever and wherever she appeared, in the hope of receiving her miraculous salutation I felt I had not an enemy in the world. Indeed, I glowed with a flame of charity which moved me to forgive all who had ever injured me; and if at that moment someone had asked me a question, about anything, my only reply would have been: ‘Love’, with a countenance clothed with humility. When she was on the point of bestowing her greeting, a spirit of love, destroying all the other spirits of the senses, drove away the frail spirits of vision and said: ‘Go and pay homage to your lady’; and Love himself remained in their place. Anyone wanting to behold Love could have done so then by watching the quivering of my eyes. And when this most gracious being actually bestowed the saving power of her salutation, I do not say that Love as an intermediary could dim for me such unendurable bliss but, almost by excess of sweetness, his influence was such that my body, which was then utterly given over to his governance, often moved like a heavy, inanimate object. So it is plain that in her greeting resided all my joy, which often exceeded and overflowed my capacity.”


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