I have been frequently told that the below poem is too abstruse and the actual meaning that I wished to convey is not apparent. While a certain degree of grandiose was intentional, I wrote this poem for the sake of poetry and the beauty of Art in its truest form and couldn’t be less bothered if people did not indeed understand what I wished to convey. However, I understand that I am no Keats or Plath and my poems might not be subject to some arcane analysis. This thus leaves me stranded with dissatisfaction at not being appreciated for the intricacy that went in to this work. I don’t claim to be a poet. In fact, this remains my first poem which I wrote explicitly for myself. If you don’t wish to read my explanation and would like to search for your own meaning through the next few verses, now would be a great time to skip the rest of the lines and come back after reading the poem. However, if you would like to be fed my point of view without going through the delicacy of the next 48 lines or have come back after reading my poem to check, I’ll write out a few short lines for poetic relief. The poem intends to capture the final moments of a person who is shot for an ideological cause from the perspective of his dwelling. Metaphors are rampant and special care is made to somehow echo dissonance and melody of agreement in terms of approval of the general public with the public figure: the revolutionary and the old leader respectively (in the second and final parts). Two interpretations are left open to readers: the first one describes a youth who is duped by a senescent ideologue to fight for liberty, while the second interpretation is the death of an old ideologue at the hands of a young mercenary. (Could be a mercenary turned hero or the old man’s final act). In the first part, a frame is described (where a tear drops) while in the final, the same portrait is not shown to be happy despite the presence of ‘liberty’. I won’t really comment anymore and leave you to draw your own conclusions from the rest of the lines as breaking down the poem further would defeat the poem’s purpose in the first place.
An empty canister strolled across crying for tea,
The kettle choked with soot lay smothered in somnolence,
The knight in his shining armour valiantly
Put up his final fight from the fading tapestries.
The sun refused to fracture through the intricate cobwebs,
Beetles declined to be satiated by the chesterfield,
The flickering lightbulb was yet unsure about
Whether to live to see yet another day or flip dead.
The mahogany danced with the sputtering flames,
The table lamp bent over the open diary
Waiting to resuscitate the heiligenschein,
The inkpot, carefully polished, forever anticipated the pen.
A handsome face peered back into the Hollows,
Past the raptures, the despairs and beyond.
A drop crawled down her nose, smudging the eyes.
Her wail shattered the Peace as War beckoned.
The brow tightened, fingers curled in prolepsis,
As Misgivings hugged him in close embrace.
Compunctions fought Purpose and lost,
A greater cause would need the ultimate catharsis.
The lectern was steadied as banners fluttered,
The humdrum grew to a dissonant approval.
While subversive overtones
attained mellifluence, a frail figure emerged.
As the enfeebled man took his dais, left arm raised,
Silence plagued the swarm with its cadence.
“You may lose your friends but never your foes
The World is not your comrade.
Your lives will never matter; they tell you every day
Die for the Cause to paint an echo to remain.”
The lead agreed as it nestled in his head.
The fingers had curled through with little delay.
Sunlight filtered through the misguided casements,
As stanchions guarded the chesterfield against disuse,
The blanched knight in fading armour
Secured, now wore the glass veil as an ornament.
The roof and floors had been re-laid and painted,
The lighting was now a reliable monotone,
The humdrum grew without the overtones
As the swarm made their way to the frame.
The haggard face peered back to the future he helped create
With perhaps a lingering air of melancholy
His eyes still flecked with emotion and passion though
As ‘Freedom and Liberty’ were no longer dead.
For as long Man lives, He will find a Greater Deed
And men will die for It as to Fight is to Live,
But as I left what was now a museum, I mused,
It was History, not Liberty that He had achieved.