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Kalidasa - Waking

Even the man who is happy
     glimpses something
     or a hair of sound touches him

     and his heart overflows with a longing
          he does not recognize

then it must be that he is remembering
     in a place out of reach
     shapes he has loved

     in a life before this

     the print of them still there in him waiting


-- from East Window: Poems from Asia, Translated by W. S. Merwin
Poetry Chaikhana | Kalidasa - Waking


This is not a poem about reincarnation, not at all!
No more than On A Dark Night is about heaven
or "drunken Sufi" poetry is about wine.

This poem, like all hymns,
is about something that cannot be expressed in words.
something so far from cognititive comprehension
that all words, taken too seriously, become lies.

...a hair of sound touches him

and his heart overflows with a longing
      he does not recognize...

Kalidasa is a legendary(?) Fourth Century Indian poet who supposedly acquired his literary abilities through fervent prayer.  "Look to this day" (Exhortation of the Dawn) which has reminded so many 12 steppers to take sobriety (or serenity, or  courage) one day (or hour or minute) at a time is attributed to him.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
amaebi
May. 31st, 2015 11:23 am (UTC)
How interesting your last sentence is to me-- I was thinking about every moment of attention being a separate life.
bobby1933
May. 31st, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC)
If i can't find "eternity in an hour" can i find it anywhen?
amaebi
May. 31st, 2015 05:27 pm (UTC)
I should think so-- to the best of my experience and understanding, it's a matter of attention....
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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