My brother recently went to interview a personality. In it, the afor-said personality had mentioned a poem which he finds motivational and inspiring. That made me think, what is it that inspires me? What do I turn to to motivate myself? I found the answer to me myraid and varied. However here are something which I do turn to for solace
Poems add colour to life and brings relativity to a person. A poem lightens the heaviest of moods and brightens the darkest of days. They teach you how to live, how to love and how to grieve. All the poems I have been exposed to are the poems which my daddy loves and says regularly. It includes, English, Tamil and what have yous. Interestingly, although I know these poems inside out, I do get absolutely tongue-tied when actually saying them. They are just there, in my head, automatically appearing at just the right time to give just the additional spice and perspective needed under the circumstances.
The first poem and my most often thought of on is The Reaper by Wordsworth. This is one poem which I like for the pure admiration of the lone girl going about her work. And the way dad says it is simple awesome, one can literally imagine the girl cutting the grain, binding it and singing to herself, her tuneful voice floating across the meadows and vales, reaching the ears of all passerby.
The Solitary Reaper
Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?–
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?
Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;–
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
— William Wordsworth
Another poem of Wordsworth which I like is Daffodils. Its a poem which encourages this already-heavy-daydreamer to just stop everything, laze on the couch and dream even further 😀
I WANDER’D lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine,
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
— William Wordsworth
A poem which I turn to if I seriously need to stop thinking of work and study and books yada yada and get out.
The Tables Turned
Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
The sun above the mountain’s head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless–
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:–
We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
— William Wordsworth
Interestingly, all the poems are by Wordsworth. I guess he was the first poet I read, heard and got enamoured by.
Philosophy is another field which adds perspective to the way one is living. Whats the point of toiling all day? Whats the point of working so hard? Afterall, within a negligible time in the universe’s timeframe, we are going to disappear. To get these questions, I turn to Western Philosophy but to get answers, I turn to Hindu Philosophy. Not to say it cannot be vice versa, but just the way I like it. But philosophy deserves a long post all my itself. To describe the works of Plato, Dante, Aristotle, etc is no mean feat, even to the well versed. Not to say the Vedantic philosophy even in its simplest form.
Ah, but who dosent turn to music? who dosent turn to the tune of the voice rising and falling to words which shake the very core of a person. So no more said on this 🙂