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An October Morning

An October Morning



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Published by gopakumar menon

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Published by: gopakumar menon on May 14, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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An October MorningJayanta MahapatraThis poem deals with nature. A typical October morning is described. Dawn appearsthrough trees. A mole moves behind a log. The sound of a truck starting can beheard in the background. The sudden sound reminds him of an unanswered questionwith which he had gone to sleep. A flight of parakeets hovers in the sky. Thebirds fly in the direction of a dried out river. The atmosphere is silent. Thecries of birds fill up the mind with feelings of fear and anxiety. A rotting logcan be seen by the bank. The path gradually fades away. The poet asks whether weknow what we really are. It is by pursuing the dreams that we get to know what wereally are. But we do not often pursue them as we treat them as something likesymbols. Sometimes a single cry can prevail against combined might of the evilforces. We had seen, in the past, similar mornings with light spreading on thehill top. Watching that light heralding the advent of day we quite forget aboutour own mortality. The light makes us breathless. The chime of bells in a templecomes streaming over the housetops like a flock of pigeons. The morning has comelike a jackal looking out a hole. Two women shout at each other near the watertap. Two boys can be seen. They have felt their parents’ wrongs. We are not yetready for answers to the body where we would recoil to hide again.Lines 1-8: The poem opens with an imagery of an October morning. Dawn appearsthrough the thickly growing trees. A mole moves swiftly away behind a log lying onthe ground. The sound of a truck starting can be heard in the background. Itsounds like a jerking, sudden start as if one remembers a forgotten question allof a sudden. The poet might have gone to bed the previous night with an unansweredquestion. That had been vexing him. Now also it is reverberating in his brain.There us a flight of parakeets in the sky. Their cries trail off into silence asthey move out into the far distance. Those birds fly out to the direction of adried out river. The river is bearing the burnt of drying silently like a stoic.There is silence everywhere.Lines 8-20: The cries of the birds fill up and empty the mind with variousemotions. There are feelings of fear, anxiety and also mixed feelings. The morninglight reveals a path passing along the side of the decaying timber by the shore ofthe river. The path gradually trails away towards the human habitat quietly. Thepoet asks a question. How do we know what we really are? It is only when we pursueour dreams that we realise what really are like. Our dreams are so unreal that wetreat them as symbols. They are distant. We do not even make an attempt to achievethem. A human being thinks of destroying his fellow beings. Sometimes a lone cry-a singular effort- can overcome the combined might of the evil forces.The poet is reminded of the similar morning in the past where he could see lightspreading on the hill top announcing the advent of another day. When we watch thatsuperb reddening of the sky at dawn we forget about our own mortality. Thereference is just not only to the real dawn but also to all dawn- likeexperiences, like the feeling of love.Lines 20-30: The light surrounding us can make us breathless by revealing certainthings. We listen to the chime of the bells of the temple as it comes streamingover the housetops like a flock of pigeons.The morning has finally arrived. It is compared to a jackal looking out of a hole,its clay bank habitat. The morning is also associated with two dark-eyed womenshouting at each other near the public water tap. The morning brings to light twoboys, knowing the wrongs that their parents have suffered adult action.The poet says that the arrival of morning has not prepared us for answers. (Thequestion in line 3 and ‘cries’ repeated in subsequent lines are referred to).Finally a radiant spectrum of light penetrates all the dark corners in our bodywhere would recoil to hide again. The reality obliges us to confront it, making itno longer possible for us to hide from it. It seems that we love our own ignoranceand the resultant darkness and we hate knowledge or light but reality forces us toconfront it. It becomes impossible for us to evade it.

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