Literary Shelf

Jussawalla: November Day

As outside my window
Leaves fall faded from a tree
So let me let fall my thoughts
Gone yellow and dry
So let my thoughts
Mottled, stale and yellow
Be swept into some gutter in the eye
And burn there
As this year’s funeral to futility;

So may I
Cleaned of all my deaths
Once more stand firm against
A lifeless sky.

To take up Adil Jussawalla and to analyze and paraphrase a poem of his is really an arduous task to dispense with as the poems are difficult enough to grapple with poetically digging them for meaning and this has two reasons, one for being of a different space and psyche written overseas and the other for being the post-modernist tendencies shown through or lying inherent in. His poetry is of the hollow man; city-bred spaces and centers. But he is marvelously Dylan Thomasian and Rudyard Kiplingian and W.H. Audenian when he talks of Bombay and the islands like John Masefield. There is something of Joseph Conrad and John Masefield’s Sea Fever.

After writing his poems in his initial days, he left them rather kept at bay taking to casually to devote to literary journalism and editorship after a brief stint as a language teacher in England and thereafter in Bombay. But the poems left him not and he continued to dabble in off and on and even remained silent for years. Again, resurfaced he for a comeback with a few collections, but his style has not changed, remains the same. He is the same missing man of poetry; the same Bombaywallah; the same Eliotesque hollow man.

November Day is one such poem taking to overseas and Europe other than the clime and culture of India and the poet too not of the ethos and pragmatism of his  ancient lore, heritage and legacy. A Parsi, he has a stock of his own to delve deep into, an urban poet whose connection is with Bombay and Gujarat.

The poet too admits that he has written in England and Europe during his stay, and these constitute the crux of Land’s End poetry published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta in 1962.

Outside his window the old and pale leaves keep fluttering and falling like the old and decayed ideas deleting from his mind. He too thinks of shedding them which have become yellow and worn. Let these dry leaves burn to ashes so that the new ones will be there in their place. So will be the year-end bickering to new. 

November is drawing close to, and December is coming to end up ushering in new for a fresh start. So are the ideas engaging his mind. The process of renewing must continue as it is an eternal process, and it cannot be inferred with or disrupted. To disrupt it is to disrupt the system.

To be endowed with new buds and the same withering in time, losing lackluster is the story of creation and the same process can never be admonished. So, cleaned of deaths, can he stand firm once more under the canopy of the skies again? The poem is Shelleyian, Hardyean reminding us of Ode to the West Wind and The Darkling Thrush.


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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