Theme: Persona

The Many Facets of Jayanta Mahapatra

The many facets of Jayanta Mahapatra
The poet we
seek to know,
The man and the poet,
The poet and the visionary,
The dreamer in verse

The physicist taking physics for poetry
And poetry vice versa,
The nihilist and the existentialist
Dealing with the vacuum and the existence of man

The absurdist delving deep into the absurdities of life
To be non-responsive and inconclusive,
What's the purpose of life and living,
Why are we here, who to say it

The iconoclast breaking the images and seeing
What is in the image,
Standing not, always fleeting by,
The vacuum prevailing upon

Searching for meaning, but means it not,
What it seems to be is nothing
And nothing is what it seems to be
And if this be, what is to say more

A poet of Odisha, sings he of the Odias,
The lakes, rivers, sea coasts, beaches, marshes, woods and hills,
The bird sanctuaries
And the heritage sites

A singer of Odisha, he writes with Odisha in his heart,
Singing of its history, art, culture,
Thought and tradition,
Myth and mythic tales

A poet of solitude and silence, he sees the ships floating
On the sea,
Of quietude
Sometimes conspiring against

A poet of love and its intricacies, he weaves the myths
Of man-woman relationship,
Selfish love,
Its deceit and coquetry

The erotic sculptures on the outward pillars
Of the Konark Sun-temple
Tell of the twitches of the body,
Human relations unexplored

Side by side he comes to mark the dark daughters,
Their sobs and sighs,
Troubles and tribulations,
Struggles and sufferings

Of the devadasis and the sevadasis,
The nautch girls,
All betrayed in the name of piety
And classicism

A poet basically an imagist, he paints against the backdrop
Of the rising sun and the setting sun,
The moonlight falling upon
And the scenes and sights shifting

A modernist and a post-modernist,
A post-colonialist,
He had not been so
But the critics make him so

And it is language, the use and application of it
Which presents him
As a post-modern or a post-colonialist
Otherwise is not

As he has not read poetical theories in classrooms,
Has just read physics,
Learnt and taught it,
Dealing with light and darkness

But as a poet, he's not at all happy with
The present state of  the nation,
The situations prevailing upon,
The conditions doing the rounds

Even after the attainment of freedom, he can see and feel about
The stories of hunger,
Domestic violence, loot, corruption,
Terrorism, communal unrest and female foeticide

Sitting by the door and dreaming and slipping away
From the Jagannath Puri temple to the Lingaraj temple
To the Dhaulagiri stupa
To shadowed and vacant random reflections.


More By  :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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