The Poetic Inception – A Monologue

“A poet in his senses knocks vainly at the gates of poetry.”
(Ben Jonson)

No human experience is unique, but each of us has a way of putting language together that is ours alone. Youth really is an intriguing period in one’s life. If one adds writerly ambitions to the difficulties of youth, one must possess an exceptionally strong constitution in order to cope.

Whenever we sit down to write a piece of poetry, our minds are flooded with a million remembered ideas, a billion derived thoughts and a zillion words to link them with. Whether we should follow the rules or simply let our words flow in any form or direction remains the greatest internal fight. The seasoned poets do not face such problems, but the novices or the untrained ones (like me) sometimes go through real dilemmas in choosing ‘what to pen down’ and ‘what not to pen down’. Added to that, distractions of various kinds commove the thinking process and unsettle the mind. Tranquility is sought after. Compromises and sacrifices become quintessentially necessary. In the end, forced eliminations often drain out the core thought that was the source of the written piece initially.

Most poets (rather creative people) often meet an untimely end, due to their obsessive and eccentric nature. This unorganized piece of verse is an attempt to map the mind of a poet embarking on a noetic journey to create a written piece. It has a dual layer of monologue to highlight the dilemmatic nature of the mind. The words written in italics imply that they have a louder impact on his/her cognitive process, and punctuation has been minimally used to bring out the continuum of musing.

string of illusions

staring at the mirror
mirror staring back at me 
I am torn between the two
two beams

           two themes
                      two dreams
                      I keep thinking it over and over
           and over and over

a strange new world of another era
with blurred images of a hidden chimera
for some reason it is dark but not black
I stand facing a cul-de-sac

rhyming is fun but tricky
limits conception
limits imagination
limits the flow of seminal reverberation

here I ponder sitting in a tired bowl
waiting for change
hoping to be free

free is fun
free verse is fun
it’s not
           or is it?
it is
           isn’t it?
free verse is only free when stirred
free verse is brave and promising

two pesky crickets chirping inside a tin can
a cat mewing to seduce the workman
the gyrating cry of the exhaust fan
I can hear
I am not here alone
there are others around

I am at this apartment where I know some family
and there are others here who have no reason to be

the trouble is still not gone
I am torn between worlds
rhyming world
free verse world
nothing but a dream separates them

I grab a raincoat from the rack and head out
let it rain alright
           O Raincoat         thou art a knight!
a poem and it’s raining

           O Raincoat         why aren’t thou complaining?
that rhymed fine

shy footsteps
ting of the elevator
weary wet heads ready to embark
onto the elevator of which I disembark
the lobby with its broken socket
key and phone in my pocket

walking down the street
on the odd numbered side
the rhyming side
the even numbered side is always the free verse side
do not ask me why
do not ask me how
I am rationalizing

and that is how I am torn between worlds
between worlds of recurrence and freedom

I walk down an alleyway aimlessly
I hear a noise other than that of the tin roof     
           a noise             of a car coming this way
           a voice             excuse me, are you okay?
that rhymed badly

I look back only to reassure him

too late
he walks up to me and I do not know what to do
he is not very tall but his footsteps are loud
be gone my temptation to wander
I wonder

there is someone else in his car
the car is heading this way

                        O dear!

the next thing I remember is cold
and I can barely move
a knock on the head
           back of a car
fading lights

and all I am thinking besides the wet cold
is how do I express these feelings
do I rhyme?
do I free verse?
am I torn between words?
am I torn between worlds?



© Tanumoy Biswas and The Nomadic Soliloquist 2013. All Rights Reserved.

29 comments on “The Poetic Inception – A Monologue

  1. Isaac Asimov, who wrote an incredible number of books – hundreds! and they’re very good ones – said that of his writings only a certain part is really great and the rest is a sort of practice. Well, he said something like that. Certainly he was very organized and clear of thought to turn out such volume. He had a clear idea of story and had ideas that he wanted to communicate and thus wove them into his stories. His science books are generally very clear and highly instructive.
    Duke Ellington, who composed many of jazz’s greatest songs and who performed them briliantly for 50 years said: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”.

  2. i understand the dilemma of a poets mind cause at times i too try penning down my thoughts… i believe one should freely express oneself without confining oneself within boundaries of rhyme and rhythm… i believe anything well expressed is melody to the mind.. great work once again 🙂

  3. Excellent post Tanumoy. I don’t usually care to read things like this, but yours took me from the beginning right down to the last word.
    I’m not much into writing, but do like to dabble with it from time to time.
    Thank you for your recent visit.

  4. Thank you, Tanumoy, for allowing me to watch your writing process, and for allowing me to walk with you on the rhyming side of the street.


    • You honour me immensely, sir. Humbled and overwhelmed at your kind words! And what’s more inspiring is to learn from you and every others. Will always be there for a walk down every street of the verse. Cheers! 🙂

  5. “am I torn between words?
    am I torn between worlds?”

    Oh Knight, through this brilliant piece, you have captured the essence and posed the ultimate question on many a writers’ mind. Indeed, as fiddlers looking for melodies in a pen — inbetween every composed piece — we constantly question ourselves of the world our words are being born from, and unto which they shall die. 
    Well, perhaps it’s just how the “tread of this march” goes, no? 

    • Absolutely! I strongly believe in letting the mind, the heart and the soul flow in unison, whenever poetry embraces the cognitive identity. And what the heart desires, the mind tries to create, in consultation with the soul… so we should just let the flow happen and not plug it with rules. That’s what I think, I feel. The world may not… but the world cannot own us. They may, but we must not. Isn’t it? 🙂

  6. I feel freer with rhyme than without it. Naturally, I look for rhythm, even in prose. A lack of coherence—even in sounds—stresses me. I believe we (readers, people) look for connections and patterns—i.e. what would we do without the regular rising and setting of the sun? what if it were sporadic?—and rhythm is one of them.

    But maybe that’s just me. 😉

    Great post.

    • Honestly I share your feeling, Jess. I look for rhythm too. I look for an incessant flow, with melodic periods. It calms the mind. It fills the heart. It feeds the soul. It makes life divine.

      So you are not just alone. You have a nomad here, with that same feel, and wondrous eyes… 🙂

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