Monday, June 09, 2008

Poem of the Week 6/9/2008: I Missed His Book, but I Read His Name

I Missed His Book, but I Read His Name

"The Silver Pilgrimage," by M. Anantanarayanan . . .
160 pages. Criterion. $3.95.
- The New York Times

Though authors are a dreadful clan,
To be avoided if you can,
I'd like to meet the Indian,
M. Anantanarayanan.

I picture him as short and tan,
We'd meet, perhaps, in Hindustan,
I'd say, with admirable elan,
"Ah, Anantanarayanan,

I've heard of you. The Times once ran
A notice on your novel, an
Unusual tale of God and Man."
And Anantanarayanan

Would seat me on a lush divan
And read his name--that sumptuous span
Of "a"s and "n"s more lovely than
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan"--

Aloud to me all day. I plan
Henceforth to be an ardent fan
Of Anantanarayanan,
M. Anantanarayanan.

John Updike 1963

The last two poems of the week have been amusing ones, but reading Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel is helping me appreciate the value of laughter and literature. It's so easy for thought et. al. to take itself seriously, and especially so for poets. The very word, today, rings of sensitivity and sensibility, as if it has a kind of flourish to it. So I admire the work of John Updike, who often writes for the New Yorker, and tickles and delights his readers. A delight!

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