Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Day in the Life of the Poet and the Raven

The Raven and the Poet had been in the depths of Valhalla for more than an eon now. After an initial period of strife and animosity they both realised that in this place they had no one else for company and hence it would be better to forge a friendship. And as time went by these two became inseparable – the Raven teaching the Poet the fine art of warfare and the Poet teaching the Raven the intricacies of poetry.

Then arrived Phantasos (the worthy son of Somnus and brother of Morpheus; an exchange student from Olympus) and the three together formed an organisation which was to cause a major stir in the world of the Gods as well as us puny humans. This was the Dream Poets Inc., headquartered in Valhalla. But why talk of the Future when the Present is trying to scuttle past us.

Here we find the Poet - lost in the space-time continuum, thinking of his past sins - generally feeling like scum. The Raven on the other hand is smitten with the 5-7-5 syllable simplicity of the haiku and is composing his epic - Haikus from Eden.

Said Adam one day -
No apple for me today,
Eve has a headache.

So, my friend, what do you think of my masterpiece?

Hmmm. Hmmm. Mumble mumble grumble grumble. You have the structure, but where is the mention of the season and the two contrasting thoughts related to the same subject. My dear friend! You must follow the rules of poetry. Otherwise, the critics will slam your work as being pretentious and uninspired.

Critics!? What critics? I am writing these haikus for my own pleasure not for some blasted critic. Counting the syllables and maintaining the symmetry of the haikus has a soothing effect on my nerves. I don’t care if no one ever reads my work, except you, of course.

Ah! But what is writing, if it isn’t read. The triumph of the writer is in extracting a response from the reader – doesn’t matter whether they love it or hate it. You are right about the critics though. I hate them in equal, if not more, measure. But you must write as if your work is going to be read by millions. We both know there is no one else here other than the two of us. But one never knows.

Little did the Poet and the Raven know that in the next few years with the help of Phantasos (whose work it is to create all the inanimate objects in dreams) they would be able to broadcast their work all over the world in people’s dreams.

You are probably right my friend. Tell me, why you look so morose? Has someone broken your heart?

Ah! It would have been so much better had that happened. The pain of heartbreak is like manna for my soul. What I suffer from is guilt, my brother. All those broken hearts I left behind as I moved from shore to shore in search of fulfilment are tearing at my conscience. So many times have I been loved – deeply and unquestionably – and I have thrown it all away for my own selfish motives. And what have I achieved? I rot here, in this Scandinavian hell, for eternity.

Hmmm! But you have me for company!

True! True! So let’s hear some more haikus.

What is for dinner?
- Said Adam one day to Eve.
Apple pie and tea!

An apple a day
Keeps eve a little away.
Now for the doctor …

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