Reapings and Gleanings

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Author: Shivaprasad Samaddar
Pages: 52
Year of Publication: 1990
Price: HB Rs 100, FB Rs 80
HB 81-7189-074-1 (8171890741)
FB 81-7189-075-X (817189075X)

About the Author:
Born on 23 December 1926 at Nothullabad, near Barisal (now Bangladesh), Shivaprasad Samaddar received his education from Barisal Zilla School, Rangpur Carmichael College, Presidency College (Calcutta), and the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore). After completing his post-graduation in Chemical Engineering, he joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1949, where his last posting was as Steel and Mines Secretary to the Government of India. He went on to join the Union Public Service Commission and retired in 1988. Since then he has been drawn to the field of education and human resource development. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, a member of the Education Committee of the Gandhi Vidya Mandir Sardar Shahr and the editor of Educational Technology, the monthly publication of the All India Association for Educational Technology.


To Compose a Poem

I’ve sat down this evening with pen and mind
To compose a poem —
Shall I tell a story or philosophize?
Shall I rhyme it or use blank verse —
In the old style of payar or tripadi —
Or make it a modernistic prose poem?
Shall I give the message straight in simple words,
For all to understand at ease
Or draw thoughts from the depth of the mind
To spin and twist them before presentation
In zigzags and signals the tortuous path
Lends weight to the body through shadows?

In painting today they look down upon
The natural way of “draw as you see”,
Drawing from the mind’s eye will go far,
Complex lines and colours will lend aristocracy,
“Out of the world” makes to the top of the world —
Linear cubic, dotted, two in one —
Sometimes it’s impressionism, sometimes expressionism,
Whatever is indicated by the brush is real.

In search of music too the ear is deafened,
Single stringed or sweet melody is not preferred,
Concert or musical harmony holds the field,
We get large and small instruments in array
In grandeur and the recurrence of notes,
Grammar surpasses the idea and expression
Harder becomes music, vocal and instrumental,
Going the same way as poetry and painting.

Sat down to compose a poem,
Could not progress though it’s midnight,
In what body and dress shall I get it,
In which polish shall I make it resplendent?
I’m at a loss what to do —
To compose a poem I could not.


To Compose a Poem / 9
Mother’s Hand / 11
Circumambulation / 13
Arrival / 15
Menu-Card for Birthday / 17
Two Faces of the Forest / 18
A Missing Page from the Mahabharata / 21
Birthday at Kohima / 23
The Power of Awakening / 29
The Place, the Address / 30
My Sixty-fourth Birthday / 33
Who Am I? / 35

Midnight and Morning / 37
Rabindranath Tagore Year 1400 / 39
Banalata Sen / 41
Jibananda Das: A Day Eight Years Ago / 42
Jibananda Das: Words / 45
Premendra Mitra: Once upon a Time / 46
Premendra Mitra: Alaka Sanyal / 48
Satchidananda Rout Roy: Chandrasakhi of Ningthoukhong / 49
Nilkanta: Awaiting an Answer / 52

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