Sunday, September 24, 2006

19 |   "On this ground"     [pantoum]


Bend back the bow in dreams as we may
till the end rimes in the taut string
sending the note without the delay
when the friend finds an awakening
till the end rimes in the taut string
the lyre of Orpheus sings pain
when the friend finds an awakening
the flower of knowledge is pure flame

the lyre of Orpheus sings pain
as the raag moves through the notebend
the flower of knowledge is pure flame
where the mode pulls in the moodblend
as the raag moves through the notebend
like Todi whose dignity moves us
where the mode pulls in the moodblend
the way raag Darbari behooves us

like Todi whose dignity moves us
the mornings are open in this sound
the way raag Darbari behooves us
the nights are complicit on this ground
the mornings are open in this sound
pulling the string with formal display
the nights are complicit on this ground
bend back the bow in dreams as we may




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Pantoum borrowing two lines from a poem by Robert Duncan -- the title poem of his Bending the Bow (1968)

As nicely noted in the Wikipedia,
Orpheus was considered one of the chief poets and musicians of antiquity, and the inventor or perfector of the lyre. By dint of his music and singing, he could charm the wild beasts, coax the trees and rocks into dance, even arrest the course of rivers.
Todi is a morning raaga, and Darbari a late-night raaga, in Hindustani classical music. The latter (more properly, Darbari Kanada) is attributed to Tansen (1506–1589); the former may evidently date back even farther. Both of these raags are associated with dhrupad music, sober and diginfied, deep and beautiful. Todi literally means "the deer," and is understood to suggest genteel qualities of that animal; Darbari evokes the refined atmosphere of the royal darbar (audience).

This is no. 19 in a sequence, Early Autumn Pantoums

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