Elegy for a Poem by Gita Viswanath
Painting by the poet herself
Metaphors twisted like a unalome
and drowned in a bucket of soaked clothes.
Similes stumbled down the stairs
and fractured a few bones.
Conceits hovered over the chillies
drying on the corridor and vanished.
Alliterations ambled along
only to fall over each other.
The knock on the door
broke the flow of words.
The cooker’s whistle
blew away the lines on the page.
The pesky phone’s ringtone
blurred the image in my head.
Finally, I placed the poem in a coffin
and consigned it to dust.
It deserved an honourable burial
but custom decreed baptism before.
Tedium, the high priest, bent over
the basin of boredom to do the needful.
The epitaph read:
Here lies a poem
Daughter of fancy and solitude
Born on this day
At 1434 hours.
Died this day
At 1436 hours.
Its two-minute life
Was a personification.
Gita Viswanath is a Baroda-based writer. Her novel, Twice it Happened, was published in 2019 by Vishwakarma Publications, Pune. She is also the author of a non-fiction book, The ‘Nation’ in War: A Study of Military Literature and Hindi War Cinema, published by Cambridge Scholars, UK in 2014 as well as a children's book, Chidiya. Her poems have been published in Kavyabharati No 28 and Coldnoon, an online journal. Her short story, “Paper Gods,” was published in Muse India, May 2020 and “The Return of the Dead” in Borderless Journal, August 2020. Her short films “Family Across the Atlantic” and “Safezonerz” are available on YouTube. She has completed a course in Art at the Vadodara Visual Arts Centre, Baroda.