Perception and Relevance

Literature is misunderstood more often because they are treated literally. There is that expectation to communicate with a direct narrative, without the metaphorical and imaginative inclusions.

While we can say that literature does arise from the subtle observations about the unexpressed feelings of a society that is too busy suppressing them. Probably, the writer detaches from the unruly distractions and manipulations or even surrenders to them in extreme cases to comprehend the consequences. The consequences can be demoralising, but the literature and the creative instincts are aroused to portray reality through metaphorical narratives.

Poetry, especially, with the meandering expressions and creative histrionics do not really present a straightforward reading. Those ideas are the poets own, as much a reality of the society and experiences, but they fail to settle easily in the mind. It could be due to the habit of the eyes to look for the literal meanings and hasty conclusions.

Poetry stripped of their rich metaphors, imagery and mysterious narratives are as bare as the dry tree in the middle of a harsh desert. Yes, the desertification of language and the stigma attached to the complexities of poetry can be demoralising, and in fact, unsettling for the composed poetry. If poetry is hasty writing of literal observations and there is little scope to linger around it to find the hidden and more nuanced metaphors, the essence of poetry evaporates.

A poet views the world in different shades and moods for which no poetry is similar in their sentiments. Even if a poet wishes to be repetitive with the themes, they cannot really do so because there is a creative urgency to capture more such hidden meanings of this existence.

The wanderings are not of a vagabond but of an inspired mind in the guise of a messenger to pick up as many clues to weave a poetic dialogue. Poetry is a dialogue at a deeper level with the readers. Poetry readers develop the habit of taking off the shades of a busy world and settle quietly to understand the communication.

A poet is expected to enrich the poetic narrative and allow the reader to immerse in that rich literary dialogue. Looking for the literal and hasty in a poem leads to misunderstandings and disappointments. Poetry is slammed against the yardsticks of strict principles of a world dictated by other distractions.

Easy narratives lose their elasticity and are unable to continue with the demands of creative and enriching dialogue. It is certain, they will be erased sooner and relegated to the forgotten pockets of a hyper-critical world. For poetry and poetic language to survive, it has to be resilient and proficient enough to fight against the inimical times of literary decline. Let them be abandoned for now, but they will be relevant and true and identified by the literary eyes to initiate a new communication.

Poetry composed on compromises of language and devoid of any metaphorical richness will elude the eyes after some time. There is a common perception that poetry has no space in the ever-expanding contemporary literary world. It is true to a certain extent, as poetry books are considered unmarketable, and here, literature is assessed through the crude lenses of marketing and economics. What an erroneous way to compare poetry with market value!

As long as the reader of poetry does not go that extra mile and take it upon them to evolve their understanding of poetry, it would probably an uphill task to create a favourable environment for poetry to thrive. There has to be a patient reciprocation to wake up the rich connotations of poetic composition.

~Amitav

5 thoughts on “Perception and Relevance

      1. Shallowness causes misunderstandings. If you want to understand, you need to read carefully, pay attention to detail and reread when needed. People today have no time and patience to do things over and over again. The accent is on the tangible, food in the fridge rather than food for the mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right. I wonder, why this has become the norm. I feel the right kind of literature is not being read, or even, the ones that are promoted are just not mature enough. Do we really contemplate? If time is a constraint, literature is not for them.

        Liked by 1 person

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