Re: My Favorites
- Thank you, it was really interesting to read that insightful perspective on Sri Chinmoy's poem. Indeed, one of the things I like so much about his poetry is that he often takes on different voices, the voice of the struggling aspirant for example. In my experience, this is very rare in spiritual literature but invaluable as it makes the writings so relatable. Another device that I've found to be unique to Sri Chinmoy's poetry is the ability to convey conversations between the Divine and the seeker so sincerely and authentically (and often charmingly). For examples of this, refer to the book 'My Lord's Secrets Revealed'.
I wholeheartedly agree with you about Sri Chinmoy's poems being a constant source of hope. Some of the simplest poems have answered some of my most difficult questions. Others have put into words flawlessly experiences that I would not be able to even begin to express. Some affect me so personally that I feel as if I were their author! (I know that many others have also had this feeling themselves.) Many times I have found his poems to be instructive but in the most subtle and gentle way possible.
I mentioned earlier that 'The Caged Bird and the Uncaged Bird' is my favorite compilation of Sri Chinmoy's poetry. One of the reasons for this is that Sri Chinmoy himself chose which poems would be included in the volume from several different books dating from 1971-1998. The selections are varied and some of the poems are very short and simple and others are rich with imagery, beauty and multiple layers of meaning.
In his short poems, Sri Chimmoy is able to say so much in so few words. This kind of 'potency' is what makes his poetry so powerful. Here are 3 examples from `The Caged Bird and the Uncaged Bird' (1998):
Man's eternal question is:
"Who is God?"
God's immediate answer is:
"My child, who else is God,
if not you?"
Though I do not know
Where this next step leads,
I do know
An unseen hand
Will guide me blessingfully
To my destination.
A FEEBLE CRY, A SWEET SMILE
A little ripple
Wakes the sea.
A tiny thought
Shakes the world.
A feeble cry
Brings the Supreme.
A sweet smile
Fulfils the Supreme.
The following are 2 longer poems from the same book:
VISIONS OF THE EMERALD-BEYOND
No more am I the foolish customer
Of a dry, sterile, intellectual breeze.
I shall buy only
The weaving visions of the emerald-Beyond.
Shall capture the Himalayan Smiles
Of my Pilot Supreme.
In the burial of my sunken mind
Is the revival of my climbing heart.
In the burial of my deceased mind
Is the festival of my all-embracing life.
PILGRIMS OF THE LORD SUPREME
We are the Pilgrims of the Lord Supreme
On the Path of Infinity.
At this time we have broken asunder
We have broken asunder the night
Of tenebrous darkness, inconscience
And the eternal, indomitable fear of death.
The Boat of the supernal Light's Dawn
Is beckoning us,
And the World-Pilot
Of the hallowed bond of Love Divine
Is beckoning us.
The Liberator's Hands are drawing us
To the Ocean of the great Unknown.
Having conquered the life-breath
Of the Land of Immortality,
And carrying aloft the Banner
Of the Lord Supreme,
We shall return:
We, the drops and flames
After reading those poems I am sure it is now clear to you why I love this book so much!
Happy reading everyone!