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The Muse

March 31, 2006

The Joy of Words

Do me a favor, and read the following lines from Emily Dickinson....

The heart asks pleasure first,
And then, excuse from pain;
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering, And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.

What do these lines tell you? Don't just read them, read them, feel them.

Now tell me how your thought processes differed from the the interpretation of Lilia Melani, a professor of English Literature at Brooklyn College, CUNY here. This is the beauty of the arts. This is how we develop the ability to think beyond our limits, how we stretch our imagination and how we learn to innovate.


  • Hi Ram:

    Nice poem. When I read it first, I just read it. But as you said, when I read it again and again, I felt the depth of it (though, I didn't get to a stage where I can comprehend like Dr. Melani) . The chronological analogy is awesome and actually kindled my interest in poetry (I haven't read poems in years, after grade X). May be I will read more poems when I get some free time (which is highly improbable as of now), other than the time that I ration out for bloggin. Anyways, some of your blog posts are awesome and thought provoking (especially the ones about India and its development).

    By Blogger Sattvic, at 10:00 PM  

  • Hi Ram:

    Is that the picture of Gandhi before he went bald and before he needed the walking stick ;)?

    By Blogger Sattvic, at 10:50 PM  

  • Hey Sattvic - thanks and glad you got interested in how Melani interpreted it. I'm fascinated myself...appreciate your feedback on my thoughts.

    Gandhi? GANDHI? Awww, I spend time on my iPhoto and do all this editing, and you call me GANDHI? That's just cruel you know. I'll keep changing profiles and you can see Nehru, Radhakrishnan, Bose, Azad, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bhagat Singh in me. No Maraji Desai though, please.


    PS. Its me picking my nose, with my shiny toupee...he he...

    By Blogger Ram, at 11:17 PM  

  • Nice site Ram. Good to meet you. Thanks for visiting.

    By Blogger Swahilya, at 8:16 AM  

  • Hey Ram:

    Awesome work by iPhoto. Well, what I meant by calling you Gandhi is that, you might be one among the junior Gandhi's (taking into account your posts on India and its development). I sure do believe that its high time for India for its second freedom movement, but this time against its own social evils. That is what I meant by calling you Gandhi ;) (If you want to buy that)

    By Blogger Sattvic, at 2:09 PM  

  • Ram, have been lagging behind in your blog :-)

    Those are really nice lines and nicely interpreted by Melani.

    Its kind of contrasting here when the words "Will of its inquistor" is used along with "heart asks.."... don't you think so? The former kind of surrenders but the latter gives you a feeling that you do have the choice!!!... a great differentiation between free-will and pre-determined or predestined!

    By Blogger NaiKutti, at 8:36 PM  

  • Don't you think Melani is brilliant Karthik? I would never have thought along those lines...

    Yes, totally, it is a perfect contrast. I'm sure they have some sort of name for this type of contrast, but anyway how beautifully bought out! When I read what Melani said, I got the feeling I was learning so many things. Very satisfying.

    By Blogger Ram, at 9:33 PM  

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