पहिरो जाने पहाड मुन्तिर – भूपी शेरचन

अनिश्चित भविष्यको आशङ्कामय पीडा
खप्न नसकी
‘थेलोडोमाइड’ खाएकी गर्भिणी रात
जन्माउँछिन् लँगडा, लुला, कुच्चिएका बिहानहरु
जब बिउँझन्छु म
छिप्पिन आँटेको जाँडको घैंटोजस्तो
उत्तेजित टाउको उचालेर
अनि हेर्दैछु —ताजा अखबार
चील र गिद्ध उडिरहेको आकाश
सिनुको गन्ध बोकेका,
म गाड्छु दाँत टोष्टमाथि
र मिल्काउँछु एक टुक्रा दैलोको घामतिर
अनि घाम फैलिन्छ चाउरेको विश्वमाथि
बासी टोष्टमाथि पग्लिएको नौनी झैं
यसरी सुरु हुन्छ एउटा नयाँ दिन
यसरी सुरु हुन्छ अर्को नयाँ दिन
अर्को…..अर्को….र नयाँ दिन
हतार–हतार आउने र जाने
जुवाडीको खल्तीका नोटजस्ता चाउरिएका
असङ्ख्य नयाँ दिनहरु
घुमिरहेछ पृथ्वी
आफ्नो धुरीमा, निरन्तर
तर ‘रुलेट’ –को चक्काझै
जहाँ प्रत्येक व्यक्ति टन्न छ उत्तेजनाले
बेग्लाबेग्लै बाजीमा थापिएका सिक्काझैं
आकाश त्यही छ पुरानो
तर अब त्यहाँ
चुच्चोमा खर च्यापेर गुँड बनाउन लम्केका
गौथलीको साटोमा
उड्दछन् पचासौं मेगाटन बोकेका रकेटहरु
क्षितिज तिनै छन् घाम उदाउने र अस्ताउने
तर त्यहाँ अब थकित सूर्य पल्टन्छ
अन्तरद्वीपीय क्षेप्यास्त्रको सिरानी हालेर
यो के भयो एक्कासि मेरो विश्वलाई ?
यो के भयो विश्वको ‘म’ —लाई ?
किन सक्तिनँ म ‘स्कान अन र राक्स’ –मा
जलविहार गरेर आफ्नो जलनलाई मेट्न ?
किन सक्तिनँ म आफ्नो कोमल भावनाहरुलाई कुल्चन
‘लोलिटा’ — लाई जस्तै;
किन सक्तिन म डुब्न,
‘विथोवन’ र ‘मोजार्ट’ —को सिम्फनीमा
किन ट्रम्पेट र क्यारोनेटको मुख
हेर्दाहर्दे परिवर्तित हुन्छन्
तोप र बन्दूकहरुको नालमा ?
आहा ! मलाई थाहा छ शान्ति कहाँ छ
शान्ति हेर ऊः त्यहाँ भेडासिङको चौबाटोमा छु
तर किन म शान्त हुन सक्तिनँ
त्यहाँ साँढे जुझाइको माझमा
घाँटीको दाह्रीमा उस्तरा चलाउन दिइरहेको मान्छेजस्तै !
मेरो निम्ति त शान्ति
जँड्याहा जन्डो मान्छेको स्वास्नीको गर्भमा छ
आहा ! कति क्षीण छ मेरो आशा,
हाम्रो आशा
एउटा कलिलो हँसिलो संसारको न्वारान गर्ने ।

भूपी शेरचन
Bhupi sherchan 1

रिक्त शैय्याको स्थानबाट – भूपी शेरचन

शय्याको भर्खर रिक्त भएको स्थानबाट
उठिरहेछ तातो बाफ
ठ्वाक….ठ्वाक….ठ्वाक
ठक…ठक…ठक्क
तल भ¥याङमा सुनिन्छ
टाढा गइरहेको
क्रमशः क्षीण भइरहेको
कसैको परिचित
तर असन्तुलित पदचाप
एकछिनको निम्ति वातावरण बेहोस हुन्छ
पुनः सुनिन्छ कोर्राको फटकार
बग्गीको खड–खड, घोडाको चित्कार
बाटोको ढुङ्गा र माटोको सम्मिलित हाहाकार
म भने शय्यामा पल्टिरहेर
निस्पन्द, निश्चल, शिथिल, चूपचाप
सोचिरहेछु मैले
के गरे —प्रणय कि पाप !
पुनः सोच्छु —यो म के सोचिरहेछु
के यो मेरो सोचाई मात्र ? जिज्ञासा मात्र ?
कि मेरो अन्तस्ले मसित लुकाएको पश्चाताप ?

Bhupi Sherchan
bhupi-serchan

Henry Vaughan

NPG x48718; Henry Vaughan Lanchester by Lafayette (Lafayette Ltd)
Henry Vaughan was a Welsh physician and metaphysical poet.

Vaughan and his twin brother the hermetic philosopher and alchemist Thomas Vaughan, were the sons of Thomas Vaughan and his wife Denise (née Morgan) of ‘Trenewydd’, Newton, in Brecknockshire, Wales. Their grandfather, William, was the owner of Tretower Court.

Vaughan spent most of his life in the village of Llansantffraed, near Brecon, where he is also buried.

Early Life

Both Henry and his twin Thomas were schooled locally by the rector of Llangattock (Crickhowell), the Rev. Matthew Herbert. This occupied six years preceding their attendance at Jesus College, Oxford, England in 1638. However, around 1640, Vaughan’s family influenced him to pursue a career in law to the abandonment of an Oxford degree.

As the Civil War developed, he was recalled home from London, initially to serve as a secretary to Sir Marmaduke Lloyd, a chief justice on the Brecknockshire circuit and staunch royalist. Military service interrupted his study of the law and, upon his return, Vaughan began to practise medicine. By 1646, he had married Catherine Wise with whom he reared a son, Thomas, and three daughters, Lucy, Frances, and Catherine. After his first wife’s death, he married her sister, Elizabeth.

Secular Works

Vaughan took his literary inspiration from his native environment and chose the descriptive name “Silurist,” derived from his homage to the Silures, the Celtic tribe of pre-Roman south Wales which strongly resisted the Romans. This name is a reflection of the deep love Vaughan felt towards the Welsh mountains of his home in what is now part of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the River Usk valley where he spent most of his early life and professional life.

By 1647 Henry Vaughan, with his wife and children, had chosen life in the country. This is the setting in which Vaughan wrote Olor Iscanus, the (Swan of Usk). However, this collection was not published until 1651, more than three years after it was written. It is believed that there was great crisis in Vaughan’s life between the authorship and publication of Olor Iscanus. During these years, his grandfather William Vaughan died and he was evicted from his living in Llansantffraed. Vaughan later decried the publication, having “long ago condemned these poems to obscurity”.

Olor Iscanus is filled with odd words and similes that beg for attention despite its dark and morbid cognitive appeal. This work is founded on crises felt in Vaughan’s homeland, Brecknockshire. During the Civil War there was never a major battle fought on the ground of Brecknockshire, but the effects of the war were deeply felt by Vaughan and his surrounding community. The Puritan Parliament visited misfortune on the community, ejecting many of their foes, the Anglicans and Royalists. This was an obvious source of misfortune for Vaughan, who also lost his home at that time.

There is a distinct difference between the atmosphere Vaughan attempts to convey in this work and in his most famous work, Silex Scintillans. Olor Iscanus is a direct representation of a specific period in Vaughan’s life, which emphasizes other secular writers and provides allusions to debt and happy living. A fervent topic of Vaughan throughout these poems is the Civil War and reveals Vaughan’s somewhat paradoxical thinking that, in the end, gives no clear conclusion to the question of his participation in the Civil War. Vaughan states his complete satisfaction of being clean on “innocent blood” but also provides what seem to be eyewitness accounts of battles and his own “soldiery”. Although Vaughan is thought to have been a royalist, these poems express contempt for all current authority and a lack of zeal for the royalist cause. His poems generally reflect a sense of severe decline, which possibly means that Vaughan lamented the effects of the war on the monarchy and society. His short poem “The Timber”, ostensibly about a dead tree, concludes “thy strange resentment after death / Means only those who broke – in life – thy peace.”

Conversion

The period shortly preceding the publication of Henry Vaughan’s Silex Scintillans marked an important period of his life. Certain indications in the first volume and explicit statements made in the preface to the second volume of Silex Scintillans suggest that Vaughan suffered a prolonged sickness that inflicted much pain. Vaughan interprets this experience to be an encounter with death and a wake-up call to his “misspent youth”. Vaughan believes he is spared to make amends and start a new course not only in his life but in the literature he would produce. Vaughan himself describes his previous work as foul and a contribution to “corrupt literature”. Perhaps the most notable mark of Vaughan’s conversion is how much it is credited to George Herbert. Vaughan claims that he is the least of Herbert’s many “pious converts”. It is during this period of Vaughan’s life, around 1650, that he adopts the saying “moriendo, revixi”, meaning “by dying, I gain new life”.

Poetic Influences

It was not until Vaughan’s conversion and the writing of Silex Scintillans that he received significant acclaim. He was greatly indebted to George Herbert, who provided a model for Vaughan’s newly founded spiritual life and literary career, in which he displayed “spiritual quickening and the gift of gracious feeling” derived from Herbert.

Archbishop Trench has proposed that “As a divine Vaughan may be inferior [to Herbert], but as a poet he is certainly superior”. Critics praise Vaughan’s use of literary elements. Vaughan’s use of monosyllables, long-drawn alliterations and his ability to compel the reader place Vaughan as “more than the equal of George Herbert”. Yet others say that the two are not even comparable, because Herbert is in fact the Master. While these critics admit that Henry Vaughan’s use of words can be superior to Herbert’s, they believe his poetry is, in fact, worse. Herbert’s profundity as well as consistency are said to be the key to his superiority.

While the superiority or inferiority of Vaughan and Herbert is a question with no distinct answer, one cannot deny that Vaughan would have never written the way he did without Herbert’s direction. The explicit spiritual influence of Herbert on Henry Vaughan is undeniable. The preface to Vaughan’s Silex Scintillans does all but proclaim this influence. The prose of Vaughan exemplifies this as well. For instance, The Temple, by Herbert, is often seen as the inspiration and model on which Vaughan created his work. Silex Scintillans is most often classed with this collection of Herbert’s. Silex Scintillans borrows the same themes, experience, and beliefs as The Temple. Herbert’s influence is evident both in the shape and spirituality of Vaughan’s poetry. For example, the opening to Vaughan’s poem ‘Unprofitableness’:

How rich, O Lord! How fresh thy visits are!
is reminiscent of Herbert’s ‘The Flower’:
How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! ev’n as the flowers in spring

Another work of Vaughan’s that clearly parallels George Herbert is Mount of Olives, e.g., the passage, Let sensual natures judge as they please, but for my part, I shall hold it no paradoxe to affirme, there are no pleasures in the world. Some coloured griefes of blushing woes there are, which look as clear as if they were true complexions; but it is very sad and tyred truth, that they are but painted. This echoes Herbert’s Rose:

In this world of sugar’s lies,
And to use a larger measure
Than my strict yet welcome size.
First, there is no pleasure here:
Coloure’d griefs indeed there are,
Blushing woes that look as clear,
As if they could beauty spare.

Critics have complained that Vaughan is enslaved to Herbert’s works, using similar “little tricks” such as abrupt introductions and whimsical titles as a framework for his own work, and that he “failed to learn” from Herbert. Vaughan carried an inability to know his limits and focused more on the intensity of the poem, meanwhile losing the attention of his audience.

However, Alexander Grosart denies that Henry Vaughan was solely an imitator of George Herbert (Grosart, 3). There are moments in Vaughan’s writings where the reader can identify Vaughan’s true self, rather than an imitation of Herbert. In such passages Vaughan is seen to demonstrate naturalness, immediacy, and ability to relate the concrete through poetry. In some instances, Vaughan derives observations from Herbert’s language that are distinctly his own. It is as if Vaughan takes proprietorship of some of Herbert’s work, yet makes it completely unique to himself. Henry Vaughan takes another step away from George Herbert in the manner to which he presents his poetry to the reader. George Herbert in The Temple, which is most often the source of comparison between the two writers, lays down explicit instructions on the reading of his work. This contrasts with the attitude of Vaughan, who considered the experience of reading as the best guide to his meanings. He promoted no special method of reading his works.

In these times he shows himself different from any other poet. Much of his distinction derives from an apparent lack of sympathy with the world around him. His aloof appeal to his surroundings detaches him and encourages his love of nature and mysticism, which in turn influenced other later poets, Wordsworth among others. Vaughan’s mind thinks in terms of a physical and spiritual world and the obscure relation between the two. Vaughan’s mind often moved to original, unfamiliar, and remote places, and this reflected in his poetry. He was loyal to the themes of the Anglican Church and religious festivals, but found his true voice in the more mystical themes of eternity, communion with the dead, nature, and childhood.A poet of revelation who uses the Bible,Nature and his own experience to illustrate his vision of eternity. Vaughan’s poetry has a particularly modern sound.

Alliteration (conspicuous in Welsh poetry)is more extensively used by Vaughan than most of his contemporaries writing English verse,noticeably in the opening to The Water-fall.

Vaughan elaborated on personal loss in two well-known poems, “The World” and “They Are All Gone into the World of Light.” Another poem, “The Retreat,” combines the theme of loss with the corruption of childhood, which is yet another consistent theme of Vaughan’s. Vaughan’s new-found personal voice and persona are seen as the result of the death of a younger brother.

This is an example of an especially beautiful fragment of one of his poems entitled “The World:”

I saw eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow moved, In which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.

Death and Legacy

As is the case with many great writers and poets, Henry Vaughan was acclaimed less during his lifetime than after his death on April 23, 1695, aged 74. He is buried in the churchyard of St Bridget’s, Llansantffraed, Powys. He is recognised “as another example of a poet who can write both graceful and effective prose” and influenced the work of poets such as Wordsworth, Tennyson and Siegfried Sassoon. The American science fiction writer Philip K. Dick even named Vaughan as a key influence.

English Poem – Friends Departed – Henry Vaughan

They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit ling’ring here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
Like stars upon some gloomy grove,
Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest
After the sun’s remove.

I see them walking in an air of glory,
Whose light doth trample on my days:
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
Mere glimmering and decays.

O holy Hope! and high Humility,
High as the heavens above!
These are your walks, and you have show’d them me,
To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the Just,
Shining nowhere, but in the dark;
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledg’d bird’s nest may know,
At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair well or grove he sings in now,
That is to him unknown.

And yet as Angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul, when man doth sleep:
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.

If a star were confin’d into a tomb,
Her captive flames must needs burn there;
But when the hand that lock’d her up gives room,
She’ll shine through all the sphere.

O Father of eternal life, and all
Created glories under Thee!
Resume Thy spirit from this world of thrall
Into true liberty.

Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
My perspective still as they pass:
Or else remove me hence unto that hill,
Where I shall need no glass.
Henry Vaughan
Henry_Vaughan,

English Poem – Regeneration – Henry Vaughan

Award, and still in bonds, one day
I stole abroad,
It was high-spring, and all the way
Primros’d, and hung with shade;
Yet, was it frost within,
And surly winds
Blasted my infant buds, and sin
Like clouds eclips’d my mind.

Storm’d thus; I straight perceiv’d my spring
Mere stage, and show,
My walk a monstrous, mountain’s thing
Rough-cast with rocks, and snow;
And as a pilgrim’s eye
Far from relief,
Measures the melancholy sky
Then drops, and rains for grief,

So sigh’d I upwards still, at last
‘Twixt steps, and falls
I reach’d the pinnacle, where plac’d
I found a pair of scales,
I took them up and laid
In th’one late pains,
The other smoke, and pleasures weigh’d
But prov’d the heavier grains;

With that, some cried, Away; straight I
Obey’d, and led
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy
Some call’d it Jacob’s Bed;
A virgin-soil, which no
Rude feet ere trod,
Where (since he slept there,) only go
Prophets, and friends of God.

Here, I repos’d; but scarce well set,
A grove descried
Of stately height, whose branches met
And mixed on every side;
I entered, and once in
(Amaz’d to see’t,)
Found all was chang’d, and a new spring
Did all my senses greet;

The unthrift sun shot vital gold
A thousand pieces,
And heaven its azure did unfold
Checker’d with snowy fleeces,
The air was all in spice
And every bush
A garland wore; thus fed my eyes
But all the ear lay hush.

Only a little fountain lent
Some use for ears,
And on the dumb shades language spent
The music of her tears;
I drew her near, and found
The cistern full
Of diverse stones, some bright, and round
Others ill’shap’d, and dull.

The first (pray mark,) as quick as light
Danc’d through the flood,
But, th’last more heavy than the night
Nail’d to the center stood;
I wonder’d much, but tir’d
At last with thought,
My restless eye that still desir’d
As strange an object brought;

It was a bank of flowers, where I descried
(Though ’twas mid’day,)
Some fast asleep, others broad-eyed
And taking in the ray,
Here musing long, I heard
A rushing wind
Which still increas’d, but whence it stirr’d
No where I could not find;

I turn’d me round, and to each shade
Dispatch’d an eye,
To see, if any leaf had made
Least motion, or reply,
But while I listening sought
My mind to ease
By knowing, where ’twas, or where not,
It whispered: Where I please.
Lord, then said I, On me one breath,
And let me die before my death!
Henry Vaughan
Henry-VaughanC