The Old Book of Poetry
When I was a child myself, in class 4 or 5,
the childhood curiosity took me to a wooden box
and I managed to open that somehow and found some old books.
I kept a few of them including this book of poems.
This was my father's book which he read in class X.
The book some how traveled along with me in my life.
Recently my daughter in class XII got this book from
the shelves and when she came to knew that
it was her grandpa's book she was emotional
as she could not see him.
He passed away 3 moths before she was born.
She wrote this poetry and I just refined that.
I scanned a few pages to give a feel of its age.
Last night I was kind of restless
Searching, missing, something
Gazing, looking around, thoughts wandered
I was glancing, cursory
In that trance, state of mind
To the bookshelf, framed in wood and glass
I got stuck on a strange color, hidden, neglected
In rows of the book, neatly stacked and lined
I do not know what pulled me
Towards that book which was different, out of time,
It was a small book
Tattered, old, stained, crumbling pages
A book of English poetry and prose
As I felt the pages, my finger tips sighed
The age of the book, richness of pages,
I was simply overwhelmed
A second Edition by Macmillan & Co. Ltd
First published in 1903, reprinted in 1904 and 1908
Even before the country, India, was born
Or most of the humans living on earth as of now
It was my grandpa’s book
Survived through ages, events, the wheel of times
A compilation of poems, beautiful
Cascading like tributaries of a river
Lo! One of them was taught in school
As early as last week end!
As I leafed through it,
I saw my grandpa’s handwriting
Oh God! It almost resembled mine.
The side notes, meaning of the words, penciled
I went into the past, imagined
Feelings choked nerves and arteries
Grandpa so young, reading, brooding
Struggling with form, tenor and meaning
He would have given love, care and candies
Would have helped me stand
During the moments
When all looked lost, given up
He could have seen my face
And I would have cherished his memories
I was immensely sad, melancholic
A stream of love from deep inside
On that gloomy evening
A kind of reunion, getting connected
To him for entire life
Through an old book of poetry
Even though I was unfortunate
Not to meet him, feel him
He left this world before I arrived
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