27 July 2010

Navarasa ~ for POW ~ Rallentanda


underwater sitar sounds
strum thump rattle jing
serpent arms
charm aria threads
weave apparitions
snake revelations
filter Sanskrit figures

hooded eyes on
scaled pillar sway
strum thump rattle jing
Krishna advises Arjuna and
chariots cross the Ganges.
Ravi enlightens Anoushka
and sitars ring.

lotus hands flutter
ghost stories
rising myths
strum thump rattle jing
long necked string song
conjure water currents
cascade sound
enchant and unfurl my soul

This poem is my response to track 4, Ghost Story, of Anoushka Shankar’s Breathing Under Water, available at iTunes. It accompanied me over and over again as I struggled with this piece. It bore fruit, but Rallentanda’s prompt at POW this week did made me work hard. Thank you for the challenge, Rall. It was fun to become intimate with Shankar’s music.

In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to fight a righteous battle. Arjuna embraces “ahimsa,” or nonviolence. Krishna is persuasive and waxes poetic. It is a beautiful read.

The title for my piece, Navarasa, comes from the following quote of Ravi Shankar.  The link takes you to his website.

Ravi Shankar on Music - January 2009
"How does one put the spiritual significance of music on paper? Music transcends all languages and barriers and is the most beautiful communicative skill one can have. Music makes us all experience different emotions or the Navarasa as we call it. Different types of music, whether it is vocal or instrumental, Eastern or Western, Classical or Pop or folk from any part of the world can all be spiritual if it has the power to stir the soul of a person and transcend time for the moment. It makes one get goose-bumps in the body and mind and equates the highest mental orgasm and the release of grateful tears!"


Linda said...

I love sitar music and must look up this musician. Wonderful poem that evokes the feeling of the music.

Francis Scudellari said...

It's always been hard for me to translate music into writing, maybe because it strikes me as so completely sublime. I like the way you handled the prompt. I didn't work as hard... in fact I got a bit lazy with mine (which I'll post tomorrow).

Rallentanda said...

What a wonderful definition of music by Ravi Shankar and what a great title for your poem. The challenge of this prompt has paid off. You have written an excellent poem demonstrating the sound of the sitar with the repetitive
'strum thump rattle jing'
and you also capture the exotic Indian enigmatic mood.Lovely one Brenda.

Derrick said...

Fab new Header pic, Brenda and a fab poem too! I love the sounds and images you have here; particularly "long necked string song", which seems to sum it up perfectly.

brenda w said...

Linda--Rallentanda introduced me to Anoushka Shankar through you tube vids. Check some of them out. She is an incredible site to behold.

Francis--I did work hard on this piece. I'm glad you like it.

Rall--Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you like the title. I couldn't think of one, so started browsing Shankar's site for inspiration. It worked!

Derrick--Thanks for mentioning the header. Len and I visited a place I used to visit with my parents as a child. "Refrigerator Canyon" This ponderosa is growing close to one of the canyon's cliffs.

flaubert said...

Brenda I love what you did here!

Doctor FTSE said...

Difficult to translate music directly into writing, as Francis says, so many congratulations to entrants such as yourself, Brenda, who took the challenge head on, with astonishing results. Well done.
P.S I read the Bhagavad Gita, so many years ago that I remember little about it. Must go back there. Thanks for the jolt . . .

jinksy said...

Love the quote as well as Ravi's music.

Stan Ski said...

The music conjured up such vivid images for you, which you put into words to great effect.