According to the internationally renowned poet Meena Alexander, poetry exists between the silences and the gaps between words. As I read these lines, I am swarmed with a stream of questions popping in my head. A flurry of non verbal thoughts, images, ideas, queries make a bee line in my mind. One question leads to another and slowly out of a trickle, a stream is formed, which gradually takes the form of a River. I sit and dwell on this River of my Thoughts. Just as a river flows gently by the sea shore forming playful waves so the thoughts flow calmly and composedly in my mind. Each thought carries within itself several layers of sub thoughts.
Is a poetic silence different from an ordinary silence?
How are these silences and gaps formed?
What does silence speak to us?
When I read the words in a poem, am I meditating on someone else’s silence and gaps?
So on and so forth. I find myself living for a while in this abstract world of ideas. Human silence is deep as the mind is meditative and reflects upon myriad of thoughts that flow from the heart. Words of life spring forth from such silences. They demand and command our attention. This is what sets us apart from poets who can listen to silence and glean pearls of thoughts from their deep and sublime river of thoughts, thus giving birth to a poetic piece. Poetry is all around us but we are unable to see and feel it or experience it. It requires a refined vision, exalted and noble senses and a purity of soul.
To be able to listen and understand the silences and gaps between words we need to understand that silence is as significant as the spoken word or may be even more. The space between words is equally noteworthy. Silence is more than mere absence of voice or words. Silence can be the most effective form of communication. A silence conveys much more and deeply than words could ever.
All around us nature speaks to us in thousand ways but we have lost the art of listening. Reading poetry can teach us and help us revive this lost art. Poems can take us along these silences and connect us to the universal poetry which was composed long before the dawn of human civilization. We need to merge in and with this poetic silence to fathom truths about life and living. Poems will teach us to understand the silence of the stars, the seas, the oceans, the sky and the silence of the night. Poems will teach us this language of silence………….
With these unending thoughts swirling in my mind I realize I am deep in the midst of the river of my thoughts
And I find myself sailing smoothly and contentedly in and on the River of my Thoughts