poems In Helium

Ten ways to welcome spring

Ten ways to welcome spring

by Radhamani Sarma

Ten ways to welcome Spring.

As an avid writer and committed reader of poetry, I have a special way to

welcome the season of Spring which I would prefer to recommend to others

too. One of the prime ten ways is to write as many write-ups and hang on the

wall so as to cheer you as a permanent reminder of the celebration of the

upcoming season. One such write-up or poem is as follows which has been

sufficiently illustrated with apt paintings . Some similar versifications have gone

into my diary.

Oh! spring in my life, with redoubled vigour,

dispelling surrounding gloom and sombre

mood of dismay and despair,

weaving into a life of floral debonair.

2 nd way : universally anticipated, acclaimed and welcomed with a fervent hope

and expectation, the spring season beckons all with mirth and jubilation.

Feed the bird, fender the pots. of garden. Gardening gives you not only a

Sense of aesthetic pleasure but also physical exercise both to your body and

Mind. Planting new pots and changing flower plants freshens your mind and

Spirit. I personally knew a neighbour of mine who would spend almost ten hours

for he feels he gets inspiration and feed back for his fiction, by getting

immersed with natural objects. Floral decoration is a unique joy to share with.

I decor my sanctum sanctorum with the colourful flowers.

3 -Third type is Bird watching. Only during SPRING those birds come out

to partake of Nature’s immeasurable BLISS. Watching birds is a special

pleasure. Spring is the season for various birds, spring is the season for birds

to sing and chirp , for us also to sing along, to chirp and hum about to

be one with the rhythm of Nature. After so long been indoors during

the gloomy winter that till now supped your wintry moods, the pecking

and wandering birds invigorate your jejune spirits and moods.

4Fourth type-is Interior decoration of walls with paintings on SPRING

flowers , changing carpets ,arranging flower vases in corners etc.,

Inviting guests , arranging tea parties , mutual way of exchanging

Greetings, for SPRING season is a Season of New Birth and celebration

of songs and exchange of gifts.

5Fifth type is taking a vow during season to donate by way of charity

of toys and clothes to charity organisations. With the receding winter,

let our hearts’ view broaden the prospects of giving with a benign

motive to the deserving and needy.

6sixth one is visiting spas, arranging tours ,going to places and

Natural resorts -enjoying the scenery make a lot in efficient way of

Spending spring.

7The seventh type is experimenting with food items , making new

types of cakes, recipes and delicious dishes, not only bring the family

together but also keep you occupied usefully during the season of

joyous get together.

8Tailoring and embroidery , knitting special designs and curtain clothes,

draperies in tune with the season’s mood and setting another exemplary

way of spending Spring.

9-Ninth way is collecting clippings and articles on SPRING and showcase

them in your library so that they are a timely reminder that ” if Winter

comes, can Spring be far behind?” so much so your sombre moods

can be rejuvenated.

10 Last but not the lest way is taking a vow that each family will adopt

One child and bear the expenditure towards the upbringing ,till the child

becomes independent. Let spring bloom in his life too.



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Short story reviews: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irwing

Short story reviews: The Circular Ruins, by Jorge Luis Borges

Short story reviews: The Circular Ruins, by Jorge Luis Borges

by Radhamani Sarma

The Circular Ruins by Jorge Luis Borges. (24 th August 1899 to 14 th June 1986
Jorge Luis Borges the noted Argentinean writer of poems, shortstories, literary
Criticism, and many translations to his credit was born in the year 1899. As a
Short story writer, he admirably weaves in to his story the elements of fantasy,
imagination and dreams and dream world a deliberate attempt.
The circular Ruins’ is yet another example of fantasy, imagination, a sort of
dream world projected by the writer in which the stranger or the protagonist
dreams which lead him to a belief of nothingness, a belief , everything is void.
The setting is a circular enclosure the ruined sides of a temple and the time is night.
The story begins with the disembarkation of a grey man when the bamboo canoe was
Struck in the mud’unseen by anybody. The man comes from a home from a village,
where the zend language had not been contaminated by Greek, where leprosy is infrequent’. The description of the temple and the surroundings where the stranger
sleeps is great.
“This circle was a temple which had been devoured by ancient fires, profaned by the miasmal jungle, and whose god no longer received the homage of men. The stranger stretched himself out beneath the pedestal.”
Both the title and the ongoing passage about the description of the dream scenario
tends, somewhat to make cryptic. Survived by a strong will power and surrounded
by jungle atmosphere where
“the incessant trees had not succeeded in strangling the ruins of another propitious temple downstream which had once belonged to gods now burned and dead; he knew that his immediate obligation was to dream.”
The readers should remember that the concept of dream is deliberately introduced
and it is not natural process, it looks as if he should dream.
The temple was the perfect chosen spot and he wanted to dream of a man and the
workers provided him with rice and food and his sole business was sleeping
and dreaming. Borges must have been fond of temples, hence the recurrent theme
of the temples here.
The dream man, the subjects he lectured in his dream such as magic and anatomy
the faces hung far centuries ahead, his longing for a space between illusion and reality
all these figure out in his story.
“At first, his dreams were chaotic; then in a short while they became dialectic in nature. The stranger dreamed that he was in the center of a circular amphitheater which was more or less the burnt temple; clouds of taciturn students filled the tiers of seats; the faces of the farthest ones hung at a distance of many centuries and as high as the stars, but their features were completely precise. The man lectured his pupils on anatomy, cosmography, and magic: the faces listened anxiously and tried to answer understandingly, as if they guessed the importance of that examination which would redeem one of them from his condition of empty illusion and interpolate him into the real world. Asleep or awake, the man thought over the answers of his phantoms, did not allow himself to be deceived by imposters, and in certain perplexities he sensed a growing intelligence. He was seeking a soul worthy of participating in the universe.”
The whole scenario in amphitheater which was akin to that of a burnt temple
envisages a vacuum in life, in man’s life in general, more or less, one can see,
that a sort of illusory world in general.
The process of teaching the students was indeed a stupendous task for the teacher,
he retained the ones who were inquisitive but not those who were content with
Passivity. Finally he decided to keep only one. But this total elimination did not
obstruct him from his progress.
“One day, the man emerged from his sleep as if from a viscous desert, looked at the useless afternoon light which he immediately confused with the dawn, and understood that he had not dreamed. All that night and all day long, the intolerable lucidity of insomnia fell upon him. He tried exploring the forest, to lose his strength; among the hemlock he barely succeeded in experiencing several short snatchs of sleep, veined with fleeting, rudimentary visions that were useless. He tried to assemble the student body but scarcely had he articulated a few brief words of exhortation when it became deformed and was then erased. In his almost perpetual vigil, tears of anger burned his old eyes”
What the writer tries to do here is a web world of dream, hallucination, insomnia, occurance in ruined temples to create atmosphere of weird, supernatural and suprasegmental to proceed to make a world of reality.
His attempt to reassemble the once vast illusory student body’ dismissed but in vain.
For one to write about a dream world replete with fantasy and fecundate
Imagination is not a joke. Similarly for the stranger to dream about and keep
Modeling is not easy.
“He understood that modeling the incoherent and vertiginous matter of which dreams are composed was the most difficult task that a man could undertake, even though he should penetrate all the enigmas of a superior and inferior order; much more difficult than weaving a rope out of sand or coining the faceless wind. He swore he would forget the enormous hallucination which had thrown him off at first, and he sought another method of work. Before putting it into execution, he spent a month recovering his strength, which had been squandered by his delirium. He abandoned all premeditation of dreaming and almost immediately succeeded in sleeping a reasonable part of each day. The few times that he had dreams during this period, he paid no attention to them. Before resuming his task, he waited until the moon’s disk was perfect. Then, in the afternoon, he purified himself in the waters of the river, worshiped the planetary gods, pronounced the prescribed syllables of a mighty name, and went to sleep. He dreamed almost immediately, with his heart throbbing.”
In the initial stages it was an obligation to dream, then dreaming and sleeping,
Now it is abandoning all premeditation of dreaming and again sleeping.
In a highly intellectualized passage he describes he makes a new venture of how
he is going to dream and create. First time it was only a set of taciturn’ students
but now evolving a new methodology . The process is rather like a creation, a make,
a pouring a new lease of life. It is similar to that of an embryonic growth
steady and safe.
“He dreamed that it was warm, secret, about the size of a clenched fist, and of a garnet color within the penumbra of a human body as yet without face or sex; during fourteen lucid nights he dreamt of it with meticulous love. Every night he perceived it more clearly. He did not touch it; he only permitted himself to witness it, to observe it, and occasionally to rectify it with a glance. He perceived it and lived it from all angles and distances. On the fourteenth night he lightly touched the pulmonary artery with his index finger, then the whole heart, outside and inside. He was satisfied with the examination. He deliberately did not dream for a night; he took up the heart again, invoked the name of a planet, and undertook the vision of another of the principle organs. Within a year he had come to the skeleton and the eyelids. The innumerable hair was perhaps the most difficult task. He dreamed an entire man-a young man, but who did not sit up or talk, who was unable to open his eyes. Night after night, the man dreamt him asleep.”
Sometimes we feel whether it could be due to some occult phenomenon.Repeated
references to sleep , awake, see something mysterious in the circular ruins of the
temple all give us feeling of awe as if some offering is to be done.
“That evening, at twilight, he dreamt of the statue. He dreamt it was alive, tremulous: it was not an atrocious bastard of a tiger and a colt, but at the same time these two fiery creatures and also a bull, a rose, and a storm. This multiple god revealed to him that his earthly name was Fire, and that in this circular temple (and in others like it) people had once made sacrifices to him and worshiped him, and that he would magically animate the dreamed phantom, in such a way that all creatures, except Fire itself and the dreamer, would believe to be a man of flesh and blood. He commanded that once this man had been instructed in all the rites, he should be sent to the other ruined temple whose pyramids were still standing downstream, so that some voice would glorify him in that deserted edifice. In the dream of the man that dreamed, the dreamed one awoke.”
Slowly he closed his eyes to feel that he would be with his son and alongside his hours
Of dreaming he developed his wish that his engendered’ son and him should be together. He sent his son to a far-off place in the circular ruins of the temple.
Yet, he started to think of his son (phantom) to do similar rituals like him :
Suddenly he remembers the words of the Fire god, who only knew his son to be a
“He feared lest his son should meditate on this abnormal privilege and by some means find out he was a mere simulacrum. Not to be a man, to be a projection of another man’s dreams-what an incomparable humiliation, what madness! Any father is interested in the sons he has procreated (or permitted) out of the mere confusion of happiness; it was natural that the wizard should fear for the future of that son whom he had thought out entrail by entrail, feature by feature, in a thousand and one secret nights.”
The man had a foreboding that everything was coming to an end. The vision of sky and
Clouds all appeared to be in blurred vision. Strangely enough it is not the deluge but it
is the fire engulfing everything. The cycle is repeated the patter is, perpetual.
He walked toward the sheets of flame. They did not bite his flesh; they caressed him and flooded him without heat or combustion. With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he also was an illusion, that someone else was dreaming him.
As the title aptly says the circular ruins’ is not merely the setting, but also refers
to the recurrent theme of destruction, and change and evolution.

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Essay analysis: what Life Means to ME, Jack London

Poetry analysis: Tulips, by Sylvia Plath by Radhamani Sarma

Poetry analysis: Tulips, by Sylvia Plath

by Radhamani Sarma

Sylvia Plath’s Tulips (1932-1963).
Sylvia Plath, the eminent British woman poet was born in the year 1932 in
Massachusetts ,unfortunately her life was cut short (committed suicide),
when she was hardly thirty, the author of immortal piece Bell Jar’, got
married to Ted Hughes, wrote wonderful poems during her short span
of life. This poem Tulips’ written after a miscarriage when she was
hospitalized, accroding to sources, is replete with myriad poetical nuances,
imagery and untold pathetic sentiments.
The opening lines adumbrate a contrast in the technique of presentation,
Contrast between the season i.e., winter,when it is ice- cold and the tulip,
the cup shaped flowers during spring, excitable flowers which stand
against the anticipated tranquility as a result of last flicker of life;
slowly the dying poet understands to be patient, serene, and peaceful,
the atmosphere of quietude, pitted against her corroding heart;
Sylvia plath is not only preparing her mind but also the readers for the
final days after gloom, by telling how she even has donated her clothes
and belongings.

“The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses
And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons”.

The imagery such as Tulips and whiteness and the snowing white
reveal that the dying poet visualizes another world of transformation,
already she is nobody’,’ I have nothing to do with explosions’
what do these explosions mean? Does she mean to bombshells
and war cries? or does she refer to her bouts of angry feelings
and pangs of depression? What ever my be the situation, she
has renounced everything and her body in the hands of the
surgeons awaiting the final call . Sylvia plath is at once pathetic
and placid, her lying on “this bed, these hands” brings us an
immediacy of situation. When I read these lines I was made
to believe that I was almost in the presence of hospitalized Plath.

In a minute way she has recorded in a true to depiction, how the
hospital functioning, how her head was positioned and how the
Nurses passing and ” doing thing in their way “and the imagery
drawn is so realistic that one remembers it forever.
” The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,
They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,
Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,
So it is impossible to tell how many there are.”

In a high poetic vision, with a note of ease, she uses the term pass
and “they pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps” a very
beautiful visual imagery indeed.
In the next paragraph, she refers in a step by step way of how her
body is subjected to numbness and how is sick of life and she is
like a baggage; The comparison of her body, herself lying in the bed
seen in the white walls of her room to that of pebbles being tended to
is remarkable. In another way it is a psychological treatment, as
smoothening as the white pebbles are, preparing her mind for a
transformation into next world
“My body is a pebble to them; they tend it as water
tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.
They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep.”
In a mood of empathy and affection for her husband and child
projecting out of the family photo she gets a smile of them
perhaps smiles reflective of sadness, a sign of leaving them,
a premonition that she has to bid adieu to them from the bond.
” My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.”
In the next stanza, she becomes a nun after renunciating all her
Cherished belongings “sink out of sight” and now she is irredeemably
Sinking. “Her thirty years of life is like a cargo boat “she let slip.
How can anyone expect amore poignant imagery than this! The last
Phase of her life, the irredeemable sinking boat and the resurgent water
Surrounding her neck all these drive home a picterque identity.
“I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat
stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.”
In her subconscious mind there is an awareness that give an emphatic
Inkling to her that her days are numbered, hence with no attachment
She lets go this boat, this body, this living.

In the following paragraph the dying poet mentions she wants freedom and peacefulness, absolute, no flowers, why should she mention no flowers.
The flower imagery mentions no more blossoming only withering stage,(of her life).
The passage reaches a poignant point, when she wants no flowers but
Only peacefulness which is a gem, rare jewel of” trinkets”. The lines reveal
the agony of dying soul, the welcome release from this bondage, this
In a sudden ironic twist, the poetess, distances the red flowers that
Seem to breathe, life. She wants them to negate her life, on the contrary
the red tulip symbolize spring of jollity, passion and rejuvenation of life.
The repeated color of red throughout this stanza reveals that at once the
throbbing passion and in the last stanza the same red turns out to be
her enemy. Outside it is snowing white, inside the white walls with the
lights on, staring on her, and the red tulips” upsetting me with their
sudden tongues and color” create a highly evocative contrasting vision.

“Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I hve no face, I have wanted to efface myself.
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.”
The loneliness she undergoes in the hospital, with her silent
friends ( tulips) who watch her, she
out of empathy, placed
herself in a “cut-paper shadow, position, bewails no face,
already effaced herself. In a final contrast she opines that the
tulips kill her slowly” eat my oxygen”.
The setting being the hospital, the action veers round the tulips,
the window, the dying poet’s feeling of incarceration, now the
tulips veering around the air like “a loud noise”and the once upon
calm air now,
“Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river
Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.
They concentrate my attention “..
The opening stanza she mentions that “it is winter here” and in
the concluding stanza , a warming sensation is felt and
“The walls also, seem to be warming themselves”. Sylvia Plath
is all admiration, anger, for the red tulips, their blossom is her final day.
“The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes”
The open close functions out of love for her and there is a note
of warmth in the final paragraph and concludes with the salt water
as the sea which she tastes
“The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.” It could be construed
as the twist in the stanza for a sudden feeling of warmth and love
for life which is beyond perception.

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