Friday, 4 April 2014

Dir(g)e and bereaveD

is for Dirge

A dirge is very simply a song of mourning, sung or chanted at a funeral.  There is a subtle difference between the dirge and the elegy, with the former being more direct in its expression of grief, while an elegy uses symbolism to a greater extent and evokes sorrow in indirect ways.

I am not sure whether my effort is a dirge or an elegy, but for whatever it is worth, here it is:

Migrant cranes and swallows, migrant humans,
yellowed leaves beneath the new;  the forest floor
signals the close of something, some transitions.
The wrong end of a season, only it feels much more.

The waves write their poems on the foam
and wipe them off and tear up the manuscript;
and someone I knew well goes to her final home;
many meanings in my own irrevocably shift.

She’s gone, and milling feet at the airport
the lift of wings, the rush and crush of traffic,
the final stretch at a run as a last resort
won’t be ever run again the same euphoric,

never the same heady sigh, the happy collapse
and heave in the arms of gentle memories;
she’s gone, and alone I must negotiate the gaps
she’s left in my haunts and haunting alleys.

It’s easily said, nothing in the world shall us part,
that her heart remains in me though she’s gone;
it’s only I who knows where loving ends and starts
and it’s only I who knows how I carry on.

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.


  1. Beautifully spun Nilanjana.
    It is only I who knows how I carry on. Loved it.

  2. So beautifully you have woven the words together...Beautiful!

    Random Thoughts Naba

  3. Thank you, Sabeeha and Nabanita.

  4. Whoa, love this and the power of the last line, "it’s only I who knows how I carry on." Great work, thanks for sharing.

  5. Dirge and elegy...Didn't know about them.....your efforts are good but it would be nice if someone could chant them :P

    1. All poetry, rhymed or otherwise, is better when chanted/recited/declaimed aloud. :) thanks for visiting.