04 May, 2013

An Ode to Ai

Picture credit: Sunflower Seeds @ Tate Modern from The Gaurdian 

[Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist, often been prosecuted by his government for vocalising his dissent against some of the atrocities by the ruling party. He has, through his art and impassioned words, inspired thousands of people in China and across the world, showing that free speech and equality are not too audacious a dream. Disillusioned about the State of India, I find hope and heart in Ai Weiwei’s work. This is my tribute to him.]

Aye Ai Weiwei
We’re fighting the same battles you and I
You, warring hard against The Man of Ming
As my land oscillates between starving bellies and Ka-ching.

You’re hammering at the walls they’ve fenced you in Ai Weiwei
An artist bound by an imagination too free
I drown in the ideological barrenness of the perfect Democratic Dilemma
the nightmare of no choice: I sift through political debris.

You’re raging fire against the calm dragon Ai Weiwei,
That tramples free speech and ambition too high
We’re following stealthily; the crouching tiger
Rudderless, we taste death everyday with our morning chai.

They tell me that I (young and bright-eyed) am The Future Ai Weiwei,
oh yes, They give me rose-tinted glasses and then snatch away my view
What of this land they’ve tunnelled, the people they’ve pummelled
Don’t I deserve a hero to build castles on too?

It is a cruel desperate yuga we live in Ai Weiwei
And my soul is a-shudder, it truly is
Draw me a map now will you Ai Weiwei?
A less profane route out of this abyss.  

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:14 AM

    Thank you for writing a poem that is not abstract or ambiguous. Few things I think you should try with poetry though:

    1) Fewer rhymes: Most great poems I've read rhyme, but over longer phrases. Something that rhymes every two lines sounds more like a nursery routine than good poetry.

    2) Fewer cross-language words: A single or two occurrences of foreign words make them stand out and cry emphasis. However in a short poem such as this, it only leads to the thought that you ran out of words to use.

    I am no poet or even a critic, but I love your blog so here are my two cents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the suggestions. I write only when words tumble out and these just happened to come out in a rhyme. Sometimes matter takes precedence over form I guess. I do not claim to know when to use rhyme and when not to. But I did want it to sound like a child imploring to Ai for direction. Perhaps that's why the nursery-rhyme feel. But if it sounds strained it has obviously failed.

      Glad you took the time to comment :)

      Delete
  2. Living on a Thin Line by The Kinks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm. Hadn't heard this song.

      Delete
  3. Ai Weiwei, I've gotta get to know you. I just gotta read your message, after readin this poem. Thanks Chandni for opening a little slot of light at the end of the tunnel. Aye, aye, Ai Weiwei ...

    ReplyDelete

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