The Map-Maker – This beautiful poem comes to mind during a conversation. Have grown up reading Daruwalla’s poems during schooldays, as a part of the curriculum. Pity that they didn’t include this gem of a poem about life, living, failures, adventure and setting out again. I have returned to it often.
These lines, if one must select –
Forget markings, forget landfall and sea.
Go easy Man, I tell myself; breathe.
Gulls will mark the estuary for you,
bubbles will indicate where the swamps seethe.
Map the wrinkles on the ageing skin of love.
Forget Eastings, Northings – they stand for order.
Cry, if you must, over that locust line
flayed open into a barbarized border.
Mark a poem that hasn’t broken forth, map the undefined,
the swamp within, the hedge between love and hate.
Forget the coastal casuarinas line.