Image of the Self

July 7, 2007 at 6:36 pm 11 comments

I am seldom afraid.
It is fear that I fear.
I cannot be brave,
since courage is what
I hold so dear.

I am loved, and I love.
Could it be unreal?
Passionately kissed.
But how long before
I lose that feel?

I know good things should
last and last forever.
Is all knowledge hope?
Is it an eternal endeavour?

I think I know now.
Will I know that I know?
Unsure of certainty.
When, with my very own
glory will I glow?

In the darkness behind
the light that I hold,
in awe of my vision,
I see my self and
I stand appalled.

*** This poem was composed as the dual of The Self.

© Ritwik Banerjee

Creative Commons License

Image of the Self by
Ritwik Banerjee is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Entry filed under: art, literature, Poetry.

Eyes: Paul Celan You

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. harmonie22  |  July 7, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Yet another wonderful poem…you basically sum up and capture that frailty of being human and man’s eternal quest, so to speak. But stand proud not appalled :))

    I particularly love “Is all knowledge hope? / Is it an eternal endeavor?”

    If you are going to set up a poetry circle here is a tip for getting good feedback: distribute the poems before you guys meet in order to give every1 time to read, digest, and come up with constructive feedback.

    Seriously, you write beautifully!

  • 2. harmonie22  |  July 8, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Also, the first stanza is a powerful opening. Lovely images, and how true!

  • 3. Ritwik Banerjee  |  July 8, 2007 at 3:22 am

    Thank you! Such appreciation is a wonderful impetus for an aspiring artist. I also thank you for the suggestion on setting up a poetry circle.

    About this particular poem: Initially, I had only the first stanza in mind. It came naturally because I felt it in my innermost core. The rest of the poem became a continuation of that first stanza.

  • 4. Ritwik Banerjee  |  July 8, 2007 at 3:27 am

    And about the last line “I stand appalled” :

    I wanted to say that in my effort to know all, I have held the light so that the world that I see is bright, but I myself stand behind the light, in the darkness. Basically, I wanted to say that once a person comprehends the glory of the entire universe, s/he is bound to realize that one single person (in this case it is I, the poet) is insignificant in comparison.

  • 5. harmonie22  |  July 8, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks for the explanation, very beautiful and profound. You are right poetry is subjective but sometimes is does help to have a bit of elaboration from the artist – thank you.

  • 6. Shyma  |  July 18, 2007 at 2:40 am

    Wow….this is my kind of poetry here Ritwik…..this is great.

    Reply: Thank you Shyma for your appreciation!

  • 7. Ritika  |  September 14, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    This poem has a style so similar to mine. There are times when i write to find a conclusion, to clear up my confusion, and this poem kind of reminded me of that.

    anyway thts not really the point. What affected me the most was the similarity of thoughts, though not a very good sign but still ‘appalling’ all the same.

    btw i read ‘Self’ too. and yes i admired the thought. Both the pieces have an integrity about themeselves. and that feeling of a catharsis was also stimulating.

    keep up the attempts………they r truly tempting.

    Reply: You were right in reading this one and The Self in the light of their mutual juxtaposition. That is how I had imagined and written them. I am flattered to see so many comments from you, honestly. Lastly, there is nothing apalling about the similarity of our thoughts. It is a mere happenstance. A conscious denial of that happenstance would be obviously unnatural. Don’t you think so?


  • 8. Ritika  |  September 15, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    what better way can ne relate to another…?

    it’s either by the same effect…or by the same cause……..

    and here the difference is not really important…..but a denial would certainly would be ignorance. i would shift my appalled self to the happenstance thn……hehehehe

    Reply: Similarity based on thought is subtler in nature than similarity in action. In that light, I would like to say that similarity by cause is perhaps truer than similarity by effect. Effects are often hallucinatory. My life taught me that in the brief 24 years it has given me.


  • 9. Ritika  |  September 16, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    i will wait for a few more yrs to say tht then…….maybe i’ll hallucinate too[;)]

    are u questioning the reality of hallucinations……?

  • 10. Matt  |  September 27, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Alright, I was almost positive you were on my reader, but I guess not. I gotta keep coming back for sure.

    I agree with the first comment. I loved the line;

    “Is all knowledge hope?”

    Makes me consider wisdom vs knowledge.
    Maybe when we wish for knowledge what we really need is the experience; the wisdom.

    I see the objective world as an effect of the subjective world.

    From subconscious mind sprouts consciousness.

    Reply: Your comment exudes wisdom when you say “From subconscious mind sprouts consciousness”. Whether that wisdom is knowledge or not I do not know. I am still asking myself the question that I posed in this poem. I quite agree that knowledge is a result of experience. But the question I ask is: Do our experiences remain faithful to our expectations? I ask this because I always find a highly unexpected twist in life, which, my knowledge cannot predict or handle.


  • 11. sharoniusthunk  |  February 1, 2008 at 1:52 am

    This is so lovely… what a treat to have accidentally discovered you. I will visit again!
    blessings –

    Reply: Thank you Sharon. 🙂 And thank God for the accident!



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