The Self

July 9, 2007 at 4:25 am 12 comments

I am He. I am He. I am He.
I am the juxtaposition
of solitude and bonhomie,
of fettered sailors and windless nights,
the ocean, the birds – their endless flights
and bondage and imbecile liberty.

I am you. I am you. I am you.
I am the distant horizon
of the green sea and the sky so blue.
The pearl white mist of musical rains,
smiles, tears, pleasures, pains –
I am all: the black lie and the very true.

I am me. I am me. I am me.
I appear ephemeral.
I was. I am. I always will be.
Like each dying moment spawns again,
I stretch, I coil; I indulge, refrain.
I am contrast. I am continuity.

I simply am. I am eternity.

*** This poem has been written in order to provide my view of the contrast between the self and its image. While this poem is in accordance with I am my father (in Christianity) or soaham ahamsah (in Hinduism), Image of the self is the picture I have of myself.

© Ritwik Banerjee

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The Self by
Ritwik Banerjee is licensed under a
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Entry filed under: art, literature, philosophy, Poetry, religion. Tags: .

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ernie  |  July 9, 2007 at 5:53 am

    fantastic poem

  • 2. Shyma  |  July 9, 2007 at 8:58 am

    I am aware of the meaning of soaham ( I am that) in Hinduism and also its use in some meditaion techniques.
    Your poem reflects Krishna’s words in the Bhagwat Gita: “”I” am in the bodies of all animals. “I” pervade everything in this world, Lord is present equally in all objects, “I” am in the heart of all. ”
    Enjoyed reading it…..

  • 3. Ritwik Banerjee  |  July 9, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Actually, ahamsah means “I am that”. soaham literally translates to “that is I”.

    Thank you for your comment. You correctly identify the source of my inspiration. And I am glad to a find such a reader.

  • 4. harmonie22  |  July 9, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Believe it or not, there once was a muslim sufi mystic who was infamous for saying “I am Truth” (ana el-haqq) I believe it was Fallaj…

    …This is truly a beautiful poem. I want to start with the structure because it is intreting to note that you have an almost perfect 9 beat/line throughout the poem (in most places anyway). You also have a play on the number three (nice, mystical number); He, You, Me. You also have three main stanzas, with six lines in each. So in a sense I am seeing this rhythmic numerical expansion 3:6:9.

    I don’t know if you intended this, I think you did :))

    I think that the imagery you use also mirrors this sense of expansion; images of fettered sailors and birds expand out into mist and horizons. Quite clever.

    What I like the most about this poem is that it expounds on spiritual truth without being religious- well done. I love the contrast between images (Lie vs. Truth regarding nature of God…gives us the sense of the spectrum in between).

    Really, amazing! This is my favorite piece you’ve written so far.

  • 5. Ritwik Banerjee  |  July 9, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you Harmonie (I don’t know your real name). The rhythm of the poem, as you have discerned, was totally intentional. The three stanzas dividing into He, You and Me. The allusion to fettered sailors and birds, however, was used only to provide a sense of contrast. But I am glad for this serendipity that you discovered.

    I tried to give voice to the vision that this universe, in spite of its apparent chaotic nature, is the creation of God. Rather, this universe is God Himself. This view could be a simple whim of mine. I don’t intend it to be taken analytically.

  • 6. Paul Knopfler  |  July 10, 2007 at 3:50 am

    This is a powerful poem, Ritwik I identify strongly with the ideas and concepts expressed in it, although presumably for quite different reasons to you. You poem illustrate the way in which the poet’s emotions, energy and intellect, as well as his experiences, are brought together to shape his work.

    Evergreen Leaves is an excellent site. Congratulations.

  • 7. Ritwik Banerjee  |  July 10, 2007 at 4:14 am

    Thank you Paul. It gives me great pleasure to know that visitors are liking this site.

    The reason for your identification with the poem do not matter. That is the beauty of art — the multiplicity of reasonings.

  • 8. enreal  |  July 10, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    You have a talent with words, this was truly intelligent

  • 9. Simonne  |  July 11, 2007 at 7:38 am

    This is beautiful. I need to read more now!

  • 10. nixam  |  August 7, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    what is “I am my father (in Christianity)” i have never heard about it…

    Reply: I read it a long time back. I will try to remember the source and tell you. As far as I remember now, I read it in one of the gospels. But don’t take my word for it …… I need to confirm my memory!

  • 11. Ritika  |  September 16, 2007 at 7:19 am

    this poem has a breathtaking effect to itself.once reading it i felt as if the urge to go on would be so overwhelming tht i’ll be left gasping for breath. and in the end it all quitens up in the peace of a different joy of questions tht cant b answered but still can be pondered over as tht is precisely their purpose of being……..

    Reply: You read this poem so correctly. In the same light that I wrote it in. I am glad to see such a mature comment appear againt the backdrop of this poem.


  • 12. evergreen leaves « j u g g l i n g C a t s  |  September 27, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    […] the self […]


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