September 6, 2007 at 5:32 am 12 comments

or “Sailor”

In the joy of dilated pupils I see
my loneliness’ reflection.
With old rotting memories
I tie fragmented smiles,
and build my tired raft.
And I float among oceans.
There are sometimes small islands. Shelters.
Perhaps they are flotsam too.
I burden them with my weariness,
dissolve my exhaustion in their sands,
and I float among oceans again.

Suddenly, I find myself
accosted by another shore
just like the last one, but not.
The breeze blows just as sweet
through a different coconut grove.
I see the footprints of some ancient sailor
stark in their permanence beyond the tides.
My imagination bestows on him
the glory of Sindbad.
I fill his faint casket
with unknown tales of heroism.
My tangled hair casts its shadow
on my dry reflection on waves.
I walk back,
and I float among the oceans again.

Another shore.
Another futile hope of charity.
In the waves breaking on the shallow sea
I hear the echoes of my void.
The wind smells of bitter tears.
Silent disapprovals of unknown sighs.

In the joy of ringing laughters
I listen to my helpless cries.

Β© 2007 Ritwik Banerjee

Creative Commons License

Flotsam or Sailor by
Ritwik Banerjee is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Entry filed under: art, emotions, life, literature, loneliness, pain, Poetry.

Paradise Lost A Prayer Sans Sense

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. S. Khan  |  September 6, 2007 at 7:27 am

    I wish I could write more like you do.

    Reply: Even if I agree to your opinion that I am a decent writer, that praise is too much for me to handle! πŸ™‚


  • 2. edtajchman  |  September 6, 2007 at 8:02 am

    interesting,…a metaphorical journey through memory and spirit, …? I like it…

    Reply: I am glad you dropped in and moreover, liked it. πŸ™‚ If you ask the question, “what is this poem about?”, the answer I have is the poem itself. I cannot express what I have expressed here in any other way. Interpretations are, of course, open to the reader!


  • 3. edtajchman  |  September 6, 2007 at 9:19 am

    I feel the same way about my paintings, the work should speak for itself, great works and great blog, I’ll be back.

    Reply: I am really happy to hear that. I found a new reader, yay!!


  • 4. Rukmini Banerjee  |  September 6, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    da man honestly, i liked this one far better than paradise lost. however they cannot really be compared.both have a different feel to themselves and a different mood is being conveyed. i think both are good and you are improving with every attempt.

    Reply: I don’t need to reply to your comment here, but for the sake of maintaining etiquette, I will do so. Improving is good, but beyond improvement is better! …. Let me reach there, and then I will smile. The funny thing is, that in order to become a good poet, you need to possess the most undesirable human qualities: doubt, fear, contempt, anger, disdain . . . and so many more … the more the number of such qualities, the more diversity your poems have.


  • 5. Janice Thomson  |  September 6, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    I like the title ‘Sailor’ best…flotsam is emotionally more devastating. Are we not all floating in the ocean of emotions/life with more tears than laughter some days? At least the laughter is heard too – for many, regardless of the reason for the laughter, even that does not exist. It is within ourselves to change one to the other though ofttimes we cling to the known for fear of the unknown. As long as dreams do not become the reality we let go the past as best as we can and move on. Ok I’ve rambled enough here.

    Reply: In the lights of retrospection, even I think Sailor is a better title for this poem. Your thoughts flow away from my poem, or rather, from the reason behind my poem, but it is a deep thought nonetheless. Maybe now I can try writing a poem on this!
    And don’t worry about the ramble …. the more the merrier! πŸ™‚


  • 6. antisocialist  |  September 8, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    The antisocialist, for whatever it’s worth, agrees with Rukmini: this poem is much stronger than “Paradies Lost.” In fact, of all your excellent poems, this one is best, I think.

    Nice work, Ritwik.

    Please do drop by sometimes. There’s currently formal poetry to be found.

    Best of all possible regards.

    Reply: Thanks dude! I wrote this poem in Bengali. And then I realized that this is the poem I had written. I then translated it to English and posted it here. Even in English, I think this is my favourite poem so far.


  • 7. allirekha  |  September 9, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Oh yea ..this one is the best. πŸ™‚
    Is this a mixture of all kind of feelings..?
    I loved the way u expressed it anyway πŸ™‚

    Reply: It’s not a mixture of feelings. It’s, in fact, one single pure feeling. What that feeling is, I cannot explain! This poem is the only explanation is have for it!


  • 8. antisocialist  |  September 9, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you, my brother. For your words.

    Reply: I am humbled and honoured by your reaction. You provided a link to my poem, and suggested people to go read it too! If the naive protocols of societal structures had not raised an eyebrow, I would have hugged you!


  • 9. antisocialist  |  September 10, 2007 at 9:18 am

    The antisocialist thumbs his nose at such protocols.

    Keep on keeping on.

    Reply: Thumbing acknowledged!
    A bear hug for thee!!


  • 10. harmonie22  |  September 11, 2007 at 6:59 am

    I like Sailor better too…It’s funny I sometimes get stuck between a couple titles too (I’m a gemini what can I say). I have to agree with everyone you are getting better by the minute. I thing your images are beautiful and it made complete sense that you first wrote this in Bengali and translated it into English. I haven’t tried to do this yet but ‘they say’ translating poetry into another language really lets you get more of a feel for your word choices as a poet. At any rate, I loved the poem.

    Thanks for sharing. I raise my glass to you too!

    Reply: Glad to have your comment on this Harmonie. I didn’t translate it because I wanted better choices for words. Bengali is my mother tongue. It comes far more naturally to me than English or any other language. The translation was done I wanted to share it with my good friends! πŸ™‚ I am tipsy on your toast!


  • 11. brahnamin  |  September 27, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    while i suspect you and i might never see eye to eye on politics or religion, you certainly have a beautiful heart, and a unique ability to lay it bare in a manner that demands both attention and understanding.

    this is an amazing poem

    and for what it is worth, i will chime in that i like the title Sailor too, but only because nautical terms like flotsam and jetsam are not commonly used enough to evoke imagery in every reader, and it is important that the title of a poem set the stage.

    Reply:I am glad to see you here. After the disagreement with you over the issue of atheism, I was pondering over the idea of ‘difference’. Why should two people be absolutely alike in order to have a pleasant acquaintance or perhaps even friendship? The beauty of our world indeed lies in its diversity. Should the same variegation not extend to humanity? Instead of radiating a uniformly white purity, we can then dazzle like a million-colour rainbow!
    Purity is good, but the rainbow is far more interesting and far more beautiful. πŸ™‚
    Now it’s time for me to thank you for your encouraging comment on my poem. I think we share a similar sensitivity expressed in different languages. It may take a little time to learn a new language ……. πŸ™‚ I used the title flotsam because ever since I read a novel by Erich Maria Remarque called Flotsam, I felt terribly sad for any form of dejected solitude. That pain returned when I wrote this poem, and hence the name.


  • 12. evergreen leaves « j u g g l i n g C a t s  |  September 27, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    […] flotsam […]


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