Guest poem sent in by Hema Manicka
(Poem #1612) The Coromandel Fishers
Rise, brothers, rise; the wakening skies pray to the morning light, The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all night. Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set our catamarans free, To capture the leaping wealth of the tide, for we are the kings of the sea! No longer delay, let us hasten away in the track of the sea gull's call, The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrades all. What though we toss at the fall of the sun where the hand of the sea-god drives? He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives. Sweet is the shade of the cocoanut glade, and the scent of the mango grove, And sweet are the sands at the full o' the moon with the sound of the voices we love; But sweeter, O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild foam's glee; Row, brothers, row to the edge of the verge, where the low sky mates with the sea.
Sarojini Naidu's "The Coromandel Fishers". I came across this poem the other day. One of those long forgotten poems from high school. What struck me was the lines like "the sea is our mother ...". I have lived by the sea a long time. The sea, to me, was a friend, a loving and giving friend. Now, just over a month, after the deadly tsunami, I am shaken by its fury. hema [Martin adds] Though I used to be quite fond of Sarojini Naidu back in school, I haven't explored her work in ages. Today's delightfully lyrical poem, rippling as a wave, gliding like a gull over the water, reminded me just why I enjoyed her work so much. Such meticulous attention to the musical sound of the words is becoming increasingly rare nowadays - say what you will about Naidu, but that is one thing she got absolutely right. martin