Up to Embrace Death by Prafulla Panda 

Although panting, he didn’t rest under that yon shade. 

But was walking along- past me, the house, the green turf where children played-

Past everything, he could avoid.

One day I followed, since I had him observed for many a days.

With a heavy heart, I asked, ‘Dear Life, where are you up to go?’

With a pleasant grin, he quoth:

‘a passerby I have ‘en-

          Like the rain, or the river;

          Like the sage, or the lover,

Tirelessly I walk towards my harbour’.

‘Why don’t take one who can give you a good company,

With talks and laughs, can make your journey worth enjoying?’

‘Truth- although, a gossamer being

Always walks with me

So softly he talks, often so knightly laughs

So radiantly glows when new paths he shows.

The bale of worries once bent me and overcast

And the drudgery, now I leave with the past 

In the quagmire of lies- 

I no longer wriggle like a fallen angel

Sans sleep, sans a dream, sans everything. 

A bed so cosy, I know, so cosily he has prepared

To sleep a night that no longer breaks

And where a night of darkness no sooner melts

To dream a dream of full length 

And sleep until I get up double refreshed 

         As soon as the darkness melts

Surely I can walk into the Heaven

                 in his embrace’.

© P.K.Panda, Odisha, India. 

The Poet’s Analysis of his Work

Up to Embrace Death by Prafulla Panda 

The poem records a soulful interaction (a dialogue) between life and the speaker about the destination of the journey undertaken by the former. Life in the course of its communion is observed, chased and eventually asked by the speaker ‘Dear life, where are you up to go?’ The question sets the tone of the poem and carries the narrative forward. 

Truth (Dharma), life spells out its constant companion throughout the journey. The concluding part reveals life’s arrival to its final abode, the transcendental spot that it has long been striving for. Once bent and burdened by the baggage of its odyssey on earth, life, in the end embraces and merges with death divine. The poem marks a beautiful fusion of life and death, mundane and mystic, physical and spiritual. Here, the speaker’s acceptance of death is not terrible and fearsome but kind and gentle that not only relieves life of its boredom, pain and tension but also prepares the ground for its spiritual journey towards Heaven and afterlife. 

About the Poet

Dr. Prafulla K. Panda, MA in English & Education, M. Phil, Ph. D (English) & B.Ed. is an Indian poet. A Lecturer by profession and a poet by passion, he has been ardently writing about love and human relation; about life and death; about nature and societal issues. Some of his poems have been published in various national and international anthologies, magazines and online, too. Some of his poems have been highly acclaimed and adjudged as the award winning pieces. He has edited an inter-continental anthology of poems, “Beyond the Horizon”.

Up to Embrace death

This short poem by Prafulla Panda is indeed a succinct masterpiece. So rich in the use of figurative expressions. By “A night that no longer breaks”, for instance, the poet seems to be describing death quite euphemistically. It portrays paradigmatically our troubled view of life.

Up to Embrace Death is a philosophical piece that can be pictured in a number of unique views. 

Prof AGE

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