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
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”.
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