Poem 25

An emotional poem where the poet’s desire for transformation is mocked and his absolute lack of independence is admitted. The grotesque imagery conveys something of a mind at the end of its tether.

“This man’s patience is driving me mad” exclaimed Francis to Meherwan Jessawalla as they walked down the approach road to Meherazad. In a way which perhaps few are capable, he bore the contradiction between his own unworthy state and the unconditional outpouring of his Master’s love. Something of this intensity and suffering comes through here. Feeling totally useless he pours it out. There is really not much room for comment. [But see below]

A house turned upside-down could be a boat.
And a man turned inside-out would be God.
But a house turned upside-down would collapse.
And an inside-out man is a ruin.

There is no way out of the world for me
but to build myself a nest in your hair,
drink deeply of the nectar of your lips
and sit on the stone egg of my soul and
hatch a voice to sing in praise of beauty.

One must have some useless work each day
from which to make a pillow for the night.
Brush your hair; stroke my plumage of sorrow.
So long as I can go to bed dead drunk
I can endure the parting till tomorrow.

Hold on, I will make a few comments on the word magic. Verse 1 builds up intensity by a progression from ‘could’ to ‘would’ to ‘is’. Verse 2 turns directly to the Master, turning away from his own efforts and fancies. Becoming a bird in the Master’s hair is equally fanciful but is a gesture of bhaktic surrender. Sitting on a stone egg brings a touch of humour to this surrender. The poem becomes a song of praise where even a casual caress from the Beloved will make life endurable. His own efforts seem ‘useless’ yet out of his love something beautiful is created.