Tuesday, February 21, 2012


My stint at Xavier's coming to an end soon, I applied for a job at a school, here in South Bombay. Luckily, I got selected after just one demo class. So, congratulations are in order once more. :)

So, come May, I will be an English Literature teacher at School B. And I'm pretty excited for this. The same prof, whom I'm covering for at Xavier's right now recommended me to the school and told me about the position available. Cool, eh? :)

Why Poems, you ask?

Because, for my demo class I was asked to do an unseen poem with the students. Thus, I got to researching, bringing out all my old poetry books et al. Finally, I selected I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou because Angelou is an important figure in literature and I wanted to introduce them to some African American literature. But during all that researching, I discovered and rediscovered some gems of poetry and wanted to share that with you all:

1. Refusal ~ Maya Angelou    

In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips
Your Hands
Your Laughter brave
Those sweet excesses that
I do adore.
What surety is there
That we will meet again,
On other worlds some
Future time undated.
I defy my body's haste.
Without the promise
Of one more sweet encounter
I will not deign to die.

It's just so beautiful a sentiment, so well-expressed and so touching! Most of us (well, girls, at least. I don't know about boys.) know how important it is to meet that one last time before saying good-bye. And that sentiment has been captured with such lovely and tragic imagery here. It's become one of my absolute favourites. And this is saying something because in general, I don't much like poetry as a medium.

2. He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven ~ W. B. Yeats
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

I was discussing the previous poem with Moon when she remembered this one from our poetry class with Chhaya Mam from 5 years ago. I came back home and immediately googled it and got it back. Some poems just take your breath away with the lovely images that they paint for you and this is one of them.

3. We Real Cool ~ Gwendolyn Brooks
The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

This was the second poem I did with the students during my demo class. I used it to show the students how two very different voices came from the African-American community during the same time in mid-20th century and how they brought out two completely different aspects of their way of life and their relation with the rest of the society. This one is so poignant and dark, it gave me goosebumps when I read it. And so, this one also goes in along with the other "favourite poems". 

There are a few more that I really like. Some poems by poets like e e cummings, Ogden Nash, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Eunice D'Souza, T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats and sometimes even some Elizabethan (16th century) and Romantic (early 19th century) poets are included in the list of poems/ poets I like. I hope you liked these ones and that these names inspire you to go and research and read a few yourself. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Obligatory annual V-day post

Come back, fellas! I'm not going to rant/ wax eloquent about Valentine's Day. I still think it's an excuse of a festival and totally unnecessary.

This year, though, 14th February is a special occasion. Because of this. Please read it before continuing reading here.

This is just one of my favourite posters made by Sanjay Sipahimalani for the Free Speech Day. Of course, as a big Rushdie fan, I'm totally for supporting this movement. Best part is that I talked to a few of my students about the #flashread and they're very enthusiastic about it as well. Unfortunately, we didn't get enough time to organise and do it today but we're definitely going to do it soon - like next week or so. :)

If it does materialize, I'll definitely put up pictures/ videos. Until then, support the Free Peach!