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Friday, March 09, 2007

Fafaia, by Rupert Brooke

I have loved this poem since I was a boy. Reading it might perhaps help all my interlocutors here and at my orkut site/community to realise a little better the haunting loneliness that I keep trying to soothe - as all men and women would try, once they acknowledged it and came to terms with it, instead of forever trying to hide or run away from it - by befriending as many fellow human beings I can before my little time on this earth is over (and what does it matter whether that happens tonight or forty years hence: it will be all too soon anyway!)

Stars that seem so close and bright,

Watched by lovers through the night,

Swim in emptiness, men say,

Many a mile and year away.

And yonder star that burns so white,

May have died to dust and night,

Ten, or maybe, fifteen year,

Before it shines upon my dear.

Oh! often among men below,

Heart cries out to heart, I know,

And one is dust a many years,

Child, before the other hears.

Heart from heart is all as far,

Fafaia, as star from star.

Rupert Brooke, Saanapu, November 1913


dipayan said...

sir what's the meanin' of Fafaia? i might be able to appreciate this poem if i knew the meanin' of this word.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

So far as I have been able to find out, the poet was telling a story to a little tribal boy somewhere on a remote south Pacific island. Fafaia was the boy's name.

Arnab Kar said...

The poem is really good. It makes me think about a point that people from various parts on world may be looking at the same star but they may not know each other and also the fact that they are doing the same thing. But both of them are appreciating their beauty to the same extent. It is as if to say that in real sense that various people ponder over the same issues but use various paths to reach the same goal. But it so happens that on the way to the goal itself they have different views on what they are seeing on the roadside and start quarreling with each other they that the other is wrong. Then they deviate from the goal.
The star above them all laughs at the their silly moves.

I know not whether what all i spoke was off the topic or not. I felt like saying what came to my mind.

akaash said...

of stars, of stories..

of lost passions, ..of desires..

of wishes..

of trust...

tell me sir, ..what does the word "longing" signify?

Saikat Chakraborty said...

Dear Sir,

The name ‘Fafaia’ sound so mystical, yet it feels that one also knows him.

It fills me with awe that a star probably breathed its last when you wrote this post and I am probably looking at that star tonight. Not to mention that the poem was written a century ago. Definitely not all ‘good is oft interred with their bones’.

Thanks for sharing this poem.

With regards,

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Good to see you are visiting old posts, Saikat. As I have said before, nothing on this blog gets dated.

Yes, it's a nice thought. Notice that the last comment came in eight years ago, from an old boy considerably senior to you, and you had just stepped into college then! Doesn't time fly?

This is indeed a haunting poem. One of the few I can still quote wholly from memory. 'The proof of a great poem is not that you have never forgotten it, but that you knew at first sight that you never could forget it'.

And many thanks for the line from Julius Caesar. You can hardly know how it warms an old teacher's heart: that not everything is wiped out from the mind as soon as another examination is done. It has been well said that education is what remains when everything you have been taught is forgotten.

Best wishes, and keep commenting.