Inklings From The Dark Explanation
Central Idea: Inklings From The Dark is the English translation of one of Rahi’s most powerful Kashmiri poems, Pai Chu Zulmate Wuzan. It is a highly imaginative synthesis of various creative impulses, the poem can be used to interpret in different ways. The poem expresses a gradual shift from despair and sadness to hope and a promise of happiness. At the beginning of the poem, we find the poet disturbed by the thoughts of violence and the alienation on the weak by the hands of the powerful, but later we find solace in the innocent peaceful sleeping of his son. The poem shows that there are lessons to be learned even in the darkest of the nights just like the oyster that undergoes troubles and faces excruciating pain to finally yield a pearl. Thus though the poem starts on a depressing note as there are violence and alienation and it concludes on a positive note and hope for the better future that is signified by the son who is the symbol of future.
Inklings From the Dark
About The Poet: Abdur Rehman Rahi (born March 6, 1925, Srinagar) is an outstanding Kashmiri poet, translator, and critic. He is the author of several books of poems and literary criticism. He the recipient of many literary awards including the Indian Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961 for his poetry collection Nawroz-i-Saba, the Padma Shri in 2000, and India’s highest literary award, the Gyanpith Award (for the year 2004) in 2007. He is the first Kashmiri writer to be awarded the Gyanpith, India’s highest literary award for his poetic collection Siyah Rud jean Man( In the heavy downpour of Black rain ).
Rehman Rahi began his career as a clerk in the Public Works Department of the Government for a brief period in 1948 and was associated with the Progressive Writers’ Association, of which he became the General Secretary. He also edited a few issues of Kwang Posh, the literary journal of the Progressive Writer’s Association. He was later a sub-editor in the Urdu daily Khidmat. He did an M.A. in Persian (1952) and in English (1962) from Jammu and Kashmir University where he taught Persian. He was on the editorial board of the Urdu daily Aajkal in Delhi from 1953 to 1955. He was also associated with the Cultural wing of Communist Party of Kashmir during his student days. As a translator, he did an excellent translation of Baba Farid’s Sufi poetry to Kashmiri from Original Punjabi. Camus and Sartre are some visible effects on his poems while Dina Nath Naadim’s influence on his poetry is also visible especially in earlier works.
Rahi’s major works include:
Sana-Wani Saaz (poems) (1952)
Sukhoi Soda (poems)
Nawroz-i-Saba (poems) (1958)
Kahwat (literary criticism)
Kashmir Shara Sombran
Azich Kashir Shayiri
Kashir Naghmati Shayiri
Baba Fareed (translation)
Seyah Rudi Jerean Manz (collection of Kashmiri poetry)
Koesher Shyiree Te Waznuk Surat Hal (Kashmiri poetry and its parameters).
(Translated by Ghulam Rasool Malik)
Yesternight, my sleep driven off and the thread of my fancies slit,
I espied an eagle in the wild shadows of my mind:
On its beak, in the same old fashion, smouldered the blood of the dove
Whose feathers were shed by hilltops into the atmosphere.
Turning my head on the pillow, I sighted a deep, dark chasm
And rose and leaned my back against the wall, with the cool of the winter
in the marrow of my breast
My lips froze dry as whisperings reached me from outside the window.
The snowflakes were sailing into the shelter of the crevices.
Not a mouse did creep from under the box to the store-cabinet.
In place of my upper garment, a cat hung by the hanger.
Rubbing my eyes, I tried to pull the quilt up to my cold back
But O, the Kangri shook and the cold, hapless ashes kissed my feet
While the owl hooted outside, “O woe to you, O woe!”
Fain would I have raised a cry of lament, had my heart stood by me.
Suddenly I called my mind my darling son
How raptly did he listen to my bedtime tale last night:
When I told him of the agony of the oyster in her travails!
But he only heard part of the tale when sleep overtook him
I rose like a moonstruck man and turned on the light
And found him lying by the wall like a mushroom on the mount,
In deep slumber with fragrant blossoms blooming on his lips,
And a drop of sweat, dawned afresh, playing on his brow.
Perchance he was dreaming the rest of the tale!
Perchance the oyster had laboured forth a pearl!
INKLINGS FROM DARKNESS EXOLANARION
In these lines, the poet says that yesterday when he was gripped in a deep slumber, his fancies were disturbed by some thoughts. He imagined an excruciating scene. He saw that a powerful eagle, in the same old familiar manner, has ensnared a dove in its beak. The blood of the poor dove glowed like fire and its feathers had also fallen into the atmosphere by hilltops. The poet is disturbed perhaps he reminded of an incident from the past when he probably killed someone or witnessed someone killing other. The eagle represents the merciless powerful who dominate over the weak and oppress them.
When he turned to the other side on the pillow, the poet witnessed a vast dark gap. He rose and stood against the wall. But the wall did not support him as he had wished. There was very cool as it was severe winter. He could feel the coldness even at his heart out of fear and horror.
The lips of the poet had also were dried due to the brutal atmosphere. He heard a rustling sound from outside the window. Actually, it was falling snow so heavily that the snowflakes were gushing into the shelter. The atmosphere was so harsh that even a mouse could not endeavour to creep from under the box to the store cabinet. A cat was also hung up on the hanger in place of the poet’s upper garment. The situation had turned insurmountable. In order to be fully awake and warm himself, the poet rubbed his eyes. He tried to pull the quilt up to cover his cold body but as doing do his kangri overturned and hapless ashes touched his feet. All the while the owl hooked outside uttering ‘ O, woe, to you, O woe!’ The poet says he would have lamented but his heart did not support him out of the horror.
Inklings From The Darkness
All of a sudden the poet recollected his beloved son. The poet says that his son fondly heard the bedtime tale that he narrated to him last night. In the story, the poet talked him about the oyster that undergoes troubles in her travails. But his son heard only half of the tale because his sleep overtook him. The poet then lazily stood up and turned the light on. He found his son lying by the wall. In the deep slumber, his son was displaying a beautiful smile on his lips reflecting the glimmer of hope for the poet. The poet says that his lips were blooming with fragrant blossoms. The poet also mentions that in spite of the harsh and cold atmosphere he experienced a drop of sweat that dawned afresh on the brow of his son. By using ‘sweat, dawned afresh’ the poet makes a positive note for a better and peaceful future. In the last two lines, the poet says his son was perhaps dreaming of the best part of the tale that he had not heard last night. In the story, the oyster had perhaps yielded the pearl.
INKLING FROM THE DARKNESS SUMMARY
The poem “Inkling from Darkness” it is an English rendering of a Kashmiri poem “Pai Tche Zulmati Vuzan” by Rehman Rahi, a veteran poet, and professor of Kashmiri and emeritus at Kashmir University. It is metaphysical poem focusing, most probably, on the age-old concept of the apparent and timely triumph of “Evil or vice” on “Good or virtue”, but the ultimate inevitable and everlasting victory of the good—the virtue.
The poem begins on a depressing and pessimists note with violence and bloodshed as its main features but ends on an optimistic note promise a bright and beautiful future.
An eagle ( Symbol of tyranny and evil) is espied by the poet in his dream carrying a dove ( symbolizing innocence and virtue) in its tyrannous claws and its cruel beak busy in pulling out and shedding innocent victim’s feathers over hilltops together with blood dripping from its hapless body. He overturns his head on the pillow but is horrified still more by sighting a deep dark chasm. The horror of the dream drives off the poet’s sleep and he sits up in his bedpost resting his back against the wall with the chill of the winter settling in the marrow of his bones.
It forces him to pull up the quilt to combat the cold but the Kangri gets overturned and its cold down ashes cover his feet intensifying his discomfiture still further. His horror is intensified when he looks up and finds a cat sitting upon the peg on which he had hung his Pheran before going to sleep. To add to the gloom and despair, he feels incomprehensible and unintelligible whisperings going on outside the windowpanes and an owl hooting “ O vow to you”. It sends a shiver of terror and fear through his spine and carries his discomfiture to unbearable limits.
Suddenly he remembers his son having gone to sleep while listening to his bedtime tale about the travails of an oyster trying to bring forth a pearl. The poet jumped off his bedpost, switched on the lights and heaved a sigh of relief on finding him in deep slumber resembling a mushroom on a mound with pleasing, innocent smile brightening up his face and drops of sweat shining like pearls on his forehead. He surmises that the child must be dreaming of oyster bringing forth the pearl. Thus the poem ends on a happy note with a promise of a bright and beautiful future full of hope.
The name “Inklings” itself is a bit whimsical, a pun for those who dabble in ink — writers— and those who can understand what they intend to write when starting a project. For many, the name may also have suggested certain “inclinations” of immortality, their assurance of hope- for things and their conviction of unseen things.
The poem Inklings From The Dark speaks about the innocence of young people who are unaware of the stressful life ahead. The poet dreams of an eagle with the dove’s blood on its beak. This image shows how the strong dominate the weak.
The remainder of the poetry is horrible and eludes an aura of cold and sorrow. However, the poet concludes in many excerpts that his innocent child was captivated by the story of the oyster he narrated.
The final line depicts the distracted poet who looks into the abyss and sees his child sleeping and awake in a dream world. Who knows, the child perhaps finishes the story of the oysters in his dream.
Reference to the context
1. I espied an eagle……. into the atmosphere
a. Where does the poet see the eagle?
Ans. The poet sees the eagle in the wild shadows of his mind.
b. Why does the eagle have blood on its beak?
Ans. The eagle has blood on its beak because it had killed a dove.
c) The blood of the dove has been described as “smouldering”. What does the poet want to convey by this description?
Ans. The poet wants to convey that bloodshed will remain continue if warmongers do not change their attitude.
2. Rubbing my eyes…… O. wow, to you, O woe!
a. Why does the poet rub his eye?
Ans. The poet rubs his eye because he wants to understand the situation clearly.
b. How does the poet try to warm himself?
Ans. By pulling the quilt up to his cold back, the poet tries to warm himself.
c. Is he successful? Give reasons for your answer?
Ans. No, he is not successful. When he tries to warm. himself, the kangri falls down and the cold ashes kiss his feet.
d. Why does the owl hoot ” Woe to you “?
Ans. The owl hoots so as to convey the poet that he will never have peace of mind because of his past violent and bloody acts.
The poet has used a number of poetic devices in this poem as given below.
The metaphors used in the poem
- thread of my fancies slit
- The cool of the winter in the marrow of my breast
- fragrant blossoms blooming on his lips
The similes used in this poem
1.like a moonstruck man
2. found him lying by the wall like a mushroom
The personification used in the poem
- the cold hapless ashes kissed my feet
- a drop of sweat dawned afresh, playing on his brow.