About Poetry
[Vinod Anand]

A poet is the Ultimate Rest unbounded: He spreads his form of love throughout the world. From that Ray which is Truth, streams of new forms are perpetually springing, and He pervades those forms.

On the harp of the road what true melodies are being sounded? And its notes pierce the heart: There the Eternal Fountain playing its endless life streams of birth and death; do not go to the garden of flowers? 0 Friend! Go not there; in your body is the garden of flowers Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the infinite Beauty.

Let us talk of Kabir’s Poetry. His songs are tremendously beautiful. He is a poet, not a philosopher. He has not created a system. He is not a theoretician or a theologian. He is not interested in doctrines, in scriptures.

His whole interest is in how to flower and become a god. His whole effort is how to make you more loving, more alert. Kabir is poor, ordinary, and to be ordinary is the most extraordinary thing.

The natural desire of the human mind is to become special in the ways of the world, to have many degrees, political power, money, wealth, ready to go on some ego trip. And if you are fed up with the world, then again the ego starts finding new ways and means to enhance itself — it becomes spiritual. You become a great mahatma, sage, scholar, a man of knowledge, of renunciation; again you are special.

Unless the desire to be special disappears, you will never be special unless you relax into your ordinariness, you will never relax. The really spiritual person is one who is absolutely ordinary. The average is not the normal. The average is only “normally” abnormal; he is “as mad” as all others are.

In fact, in the world, normal persons don’t exist. When he became enlightened, then too he remained in his ordinary life. He was a weaver; he continued to weave. His disciples started growing in numbers—and they will always ask him to stop weaving clothes — “There is no need. We will take care of you.”

But he will laugh and say, “I have no desire to be anything else. Let me be God wants me to be. If he wants me to be a weaver, I am a weaver. I was born a weaver, and I will die as a weaver.” He never claimed to be a man of knowledge because no man of knowledge ever claims it. Out of this ignorance arises innocence. When you know, you become cunning, clever.

When you know, you lose that innocence of childhood. His poetry is flowering out of his innocence. He says he does not know. If the ultimate is a mystery, then life becomes a life of wonder. If the ultimate is not known, then poetry arises. If the ultimate is known or you think that it is known then philosophy arises. That is the difference between philosophy and poetry.

And Kabir’s approach is that of a poet, of a lover, of one who is absolutely wondering what it is all about. Not knowing it, he sings a song. Not knowing it, he becomes prayerful. Not knowing it, he bows down. The poet’s approach is not that of explanation. It is that of exclamation. He says, “Aha, Aha! So here is the mystery” A man of understanding is a great synthesis. He knows that it is not a question of indulgence or renunciation; it is a question of awareness.

Kabir is tremendously life-affirmative. He loved, he had a wife, two children, and he lived the life of a householder...and yet was one of the greatest seers. He lived in the world and remained untouched. That’s his beauty. He is a lotus flower. So don’t listen to the words. Listen to the silence and poetry, the rhythm, the song that surrounds the words.

Listen to Kabir’s celebration. He is not here to preach. He is like a cherry tree. In the full moon night the cherry tree has blossomed. Flowers have no arguments; they are simply there. This is an explosion. Kabir has burst into songs.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.