Monday, October 09, 2006

In memory of Yajushi

My heart is heavy with the news that the Indian poet, Yajushi (M Ram Vinodh), passed away on 30th September in Hyderabad, in the company of his family.

Writing collaborative poetry with someone allows you to get to know them is a unique way, and I think this is undoubtedly true of the time that Kala Ramesh and I spent working with Yajushi on our Triparshva renku, The Hawk's Grand Swoop.

That collaboration was dedicated to the memory of Yajushi's mother, who died during the time of our composition, "having lived to see one thousand moons". How very sad that now her son should pass away just a few short months later.

I will treasure my memories of our writing together. Let me remind you of some of his insightful contributions to that renku. First the opening verses:

the winter sun -
its slow rise above
the hawk's grand swoop /Kala

on the corner
men huddle around a fire /Yajushi

From the very start of our writing, I could feel a togetherness among the poets, as we shared a warmth of spirit and emotion, huddled around our fire of mutual companionship.

And how strange it is, when reading over the poem now, how some of the verses seem prescient. These three come at the end of the second movement:

our shadows bend and rise
around the scarecrow /Yajushi

rich and poor
on towers of silence
underneath one moon /Norman

without a thought
the dragonfly floats away /Kala

Farewell, dragonfly! Journey safely, wherever you may be going.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sympathies, Norman.

Mon Oct 09, 11:40:00 pm GMT  
Blogger Poetry by Kai said...

me too.

Tue Oct 10, 12:29:00 am GMT  
Blogger laryalee said...

Norman, thank you for sharing this...and I'm glad you have these warm memories to keep.
I shall miss Yajushi, but his poetry will live on.

Tue Oct 10, 01:02:00 am GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to paste one mail of Yajushi from the many we shared
while writing the Triparshva renku . . . an experience that is
deeply etched in my mind.

Norman and Kala,

My choice would be:

her voice
mango-blossoms fresh
fills the concert hall

mango blossoms have a freshness and you need to taste them to
experience the uniqueness (we have 'ugadi pachadi' - a combination of mango blossoms, neem blossoms, tamarind,jaggery and salt - representing 5 different tastes on the ugadi day -30th march) .

Norman and Kala -- you two have the final word.


Here's to you my dear friend,
That though I never got to meet you personally or talk to you, you
will be there always in my heart, more so every time I think of our
experiences that we [ Norman, you and I ]shared while writing the

Farewell Yajushi,

Tue Oct 10, 03:54:00 am GMT  
Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It gives us a glimpse at the life of someone that we otherwise wouldn't have known. Again, thanks.

Wed Oct 11, 09:06:00 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all for those comments. As Kala remarked, Yajushi will live on in our hearts.

Best wishes

Thu Oct 12, 12:12:00 am GMT  

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