“The world’s end can never be reached
by means of travelling through the world,
Yet without reaching the world’s end
there is no release from suffering.
Therefore, truly, the world-knower, the wise one,
gone to the world’s end, fulfiller of the holy life,
having known the world’s end, at peace,
longs not for this world or another.”
-Buddha, “The Connected Discourses of the Buddha”
What could be the world’s end? Is it the end of the world as we know it? Or perhaps at the end of the world? A number of questions arise in my mind. Most of the poets and philosophers have talked about life beyond worldly existence or the absence of life in life itself. Hence, the realm of poetry has cultivated a distinct culture known as the poetic language culture, which does not allow us to use language not sanctioned by this culture. Refine our feelings in keeping with the language of our poetic culture and present them in such a way that we, as readers, are ashamed of our own feelings. Maybe poetic language culture has built a few walls around itself… There are a few who have attempted to break these walls and have made an opening to express their uncouth feelings.
These could be feelings of love or hate. Let us set aside culture for a while and talk about folk – where there are no boundaries or walls to imprison our feelings. Even the folk which is hidden in the heart of culture. Yes, every culture has a folk heart that peeps over its shoulder. It is through this folk heart that raw emotions find their purest expression, unfiltered by social norms or poetic pretences.
We feel that the freedom of expression has been lost somewhere. Poets continue to write and sing, but they hide a lot and open up only a little. We’ve turned into birds that are confined to cages-
The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
(Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird”)
In this issue of the New Year 2024, we bring you extremely good poetry in which we seek to reclaim the raw and unfiltered emotions that poetry once embodied. Through our carefully curated selection, we hope to make our readers experience the true power of words once again.