A long time ago, a colleague who taught literature remarked that poetry is how we deal with all kinds of emotions--I assumed it includes the emotion of being pissed off. I was reminded of her comment as I picked up a valuable collection that I own: Poems from the Sanskrit. I was certain that the poets of the old country, who used the mother-language of many languages, would not let me down.
They lived up to my expectations.
Varahamihira comforts me with:
The fire of envious critics' tonguesHere is Bharavi:
Refines the true poetic gold.
Should we not celebrate in cheerful songs
Poor fools who give us benefits untold?
To quarrel with them is a loss of face;Finally, Bhartrhari speaks for me in this:
To have their friendship is a sad disgrace;
A man of sterling judgement realizes
What fools are worth, and foolish men despises.
I am not actor, nor a prince's jester,As I appreciated how much these verses consoled and encouraged me, I came across the following by Bhavabhuti, which seems appropriate as an ending to this post:
No king's musician, nor a scheming courtier.
What place at court, then, for a man such as I am?
For neither am I a young attractive woman.
If learned critics publicly derideA big salute to the poets from the old country! I owe much to the scholar-translator John Brough for that wonderful collection.
My verse, well, let them. Not for them I wrought.
One day a man shall live to share my thought:
For time is endless and the world is wide.