Poem by Jay Basu-his Soul beyond This Rot

This Soul beyond This Rot

A Review by Nancy Ndeke

[Shared with the permission of the Reviewer]


This is an incredibly deep poem you’ve shared, dear Jay Basu . It delves deep into existential themes, drawing inspiration from the timeless wisdom of ancient times while weaving in the threads of your personal reflections and interpretations.

Philosophical Depth:

This poem demonstrates a profound engagement with existential questions, exploring themes of life, death, and the eternal nature of the soul. It skillfully incorporates philosophical concepts from the great sources of inspiredscripts, such as the immortal nature of the soul and the transient nature of the physical body.

Imagery and Language:

The use of imagery is striking, particularly in phrases like “beyond the rot of our bodies to grains, earthen or ashen,” which vividly captures the impermanence of the physical form. The language throughout the poem is rich and evocative, enhancing the reader’s engagement with the existential musings presented.

Narrative Structure:

The poem unfolds as a contemplative dialogue, inviting readers to ponder the mysteries of existence alongside the poet. The juxtaposition of questions and reflections creates a sense of movement and depth within the narrative, guiding readers through a journey of self-discovery and introspection.

Themes of Reincarnation and Transformation:

The poem explores the concept of reincarnation and the cyclical nature of existence, suggesting that life is an ongoing journey of renewal and transformation. This theme is woven throughout the poem, offering insights into the cyclical patterns of growth, learning, and evolution that characterize the human experience.

Emotional Resonance:

The poem evokes a range of emotions, from contemplative introspection to existential angst. The poet’s exploration of the complexities of human passion and attachment adds a layer of emotional depth, inviting readers to reflect on their own experiences of love, loss, and longing.

Interplay of Fate and Free Will: The poem grapples with the tension between fate and free will, acknowledging the unpredictability of destiny while also asserting the importance of individual agency in shaping one’s journey through life. This theme adds a nuanced dimension to the poem’s exploration of existential themes, inviting readers to consider the interplay between choice and circumstance in the unfolding of their own lives.

Overall, this poem is a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of existence, blending philosophical inquiry with personal reflection to create a compelling and immersive exploration of life’s deepest mysteries. Its rich imagery, lyrical language, and profound insights make it a truly remarkable piece of poetry that resonates with readers on both an intellectual and emotional level.

©® Nancy Ndeke


na jaayate’ mriyate’ vaa kadaachin naayam bhuthva bhavithaa na bhooyah: / ajo nithyah saasvato’yam puraano na hanyate’ hanyamaane’ sareere’ (2.20)

– The Bhagavad Gita

[“We are neither born nor do we die.

Never for once do we cease to exist.

We are the souls surviving to eternity

Beyond the rot of our bodies to grains,

Earthen or ashen…”

_ English Translation mine]

There’s no end to life

All that it has at its end

Is but a simple walk out

Chosen before it starts

Joy is unto them who see into it!

Woe to them who can’t!

So the wisdom of the never-failing old masters

Says, and sings in their paeans for immortality.

Should we then go by the mirror images

And not see the majesty of our walkouts

To return somewhere in fresher forms

In newer garbs and renewed zests

To toss or lull anew in new mothers’ warm laps

To hear again the mermaid songs of love

And to suffer again for the chastening of soul?

Maybe the sojourns to the body never end

As long as the soul is not purged of its lust

To wallow in the fleshly skits and plays

Abounding with attachments galore

It is all the better – this coming back, again…

To again be re-schooled with weals and woes

To be purer by the burning and melting of body.

But what about this impetuosity of passions

That rage, and rock the hearts at the crack of

Mirror images that groomed our attachments?

Who knows the freak of Destiny that Gleefully programmes us so sheerly different

In ego-wares from a selfless seer’s wisdom?

®© Jay Basu 3 April 2024

Image@Nancy Ndeke [Reviewer]