Essay No. 118:
You, Will, Find Poetry Nowhere Unless You Bring Some With You: The quotation means that the source of inspiration lies in one’s own self. Inspiration is not to be found in external objects. Nature looks happy to us because we are in a happy mood. Nature’s appreciations are tied to the internal mood of man. Sher Afzal Jafri – an Urdu poet from jhang, sums up the philosophy in the following verse:
یہ ریگ زار ٹیلے یہ خشک ویرانے
ہمارے لطفِ نظر گلاب رنگ ہوئے
[the sand dunes and barren pieces of land became lovely looking because of our own perception.]
Coleridge in his poem ‘Dejection an Ode’ brings out the above-referred theme. The crux of the poem is that it is in the variations of human mood which make nature look happy or sad. Nature in itself has no significance. What the poet wishes to bring home to the reader is that he will find poetry everywhere provided he has the germs of poetry in himself.
Nasir Kazmi, a great Urdu lyricist sums up the phenomenon in his verse:
دل تو اپنا اُداس ہے نا صر
شہر کیوں سائیں کرتا ہے
Why does a human habitation look sad, because the real sadness is rooted in his own heart? One can thus infer that the real happiness/sadness lies in one’s own self. If internally you are rich in poetry then you will find it everywhere. One should have poetic sensibilities in a rich measure.
A good poem when recited to an uninitiated, would not evoke any appreciation on his part. On the other hand, a person has a taste for poetry would appreciate a poem when it is read out to him. Appreciation of poetry thus depends upon the individual temperament. The germs of poetry primarily lie in one’s own self.
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Scientists, engineers who have poetic genes in themselves can compose good poetry, while a literary person barren of poetic genes, cannot write poetry. Those who are devoid of the germs of appreciation would be ill at ease to appreciate a piece of poetry. Hence if you wish to appreciate poetry you must have its germs in yourself. Inspiration is always from within and not from without.
Persons with tender feelings, after having passed through the kiln of pain, could appreciate poetry couched in sadness, separation etc. they must bring emotionalism with themselves to appreciate poetry. Poetry rests on emotionalism and tender feelings. Crude persons bring crudities everywhere. Hence they are shorn of the appreciation of poetry.