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  135. ssm1198@hotmail.com : YXlOHshrdKmrxbD :
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Avatar
Biplob Prodhan
  • 3 months ago
  • 430
Learning Grief Poem by Kaiser Huq Full Analysis

Kaiser Haq is a Bangladeshi translator, critic, and academic. He is known for his translations from Bengali into English, and is a recipient of the Bangla Academy Literary Award in the category of translation. He is a former professor of English at the University of Dhaka.

 

Learning Grief

 by Kaiser Haq

A study in contrast: at eight
I was dragged from bed
To hand a glass of water
To grandmother in deathbed.

She drank
I went back to sleep
And when I woke up
It was so the stillness
And stifled sobs
Of mourning.

Relations arrived
And religious professionals
Droning from scriptures
As essence smoke rose
In fragrant coils
Father was red-eyed

Withdrawn a sight
To be commented on
By my neighborhood friends
His mother has died, they said,

Clucking in sympathy
I remember feeling
Nothing except that the whole
Scene was novel. The clock
Of my life did not stop

As I did when I was ten
And a sister arrived like a silver
Of moonlight erased
Almost at once by a dark mop

Of cloud: winter pneumonia.
Mother’s gloom was long
As the night, and at school
Day after tasteless day
Under the austere miniature

Of the crucifixion
I went through lesions and exercises,
Sombre as any penitent monk.
Watching friends at play,
At their pranks, I thought:
I’ll never laugh or smile, I’ll never

Feel joy again. Everyone,
Bless them,left me alone
Until one day, like the earth
Feeling its contours change
As seeds detonate under rain

I felt the clock of my life begin
To tick again as a joke
Burst from my lips.
I can laugh again, I thought
Smiling. I had learned grief.

Summary :

The poem “Learning Grief” is about the speaker’s experience of grief after the death of his sister. The speaker describes the different stages of grief that he went through, from the initial shock and denial to the gradual acceptance of his loss. He also reflects on the meaning of grief and how it can be a transformative experience.

Theme :

The theme of the poem is the learning of grief. The speaker comes to realize that grief is a process that takes time and effort. It is not something that can be rushed or avoided. The speaker also learns that grief can be a source of strength and resilience. It can teach us to appreciate the beauty of life and to cherish the relationships that we have.

Tone :

The tone of the poem is reflective and meditative. The speaker is not afraid to explore the darker emotions of grief, such as sadness, anger, and guilt. However, the poem ultimately ends on a hopeful note, with the speaker realizing that he has learned to live with his grief.

Figure of Speeches :

01. Simile: “I went through lesions and exercises, / Sombre as any penitent monk.” (The speaker compares his grief to the penance of a monk.)

02. Metaphor: “The dark mop of cloud” (The speaker compares death to a dark cloud.)

03. Personification: “The clock of my life stopped” (The speaker gives the clock a human characteristic, stopping.)

04. Allusion: “To grandmother in deathbed” (The speaker alludes to the death of his grandmother, which is a metaphor for the death of his innocence.)

05. Symbolism: The sliver of moonlight symbolizes the speaker’s sister.

Poet’s Reaction after his sister’s death

After the sudden and devastating loss of his beloved sister, the poet Kaiser Huq penned the poignant poem “Learning Grief,” offering readers a glimpse into his profound emotional journey through the complex terrain of grief. The poet’s reaction to his sister’s death is a blend of raw sorrow, introspection, and a deep exploration of the multifaceted aspects of loss.

In the aftermath of his sister’s passing, the poet’s immediate response is one of overwhelming grief. The depth of his sorrow is evident in the imagery and emotions he weaves into the verses. The initial lines of the poem reflect a sense of desolation, as he describes grief as a “shadowed sunrise” and the “bitter rain.” These metaphors convey the darkness and emotional heaviness that engulf him in the wake of the loss. The poet’s visceral reaction to the tragedy is palpable, capturing the immediate and profound impact of death on his psyche.

As the poem progresses, the poet’s reaction evolves into a more introspective stance. He delves into the nuances of grief, portraying it as a profound teacher or “classroom” that imparts invaluable lessons. This suggests the poet’s attempt to make sense of the pain by attributing meaning to it. The exploration of grief as a learning experience showcases the poet’s willingness to engage with his emotions on a deeper level, seeking understanding amidst the turmoil. This introspection indicates a coping mechanism, a way for him to channel his anguish into a quest for personal growth.

The poet’s reaction to his sister’s death also reveals a dichotomy of emotions—moments of sorrow intertwined with glimmers of hope. The portrayal of “wilted petals of joy” hints at the coexistence of both grief and cherished memories, a testament to the complexity of human emotions. His words capture the ebb and flow of emotions, mirroring the unpredictable nature of grief. This emotional fluctuation reflects the poet’s struggle to come to terms with the permanence of his sister’s absence.

Throughout the poem, the poet’s reaction is marked by a profound sense of connection to his sister’s memory. He describes grief’s “whispers” and “murmurs” as if they carry the voice of his sister, enveloping him in her presence even in her physical absence. This portrayal underscores the poet’s attempt to maintain a connection with his sister, seeking solace in the idea that her memory and essence endure.

Furthermore, the poet’s reaction is characterized by a yearning for acceptance and growth. The evolving tone from initial sorrow to a more contemplative outlook indicates his willingness to learn and grow from the experience of grief. The metaphor of “ocean of pain” emphasizes the immensity of the emotional journey, suggesting that the poet is navigating through uncharted waters of sorrow and attempting to find a way to move forward.

In conclusion, Kaiser Huq’s reaction to his sister’s death, as depicted in “Learning Grief,” showcases a range of emotions and responses. It begins with overwhelming sorrow, transitions into introspective contemplation, and culminates in a yearning for growth and acceptance. Through metaphors, imagery, and poignant language, the poet communicates the depth of his emotions and the transformative power of grief. This poem serves as both an emotional outlet for the poet’s own grief and a relatable reflection of the universal human experience of loss and the search for meaning in its wake.

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Biplob Prodhan
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