Just A Piece Of Newspaper Poem by Alexander Raju

Just A Piece Of Newspaper

Rating: 5.0

(Men and bits of paper - T.S. Eliot)
I belong to the so-called Diaspora,
That I wait a year to see my own tongue
Freshly printed on our dear newspaper;
But thanks to my washer-man who places
A piece of it in my shirt while ironing,
For keeping it intact, which I could read,
Word by word, with real gluttonous greed,
Tasting each word, in the place where I work.

This time it was the obituary page,
My favourite column, for which I subscribe
That news-daily published from my city.
It was the bottom-half and, for the date,
I searched, "Today (31-08-2016) the funeral", it says,
And then, the photo of a businessman,
Smiling at me in his prime middle age;
I'm happy, for I got the paper's date!

Alas! What devastation are these deaths
At the age of fifties! How unbearable!
There was the picture of an advocate
Who too left his dear ones in his fifties;
Other photos are of the aged, of course,
Who passed the allowed age in the Scriptures.

There's a young man who died while escaping
From miscreants; there's a young politician
Who hanged himself on fan in the office
Of his rival party! There are photos
Of children, youngsters, women and the old
On the other side of the newspaper,
Tokens, subscribed with words of grief and loss,
Of fond memories from dear relatives!

Are those epitaphs mere formal outcomes
Or genuine feel of a missing love?
Tears won't allow me to see the writings
Under their photos; it's better to live
Than die, but do they love it, I know not;
Sure, it's always better to leave this world
On time, ere I be a burden for them,
That I'll remain in their hearts forever!

Would I be remembered by my dear ones,
Many years after my death? Could I read
Then, their warm commemorations? If not,
Why should those darlings waste their hard-earned money?

Friday, March 31, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: death
Rajnish Manga 02 August 2018

Apart from the love for your own tongue, it reflects your views about various obituaries appearing in newspapers from your native land. The reader can feel the philosophical undertones while reading the poem.

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