Dilip Chitre

(17 September 1938 – 10 December 2009 / Gujarat / India)

Ode To Bombay - Poem by Dilip Chitre

I had promised you a poem before I died
Diamonds storming out of the blackness of a piano
Piece by piece I fall at my own dead feet
Releasing you like a concerto from my silence
I unfasten your bridges from my insistent bones
Free your railway lines from my desperate veins
Dismantle your crowded tenements and meditating machines
Remove your temples and brothels pinned in my skull

You go out of me in a pure spiral of stars
A funeral progressing towards the end of time
Innumerable petals of flame undress your dark
Continuous stem of growing

I walk out of murders and riots
I fall out of smouldering biographies
I sleep on a bed of burning languages
Sending you up in your essential fire and smoke
Piece by piece at my own feet I fall
Diamonds storm out of a black piano

Once I promised you an epic
And now you have robbed me
You have reduced me to rubble
This concerto ends.


Comments about Ode To Bombay by Dilip Chitre

  • Bharati Nayak (4/26/2018 9:27:00 AM)


    I had promised you a poem before I died
    Diamonds storming out of the blackness of a piano
    Piece by piece I fall at my own dead feet
    Releasing you like a concerto from my silence
    I unfasten your bridges from my insistent bones
    Free your railway lines from my desperate veins
    Dismantle your crowded tenements and meditating machines
    Remove your temples and brothels pinned in my skull
    - - - - - - - -Though I can not understand it, I still love this poem.
    (Report) Reply

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  • (4/18/2014 1:44:00 AM)


    The concerto in this poem is the poet's life and/or life force. The piano is highly symbolic in this poem. Pianos can symbolize family, history with all of those commiserate connections. It can be a black symbol of the coffin or death. It can also be the need for expression, the longing to communicate. The poet may have felt in this poem, Bombay was so much a part of his life experience it took from him instead of gave, it controlled him. The tiny pieces of himself the poet discusses could be ashes / and or the undoing of life. But, it burning embers, his firey death has made him as diamonds from coal in his impending passing. He discusses ascension through cremation in an inferential manner. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 29, 2012



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