Souren Mondal

Gold Star - 31,504 Points (10th November 1991 / Chandannagar)

One Look - Poem by Souren Mondal

One look is what it took
to feel a strange sharp sensation
in my heart mind and soul

It was a lady in a green dress
on the cover of 'Civilisation'

and while everyone else on that
cropped reproduction of some painting
were looking at what was taught
things that people already knew

She looked upwards
toward the skies
toward the unknown
toward the new...

Topic(s) of this poem: memory

Form: Free Verse

Poet's Notes about The Poem

The book here is Kenneth Clark's 'Civilisation', on which's cover I saw the 'lady in a green dress'.. The actual painting is Raphael's 'The School of Athens'.

Comments about One Look by Souren Mondal

  • Howard 'the motivational poet' Simon (2/12/2016 8:08:00 PM)

    One look is all it took to see that this poem is both creative and captivating. Well done! (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (2/19/2016 9:26:00 AM)

    Thank you very much Howard. It means a lot to me that you commented - :)

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Fabrizio Frosini (10/15/2015 7:04:00 AM)

    ''One Look'' and ''Smiling Girl'' are the 2 poems of yours
    I've chosen for adding to the selection for the new eBook
    I'm going to translate them into Italian, as the book will be a
    Bilingual Edition (English-Italian) .
    (Report) Reply

  • Pamela Sinicrope (10/8/2015 8:34:00 AM)

    I apologize for the typos! I am writing on my iPhone, which sometimes auto corrects incorrectly... And I can't edit my comments.... Might I suggest that you attach a copy of the picture here? I looked it up and it is a compelling painting! (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (10/8/2015 10:55:00 AM)

    I'll uploas it as soon as I find the book.. I'm really messy at times..

    P: S: Don't bother about 'typos', ask Fabrizio he will agree immediately that I can quite easily consider myself a self-proclaimed King of typos.. All my poems are horribly filled with them :)

  • Pamela Sinicrope (10/8/2015 8:30:00 AM)

    What goes on in the mind in a split second of looking at a beautiful piece of art? That's what this poem discusses. It doesn't matter that the art is a reproduction on a tattered textbook. How does the art affect the viewer? How does your poem affect the reader? what happened to your mind, body, and soul? What was that feeling you can't describe? When the woman in the green dress. Saw something special, something new, just by looking up, what did you begin to realize? What was the message to the reader? Personally, I saw hope and newness in the mundane. Perhaps that with just a shift in perspective, one can also find this newness this hope. Despite much of your writing being quite raw, and addressing tough issues that many e leriwnexperienced but keep hidden, you still infuse an element of hope. Well done. (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (10/8/2015 10:52:00 AM)

    Firstly thank you very much for reading my poems and appreciating them.. It is always an honour..

    Regarding the rest of your questions - You see I ordered this book online and when it arrived and I opened it up, and started playing with the bubblewraps (it's an inevitable habit of mine) , I looked at the cover an what struck me was just this one woman in a green dress looking upwards... I had seen the BBC series of Clark upto 8 episodes of the 13.. And I was not sure whether he actually talked about this painting.. But what hit me was her eyes and her posture, as well as the fact that she was looking upwards, while everyone else was just looking at what was being shown to them.. It took me just a moment to be fascinated by this woman's eyes and her gaze... In most paintings the women usually look at the audience in a 'submissive' manner, but here I saw, primarily defiance... Not only was this woman defying the rules of the classroom by ignoring what her teacher was telling her, she was also defying the usual convention of women looking at the audience with 'downcast eyes and modest grace', as in paintings like Ingress's La Grande Odalisque or Reclining Bacchante by Trutat... So what I actually saw, even with my poor knowledge of art history, was defience - - the strength to disobey and 'rebel' almost - - which, I found fascinating.. So, this poem to me was about something 'new' - seeing a woman in the typical male dominated cannon of paintings defying the 'male gaze' and not being submissive.. But maybe, honestly, I didn't get that much until I stared at the book's cover for almost 10 mintues.. My first reaction was that there is something new - - what was it? I did not know, and I attempted to portray just that feeling here - the first realisation that there is something new - but not knowing what it is... This is what, I personally, wanted the poem to stand as, the first look at something novel and the unusually powerful sensations it gives to a person's heart...

  • Daniel Brick (9/29/2015 2:52:00 PM)

    You read that woman's soul. It's one thing to respond to a woman's physical beauty and feel attraction to her.
    We men are wired to be awed by the beautiful female appearance. But to see a dimension of a woman that could called spiritual (her gaze into heavens) shows a genuine appreciation of the whole person and not just the charming body. I like this poem. It is quiet, sincere and reveals a layer of your soul as well as the woman's.
    (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (9/29/2015 9:21:00 PM)

    Thank you sir, and it is exactly that.. To use Shakespeare's words love is about the 'marriage of true minds', and that is what we have forgotten.. Love is sincere, not an ostentatious display of affection or wild boastings.. This is my personal view on this subject. But I am okay with other points of views, but no one should be a charlatan in love, being 'authentic' as Sartre would have said, is the aim in both love and life.. We should be bold enough to be what we are, but also compassionate and empathatic about not harming others with our boldness or worse, pretentions, lies and misuse of power...

  • Fabrizio Frosini (9/24/2015 1:00:00 PM)

    yep, I know that book.. Kenneth Clark's Civilisation.. but with Raphael's painting.. so I'm sorry not to have an idea of what painting was that ''lady in a green dress''.. you made me curious.. :) (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Report Error]