Home Page | Followers and Disciples | Workings by Nirodbaran | Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo


Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

Here is a lyrical dish prepared by Nishikanta all on a sudden after reading a book on metre. How do you find it?

For a first attempt remarkable – but he has not yet the necessary niceties of phrase and rhythm. The first three lines of the second stanza are very powerful, as good a thing as any English poet could have written. With some doctoring it makes a powerful lyric.

Nishikanta has got the metre all right this time.

Almost – he has the gift. But there are defects – e.g. he sometimes gave 3 ft. for 2 ft. lines and vice versa. Having made a scheme he should keep to it.

He wants to know how to get the right rhythm and the right poetic style. I said by reading English poetry.

Yes, reading and listening with the inner ear to the modulation of the lines.

About myself – as I go on writing, the lines, expressions, images seem so commonplace that I distrust the value of my work.

It is no use being too squeamish at first. By that distrust you can depreciate good as well as cheap values.

Secondly, I get tired of waiting and leave off, say after an how. What else can one do? Where is the ego or personal resistance you speak of?

I didn't mean all that. I meant that a certain Nirod gets in the way, is too active or two blocky. Too subtle for farther explanation, you have to feel.

It is not the question of “being open” or “knowing how to bow”, but having a poetic being open or semi-open...

It has nothing to do with the poetic being.

“Personal resistance, mental ego” are phrases, for there must first be a poetic being, for an ego to resist.

The poetic being is not burdened with an ego. It is the outer being which contributes that.

Nishikanta started with a desire to write after reading about metre, but without any central idea. After an hour or so he felt a power descending, then the poem began to unroll itself. But he had no sleep at night.

That is all right – except for the no sleep which I don't exactly advise.

It means one need not have any preformed ideas, not even inspiration, a simple desire will do.

But that is the inspiration when something descends.

Will sun-treatment do any good to A's eyes?

Mother does not think it is safe for A. It might help her eyes, but her system might suffer from the sun exposure.

Something great, something big you have done, Sir. Will you kindly whisper?

I am always doing something big, but never big enough – as yet.

Really, Sir, do tell us, if no objection.

Eh, what?


1935 12 12 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran