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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

Two poems by Nishikanta enclosed; one old and the other new. But no use asking what the metre is. He has already begun learning it.

All right, I think. Rereading it, I find it très joli. Congratulations to myself and Nishikanta with Nirod Talukdar in the middle.

Why bother about the metre, precise English, etc? They will come some day and in the meantime let him go on writing and learning by corrections, lessons, so on.

That's all right – but I rub in a bit about metre and stresses so that his ear may learn – and yours also. Judging by the last poem there is a distinct progress – but where is the credit? Corrected by Amal? or only by your sole poetic self?

How do you rhyme “life” and “cliff”, “smile” and “will”, “came” and “whim”? Are they all whims?

These are called in English imperfect rhymes and can be freely but not too freely used. Only you have to understand the approximations and kinships of vowel-sounds in English, otherwise you will produce illegitimate children like “splendour” and “wonder” which is not a rhyme but an assonance.

By the way you didn't like my poem or you hesitate to call it mine, because of so many corrections by Nishikanta? Others say that it is very fine.

It was very good; mixed parentage does not matter, so long as the offspring is beautiful.


1935 12 19 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran