Ramesh Mukhopadhyaya ji on the poem My sheet
That morning when I woke, I saw
a small hole in my sheet,
the result of being lost in sleep.
So I struggled with silken thread throughout the day
and by night had stitched a window
for glimpsing a few, new dreams.
The next day I woke to a new hole
and this time added paint to the thread.
Before dark I’d built a door.
My dreams could leave now and wander
instead of gazing out a window,
dreams freed to roam the entirety of the night.
Each morning brought new holes;
each day bustled with thread and paint.
Today my sheet is an enormous courtyard
with a banyan tree filled with birds with beaks like red stars,
though both sun and moon remain absent.
So I spend my mornings searching for holes
where a sun and moon might be woven,
not only in this galaxy
but also across
the many, layered others,
knowing at the end there’s a final hole
through which to exit
and join the great beyond
in a seamless realm of light.
The poet wakes up in the morning only to discover a hole in the sheet. Was it the dream that revealed a hole in what seemed to be solid and continuous? The poet says that it has been the result of her being lost in the sleep. One wonders whether the subconscious mind explores the holes in the perception of the conscious mind. The poet however
takes the cue from her dream and labours the whole day to weave a window out of the hole. It seems as it were the truths of subconscious seek to have room in the solid and continuous matrix of the perceptions of the conscious. The poet does not repress the
aspirations of the subconscious mind. On the contrary she makes a window of the hole so that she can have a glimpse of the workings in the subconscious. Instead of looking without she seeks to look within. Once you let dreams have their free play they overwhelm the conscious mind. The next morning the poet wakes up to find another hole in the sheet. The poet is amused. With coloured threads with great care she weaves a door out of the second hole. And now the dreams of the poet can get out of her body and descry the sights that the veil of the body does not allow them to espy. The sojourns of the poets dream now freed from the cabin of the body every night opens up fresh
horizons of perception. And everyday morning there is a fresh hole and the poet works at that. Here is an aesthetics. What is poetry but weaving the dreams into the matrix of the conscious mind? Consequently the sheet becomes as big as a courtyard. Of course this cannot be detected with the aid of the five senses. There must be room to accommodate the sixth sense the mind. So the sheet has become big/.This can be seen only with the aid of the mind’s eye. The courtyard has a banyan tree loud with birds with beaks like red stars. The poet is now transported to a new world. While a factory produces one consumer good only the banyan tree serves numerous functions. It gives shelter
to birds and snakes and squirrels it feeds the birds and other creatures. Tired men and women can rest in its shadow and so on. While our factories do not last for more than two decades the banyan tree gives service for thousand years. And it is below the trees that the Buddhas sit and attain enlightenment. One wonders whether this dream figment beacons the poet to plunge into meditation. But there is no sun and the moon. The poet stitches the sun and the moon into the matrix. In the contingent world consciousness perceives the sun and the moon. The poet weaves them into the embroidery. Thus the poet enriches the visions of the subconscious with the wealth of the perceptions in the conscious state.. But this is not all. The poet stretches her imagination beyond the earth and espies the countless galaxies that people the multiverse which is beyond our ken. Thus the imagination of the waking state and dreams together stuff the canvass of the sheet only to find that however much we load any vacuum with substance the vacuum becomes wider. The more we try to stuff the vacuum the more it grows till it gobbles up whatever substance is in the contingent. . And the poet instinctively escapes through the all compassing vacuum or sunya from the bondage of the many layered contingent and reaches the great beyond in a seamless realm of light. And hence forth we can hear the blithe spirit of the poet shut up in the privacy of glorious light singing hymns unbidden till the world is wrought to sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not. This is truly an outstanding poem. On one level it is a narrative made of the stuff of dream. We find how a person paying attention to her dreams discovers fresh worlds one after another and there is no end of them. Poetry and dream are similar. But while poetry has a medium
dream has none. But here is a poem embodying a dream that dreams on dream and hence it is an instance of meta dream embodied in a poem. The sojourns of dreams lead to the dreaming of dreams. But this is not all. The nuptials of imagination with dream is an emergent motif in the poem. The poem also seeks to decode the self and removes sheath after sheath of the self. The subconscious self creates a hole in the conscious. And when the poet probes into the hole she discovers n levels of sub conscious self till she discovers the null as her own self winging and singing in the blue deep of nihil. The poem reminds of Shankaracharyya Buddha and Nagarjuna