Poetry at the Post: “At the Rodin Museum” by Tishani Doshi

AT THE RODIN MUSEUM by Tishani Doshi

Rilke is following me everywhere

with his tailor-made suits

and vegetarian smile.

Portrait of Rilke by Paula Modersohn-Becker. 1906.
Portrait of Rilke by Paula Modersohn-Becker. 1906.

At this exact moment next week, I will be in the sky on my way to India. YES! I N D I A!

Just the thought of India  causes a wave of emotions that simulates the flow of the country’s name as it moves from the back of the throat to the tongue and palette and ends with the AH as it floats out the mouth. AH INDIA!

I’ll be traveling with a group of 15 other writers and the meat of our 10 day trip is The Jaipur Literary Festival. Billed as the “largest FREE literary festival on earth,” there will be close to 300 speakers, thousands of attendees, events in tents and gardens—and time for tea! (Tea time is at 4:30 pm)

In sorting through the list of speakers, I discovered Tishani Doshi—a Chennai-born poet, author, journalist and dancer.

Her poetry is inspired, important and full of the unexpected. There is always the element of  surprise—as in her poem “At the Rodin Museum.” It took me a couple of reads to realize that it was the poet Rilke following the poet speaker and not the artist Rodin.

Why Rilke at the Rodin? I’m not sure but I do know the two had a connection—in fact, the reason for Rilke’s first trip to Paris in 1902 was to write a monograph on Rodin.

He sees how I’m a giant piece

of glass again, trying

to catch the sun

in remote corners of rooms,

mountain tops,….

The Kedar Range of the Greater Himalayas rises behind Kedarnath Temple (Indian state of Uttarakhand), which is one of the twelve jyotirlinga shrines. Photo by Kaustabh CC by  S.A. 3.0
The Kedar Range of the Greater Himalayas rises behind Kedarnath Temple (Indian state of Uttarakhand), which is one of the twelve jyotirlinga shrines.
Photo by Kaustabh CC by S.A. 3.0

3 thoughts on “Poetry at the Post: “At the Rodin Museum” by Tishani Doshi

  1. Hi Alice – I can tell you about the Rodin-Rilke connection! Rilke not only married Rodin’s sister but he was also Rodin’s secretary for a number of years….

    I wandered the Rodin museum one day too, as a sculptor wondering what was it that makes his work so powerful, and realized that each of Rodin’s works has a part that is thrusting and powerful balanced with another part that is sighing and relaxing, and it is this tension that holds us!

    Love, Kate.

    Kate Hunt POBox 3696 Lake Havasu City, Arizona 86405 USA 512.565.2221

  2. Hi Everyone – Please consider signing this forwarded email objecting to a pipeline through the Big Bend region….. and perhaps pass it along to others who might feel the same…….. Thanks, Kate

    Kate Hunt POBox 3696 Lake Havasu City, Arizona 86405 USA 512.565.2221

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