AT THE RODIN MUSEUM by Tishani Doshi
Rilke is following me everywhere
with his tailor-made suits
and vegetarian smile.
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,