BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO


The Desolation Poems



JAIPUR SEQUENCE




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On June 24, 1998, in the middle (quite literally) of my Forms Project, i.e. The Desolations Poems, and because I was taking a class from Vikramaditya Prakash in "Architecture and (Post) Colonial Theory: The Jaipur Case Study" I decided to compose a poem each day relating to India, Architecture, et al. The form I chose that first day was the Short Couplet II -- a modest beginning. The next day I used an Italian form, the Capitolo. By the following day, however, I was searching in my "Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics" for Sanskrit and Muslim/Persian forms. On the third day, armed with a reference list from Dr. Prakash, I went to the library and, surfing the catalog, began to find delicious things, including the article from whose Introduction I quote below.

Scanning a number of books, I soon discovered that there were at least 800 Sanskrit Forms and 500 Dravidian Forms. So far, I haven't had time to look up the Persian references. Fortunately, I had already written a couple of Qasida, a Ghazal and a few Rubai -- all Persian forms.

Summer Term A lasts only for one month. So, below the quote from Raghavan, you will find the twenty-one poems that I wrote for the class intermixed with fifteen other poems, some in forms, others in free verse, all written since I first visited India eighteen years ago. These I included because I found that the subject matter of the class tended to encourage my already strong tendency toward didactism, particularly when writing about the Raj. Consequently, they gave little hint of the immense love and respect I feel toward India -- its culture, its architecture and its philosophy.

At the moment, I remain undecided whether to add the 800 + 500 + Persian forms to The Desolation Poems, The Poetic Forms Used in English Project whose parameters were to include all English forms and forms from any other language used in English. Of course, if I do write the poems, then these 1,300+ forms will exist in English! Many of the Sanskrit forms, indeed, are my favorite kind of form: syllablic and unrhymed. Since I had originally estimated that approximately 400 forms are used in English, I may -- in six or seven years, at one poem a day -- end up with some 2,000+ forms.

In the meantime, the Jaipur Sequence does not necessarily need to be read in the order in which I have placed them. There is an Index at the end of this Introduction as well as at the end of each of the thirty-six poems. Just click on the name of the form (or poem) to bring up the one you want to read. (The numbers prefacing most of the forms, simply refer to the random order in which they were written.)

Browse. Find what you like and forget the rest.




CHANDAS


"The earliest Sanskrit literature that we possess is in metrical form; indeed, it is called after the Sanskrit word meaning meter, Chandas.... The word Chandas itself means Metre as well as Idea and Desire; and it therefore appears possible that when the Vedic poets called their measured utterances Chandas they meant that these utterances are an Incarnation of their mental idea or vision. That the very act of perfecting such an utterance perfected, in the process, the mind and person of the poet is emphasised by another Vedic observation that Chandas is Silpa* and Atmasamskara.** As the root 'Chand' means 'to please' or 'make one favourable to oneself', Chandas might also have signified an utterance designed to please a god and secure his favour. A god invoked by a Chandas is supposed to mount that Chandas as his vehicle; thus did Chandas become a chariot, Ratha. As an act of skill and beautification, the art of versification was compared to the most well-known craft of the times, chariot building. The Vedic poets were self-conscious versifier."
from SANSKRIT AND PRAKRIT METRICS
V. Raghavan, Journal of The Madras University
Vol. XXII, Nos 1 & 2, July & December, 1952
(emphasis mine)



Having worked on Poetic Forms now for over 233 consecutive days, I notice a shift in consciousness, awareness and, needless-to-say, courage, as I build this "chariot for the Gods."


Jan Haag,
for Architecture 560 U
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington
July 20, 1998





*In 1834 Ram Raz translated the "Silpa Sastras" into English as "Essays on The Architecture of the Hindus."
**Atmasamskara = self perfection, worship





The Jaipur Sequence



Dancing Shiva

#204, Short Couplet II

Crossroads

#206, Capitolo

Let's Look At The Old Films of India

#120, Hendecasyllabics III

#207, Sanskrit Didatic, RASA

#159, Interlocking Rubaiyat

#157, Carol Stanza

#208, Mandakranta Meter

#209, Vakh

Vijayanagar

#211, Gayatri

#220, Brhati

Crossroads

Khajuraho

#213, Tristubh, KHAJURAHO II

#152, Envelope Couplet

#214, Jagati, ORNAMENT AND CRIME

Qasida

#215, Usnik, COMMENTARY

#216, Kakubh

#217, Pura Usnik

An American Workman at Elura

#218, Gayatri II, ELLORA

#219, Pipilikamadhya

#221, Purastad Brhati

#222, Pathya

#223, Skandhodgrivi. COLONIAL DESIRE

#224, Sato Brhati

#225, Nyankusarini

#224, Uparistad Brhati

#188, Ghazal

India

#227, Jyotismati

Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum

#160, Rubai




The Desolation Poems

The Jaipur Sequence





Copyright © 2002 through 2015 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jjhaag@gmail.com





BY JAN HAAG


ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context