The heat has draped itself like an oppressive and wet blanket over Kolkata, where I write this post from. Not a leaf stirs, except when the parrots visit the guava tree next door, screeching to draw attention that they have come to feast. I wonder what it is about this city – with its creaky ceiling fans, time that flows slow like the river, pregnant from it travel across the plains, and street vendors that continue to sell tea in earthen tumblers – that calls me back, time and time again.
While prosaic me struggles to understand poetry, one of the few poets I feel kinship with is Yeats. Therefore, this:
“… Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings”
I will probably go crazy with so much bean growing, two days into my rural idyll; and the beans will likely shrivel and die due to my acute lack of green digits. I am also trying really hard to forget about the giant bee that tried to physically KILL me while I lay snoozing in the sunlight on Monday morning. I like to day dream though, of hibiscus plants growing in the Calcutta heat, and this is where I find peace.
Now that I have attempted serious philosophical thoughts, let’s turn to more mundane matters. As the sun glinted off the water flooding the surrounding paddy fields, I landed in the city, anxiously clutching a big box of garlic pull apart rolls. Baked these fresh, the evening before, to share with friends and family here. As the dough quietly rose, I cavorted around the living room – and while there are several things I will do better the next time I make these – at the first bite of the warm bread, I could have competed with good old Yeats at being lyrical about yeast.
Ireland (and the world) meanwhile celebrates Yeats2015, to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth. So happy birthday, William Butler Yeats. I quite hope you found your bee-loud glade.