A Poem For Hany Babu

An evening walk.
An acquaintance messages,
‘Hany Babu has been arrested.’

I cut short the walk;
discard the moon, the light evening breeze;
and sit down to draft a statement.

I am used to the drill.
We condemn, we demand, we rise in rage:
the repetition of the verbs so banal
that it can hardly hold our collective anger.

Mind you, this poem is not about political failure,
or even fatigue for that matter.
Something else is the problem.
It is a testament to the failure of the lyric,
the failure to find a language within the lyric
that can hold our anger and disbelief together.

Anger and disbelief: Eliot would like me to find
An adequate objective correlative for these emotions.
Like Hamlet, I can’t find one.
A time for fascism is not a time for poetry.
How about we give a few lines for Hamlet to read?

We condemn the failure of the lyric.

We demand the brightness of the moon,
the lightness of this evening breeze
for all political prisoners.

We rise in rage,
we rise in rage,
we rise in rage.

Souradeep Roy lives in Delhi and Calcutta. He tweets @souradeeproy19.

Featured image credit: by special arrangement