When I was ten I started writing poetry and showed it to my father who was a poet and he asked me where the punctuation was and why i was writing poems without commas or full stops or other punctuation so as I am writing a lot of poetry these days I am constantly thinking of father but more about his words so as a kind of tribute to him and since I write many poems about him and dedicated to him I have written a satiric poem on what a poem looks like without punctuation so this poem is meant to be purposefully read in one breath since it has no punctuation which if there were commas and full stops it would mean stopping to breathe and pausing at different points since punctuation is like normal breathing and since poetry is a mirror of life and life is the breath of poetry then if i added the punctuation you would have to pause to take a breath so now i must stop for fear of causing discomfort or death for to stop breathing is the essence of the certainty of dying and I do not want to be responsible for a reader’s death metaphorically speaking and now in a little while after the next few lines you may please breathe although there is no full stop at the end of the poem and you just have to trust the poet’s word and breathe I just wanted to add that I was good at grammar in school having had an excellent foundation with Wren and Martin the bible of grammar just so the reader is aware that i know exactly where this prose poem needs punctuation and I really want to thank my readers for bearing with me and reading a different kind of poem so thank you and I do hope that not capitalising the uncapitalized has reminded some of you of the way the poet e e cummings often signed his name
Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca has been a teacher of English, French and Spanish for over four decades in colleges in India, and private schools overseas. She is a widely published poet, with poems featured in various journals and anthologies, including the Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English, The Journal of Indian Poetry in English by Sahitya Akademi, SETU magazine, Harbinger Asylum and Verse-Virtual. Her debut collection ‘Family Sunday and other Poems’ was published in 1989. Her chapbook ‘Light of the Sabbath’ was recently published in September 2021. Kavita is the daughter of the late poet Nissim Ezekiel.
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