The Curse of the Gypsy Blood….

The Men That Don’t Fit In

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,

    A race that can’t stay still;

So they break the hearts of kith and kin,

    And they roam the world at will.

They range the field and they rove the flood,

    And they climb the mountain’s crest;

Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,

    And they don’t know how to rest.


If they just went straight they might go far;

    They are strong and brave and true;

But they’re always tired of the things that are,

    And they want the strange and new.

They say: “Could I find my proper groove,

    What a deep mark I would make!”

So they chop and change, and each fresh move

    Is only a fresh mistake. 


And each forgets, as he strips and runs

    With a brilliant, fitful pace,

It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones

    Who win in the lifelong race.

And each forgets that his youth has fled,

    Forgets that his prime is past,

Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,

    In the glare of the truth at last. 


He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;

    He has just done things by half.

Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,

    And now is the time to laugh.

Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;

    He was never meant to win;

He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;

    He’s a man who won’t fit in.

——–

For some reason this beautiful piece of poetry completely resonates with me. A mere glimpse of the poem might indicate to the reader that it is about men(at the cost of sounding chauvinist,but for the sake of universality); erratic and impulsive; men who spend their lives never completely committing to a single cause. I, however, am not one of those people. So I kept wondering why I did relate to it so surely!

Then it struck me! The key lies in the last two lines. ‘A rolling stone’. Unlike the traditional use of the term to indicate undependibility of a wayfarer gypsy hearted man; in modern usage, it usually means stagnation is the death of progress. So in that context, the “men who don’t fit in” aren’t the unreliable and hasty sort of people. No! They are the people who lead a whole generation into a revolution and usher in, a new era. They are the ones never satisfied with stagnation, but are in constant pursuit of advancement and progression. They don’t rejoice in “the things that are”, but their true solace lies in exploring the mystic and the unknown. 

These are our discoverers, our inventors, our dreamers, our creators, our explorers. These are the people who don’t rest. They sacrifice the traditional way of life at the cost of certain luxuries in pursuit of something bigger and better than themselves. They move from one quest to another, never resting. They are not concerned with glories and fame, they simply want the pure satisfaction of experiencing the new and the untouched. Yes, they have failed many a   times, but in the quest of the unknown there are seldom first successes. It’s the quest that they never give up and having conquered one, they move on to the next. And even when the world laughs and scorns at them, these brave souls do not give up. As they say, you have to be odd to be number 1. 

So, he keeps pushing and pushing till youth escapes him and when he is faced with the truth, he smiles, knowing, like the rolling stone, he wasn’t met to fit in…

…. He was meant to stand out and be extraordinary!

The Clod and the Pebble… William Blake

“Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”
So sung a little Clod of Clay
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:
“Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”
Songs of Innocence and Experience. The poem elegantly expresses the two sides/types of love; the selfless love and the selfish one! The former talks about innocence and giving oneself in order to create a better relationship; while the latter voices its opinion from experience and thus taking from another in order to increase. Mr. Blake however sides with the latter choosing to end his poem on a grayer note.
I, however do not think that the poem talks about two different relationships. To me it seems that it is just the various stages of the same one. Each relationship starts out innocent, trying their best to sacrifice for the other; however, with time, it changes to the Pebble. Maybe not always to the extent given in the poem, but certainly to fit ones own need and requirements. We try to mold the other person to our need, expecting they bend to our will without giving a moment’s thought to their feelings. And I also think those are the relationships that last. Those are the ones where we establish our own identity; a one different from the relationship…
… for it is very easy to lose oneself in a relationship.

She Walks In Beauty…. Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

The Tyger…. William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp,

Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears

And water’d heaven with their tears:

Did he smile his work to see?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,

In the forests of the night:

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

The majesty and magnificence  of a tiger in the wild is something which everyone of us should witness at least once in our lives. Being in the presence of this grand creature humbles me; it soothes me and at the same time fills me with awe.

I believe the word Numinous (adj.) Origin: Latin: Describing an experience that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted- the powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired is the best suited in this situation.

Someone once said to me “Why would I go in search of a tiger in the wild when I can so easily see one in the zoo?” I sighed and simply told him this:

“As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.”

I hope that these beautiful creatures roam this earth free and wild in my lifetime and forever beyond.