Finely observed and very evocative. But also very thought provoking. The poem opens with the word "Old" which is emphatic, not merely descriptive. It suggests world-weariness, confirmed by their preoccupation. These men are contrasted with "a little kid" – a phrase that evokes delightful connotations of playfulness and innocence, but also ignorance. After all, what does a kid know of the world? So the challenge of the poem is to ask, when did the old men lose their sense of wonder and magic – the ability to dance to a song in their head? How did they become "old"? From the habit of bitching about the world? Is this an inevitable process?
I think not – for the poem itself is the voice of the poet, presumably representing the generation between these two. And in this position, he is representative of a happy medium between these two extremes – that is, between a life of ignorance and one of cynical knowledge. He sees the reality of the world, but retains a sense of hope, and indeed playfulness. He doesn't bitch about the world, he writes a new and better world. The poem itself is a song with no music, a dance with words.
Wonderful poetry! What an impressive debut. I look forward to reading more by Sameer in the future.
This made me smile too. The fact that the little kid is jigging about without music suggests that he is an energy force 'chomping at the bit' as it waits to be unleashed into the wider world. The old men have used up most of their energy and what little they have left is reserved for bitching, but, hey, that's allowed – they've seen a lot of stuff!
By placing these characters from both ends of the age spectrum alongside each other, like Strider above, I imagined the narrator as somewhere in between. He is seeing the naive excitment of childhood – where he once was – and the world-weariness of old age – where he may end up – but I sense that the very fact that he is aware of the situation means he is reserving a little hope for himself and will try to ensure he does not become so cynical and jaded.
Such a wondeful picture you have created – quite cinematic.
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