Magazine
'URBAN' ... a poem illustrated

by Editor Wicher Bos 
Published the 22nd  of October 2020


Urban life appeals to artists.
City life provokes ambivalent attitudes and feelings. It brings great opportunities for self-realization but also fear for the rawness of life. 

 


by Carmine Chiriacò


The modern metropolis is an inspiring environment because of its immense variability and diversity.
The poem “Urban” by Nissim
Ezekiel does describe this contrast wonderfully.

Nissim Ezekiel worked and lived in Mumbai, so I assume he referred to that city when writing this poem. Yet, I believe the poem tells us a lot about urban life in general... therefore I interpret the poem in a broader cosmopolitan sense...

 
As in earlier articles where poems were a canvas, I start by presenting the poem, and thereafter line by line, whilst illustrating the lines with images that to me personally, were matching the words and feelings...


“Urban” by Nissim Ezekiel
 

The hills are always far away.
He knows the broken roads, and moves
In circles tracked within his head.
Before he wakes and has his say,
The river which he claims he loves
Is dry, and all the winds lie dead.

At dawn he never sees the skies
Which, silently, are born again.
Nor feels the shadows of the night
Recline their fingers on his eyes.
He welcomes neither sun nor rain.
His landscape has no depth or height.

The city like a passion burns.
He dreams of morning walks, alone,
And floating on a wave of sand.
But still his mind its traffic turns
Away from beach and tree and stone
To kindred clamour close at hand.

 

A brief introduction to the poet and poem:
Nissim Ezekiel was born on 14 December 1924 in Mumbai. A poet, dramatist, editor and art-critic. Nissim Ezekiel worked as a lecturer in English, he is also acclaimed as the father of post-independence Indian–English verse. He died on January 9th; 2004.

 
Key word: Mumbai



'Der Störenfried' by Helmut Schadt


 ‘Urban’, first published in The Unfinished Man (1960 explores the divergence between the city man’s quest for his dream of a free, oppressionless existence and his continuous inability to achieve even a part of it.

A critic comments that “The person in this poem is passionately attached to the city and its worn–out tracks of custom and habit. He is always at a great distance from the “hills” which symbolize the loftiness of spirit. His river of life is dry, and the winds lie dead in his path meaning that he is devoid of the creative breath which has the power of regeneration. …There is no place for the sun and the rain in his closed system indicating that he lacks light or warmth, as well as the fertilizing power of creativity.”

Another critic, tell us “Ezekiel finds in the city, the people search for solace, comfort, and peace of mind but they fail to achieve this aim. In fact, they feel lost in the city to which they belong and in which the author himself dwells as “an active fool”. In the city, the fog is thick, and the men get lost. This metaphorically refers to the ignorance of the people and their lack of direction.”

 
Now my personal choice of images… feel free to disagree and find better fitting ones, the journey will become so much more intense if you try…

 

The hills are always far away.
He knows the broken roads, and moves

 


'Paris in cold and warm' by Sus Bogaerts

 

 


'Walk Alone***' by Robert Thomson

 

 


'Somewhere down the road' by Ekkachai Khemkum

 

 
In circles tracked within his head.
Before he wakes and has his say,

 


'slow down' by Nieves. Bautista

 

 


'The sleeping friends' by Fadhel Almutaghawi

 

 


'Sleeping Beauty' by Jared Lim


 
The river which he claims he loves
Is dry, and all the winds lie dead.

 


'Dry Land' by Lydia Jacobs

 

 


'Dry lake' by Piotr Krol (Bax)

 


At dawn he never sees the skies
Which, silently, are born again.

 


'When the morning wakes II' by Heidi Westum

 

 


'Atmosphere' by Piet Flour

 

 


'Booksbrücke' by Alexander Schönberg



Nor feels the shadows of the night
Recline their fingers on his eyes.

 


'Over The Rainbow' by Paul Reiffer

 

 


'Dubai' by Rui Caria

 

 


'Istanbul's night' by Timucin TOPRAK


He welcomes neither sun nor rain.

 


'Ghost city' by Andrei Ionut Dascalu

 

 


'hot day' by Ionut Harag

 

 


'The long goodbye 5' by Adrian Donoghue

  

His landscape has no depth or height.

 


'Rubik's town' by Samanta Krivec

 

 


'Matera' by Massimo Della Latta

 

 


'Metropolis' by Hans-Wolfgang Hawerkamp


The city like a passion burns.

 


'Blood Veins' by Carmine Chiriacò

 

 


'Requiem for a Dream' by PanteleeV Aleksey

 

He dreams of morning walks, alone,
And floating on a wave of sand.

 


'street lights' by Carmine Chiriacò

 

 


'Walking over the clouds' by Mikel Arrizabalaga

 

 


'LONELY TRAVELER' by The Jar - Geir Jartveit

 

But still his mind its traffic turns
Away from beach and tree and stone
To kindred clamour close at hand.

 


'In pursuit of a living' by Prateek Dubey

 

 


'Wired' by Tatsuo Suzuki

 

 


'La Habana, sus sombras, SU polvo, su gente' by Juan Diego Rivas

 

Closure

Hopefully you can feel city life, so beautifully worded in this powerful poem....
Did you enjoy it?
My dream is that maybe it inspires some to even more beautiful images than the ones presented here...

Wicher 

Source: https://melodicverses.com/poems/7606/Urban (the poem)
Source: https://ashvamegh.net/urban-sensibility-in-nissim-ezekiel-poetry/ (an analysis)

Write
每一张都是强大的图像,感谢所有艺术家和Yvette!
Acho que põe o dedo na ferida...o humano deshumanizado. Parabéns pelo seu trabalho.
Thank you! obrigado!
So many great works! Congrats to all the photographers!!! really glad to be a part of this article, much appreciated!!!
A very nice theme, thanks to Wicher Bos and you dear Yvette, congratulations to all.
Thank you!
Simply amazing!! Congrats to the author and to all photographers!
Thank you!
Great idea and article, i like it.. many thanks, kind regards
Thank you! :)
Wonderful article and selection! Congrats to all !!
Thank you!
fantastic article with a nice theme. Thanks a to Wicher for chosing one of my pictures. Also thanks to dear Yvette.
I admire your work Hans-Wolfgang, great portfolio! Thanks for your kind words.
Great article and beautiful selection. Many thanks to Yvette and Witcher. Congratulations to all!
Thank you!
Big thanks to Editor Wicher Bos combining a wonderful poem and great 1x images. Congratulations to all the selected authors. Cheers, Yvette
Thanks Yvette, it is a pleasure to work with you. And for me sometimes a challenge to find new subjects to write about... glad it worked out well...
thanks so much Yvette and Wicher, amazing choice! congrats to all
Thank you, dear Carmine!
Thanks!
Stunning images. Congratulations to the authors. Exciting poetry. Thanks Yvette
Fine job Wicher Bos did here, indeed! Thanks for your appreciation, dear Massimo!
Beautiful post Yvette and all the authors!!! It made me sincerely touched and is proof that images together with poetry are an excellent fusion for soul and spirit!
Thanks, dear Giuseppe ... A very fine combination of lyrics and images by Wicher Bos, indeed !
Giuseppe, Your message made my day... Thank you very much!
wicherbos...sensibility is what we need in our lifes!!! Ciao!