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Nandakishore

Sacred Space

Joseph Campbell said: "Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again." This is my sacred space, in the midst of a jumble of books of no particular denomination in a cavernous dimly-lit library hall, whiling my time away among the musty pages while the world busy destroying itself outside. You are welcome, fellow reader, to share this space.

Currently reading

Italian Folktales
Italo Calvino
Gilead
Marilynne Robinson
A Fanatic Heart: Selected Stories
Now We Are Six - A.A. Milne Like When We Were Very Young, this is also a terrific compilation. I love it when an adult can see through a child's eyes without losing his "adult-ness". Milne's poetry is simple and beautiful, and his humour can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh need no introduction. Quite a few of the poems in this book are about the duo. Milne accomplishes the extraordinary feat of seeing from the realistic and make-believe viewpoint at the same time (something which comes as second-nature to children, but we lose it as we grow up): therefore, Pooh is a live character to Christopher, even when he knows that he is nothing but a toy (the poem Us Two and The Friend).

There are a lot of nonsense poems about silly grownups, quite a few of them kings and emperors, but behaving like spoilt children-a child's view of himself, maybe! (Or a rather uncomfortable thought - is it so childish? Don't dictators behave like spoilt kids on a rampage - with much deadlier results than Milne's characters produce, of course.) There are poignant poems of a child's world which so incomprehensible to adults so that they shoo him away (Come Out With Me). Also, there is the delight only a child can experience, such as a race between two raindrops (Waiting At The Window). There are even profound philosophical questions which plague a young mind (Explained).

But for me, the poem which captures the quintessence of childhood in this collection is Buttercup Days, about Anne and her man(!), especially these four lines:

What has she got in that little brown head?
Wonderful thoughts which can never be said.
What has she got in that firm little fist of hers?
Somebody's thumb, and it feels like Christopher's.


Anne and Christopher, among the buttercups. Pure childhood bliss!

Five stars, all the way.