The Cactus: Thorns are my language. I announce my existence with a bleeding touch. Once these thorns were flowers. I loathe lovers who betray. Poets have abandoned the deserts to go back to the gardens. Only camels remain here, and merchants, who trample my blooms to dust. One thorn for each rare drop of water. I don’t tempt butterflies, no bird sings my praise. I don’t yield to droughts. I create another beauty beyond the moonlight, this side of dreams, a sharp, piercing, parallel language. (2000) A review of the poem – Cactus ( credits to http://englishcouncil.webs.com/apps/blog/show/9587073-cactus-a-review) review 1 The poet K sachidananthan who always trie to move away from the usual path, treats the beauty of surviving in adverse situations. Here he follows the deconstructionist technique of Michael Foucault and Jacques Derrida. According to Wordsworth, Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected intranquility. That means the world of poetry is full of imagination. But Sachidananthan creates a new world of poetry based on the sharp reality of life, poem about a cactus full of thorns and unattractiveness which is its real power. Thorns are my language. The thoughts in my mind does not project like flowers, but like thorns because of the adverse conditions outside and my own limitations. My existence in this world is known or felt to others only through pain and blood whoever touches or sympathizes with me is cursed by a sting from my thorns. Cactus remembers its childhood when these thorns were flowers. She says. I hate lovers who betray since it s the most irrevocable sin. The cactus criticizes the poets who praises only peripheral beauty for they abandoned the deserts in search of the beautiful plants in garden which are nursed by a gardener. But in a desert, bearing the hot sun, only camels and merchants travel. They crush my flowers to dust. They do not sympathise with me. But only ruin me. I‟ve been living with the least facilities available.
Leaves are reduced to thorns. One thorn for each rare drop of water. I don't tempt butterflies. Nor does any bird praise me. And I know my limitations. I don't want them to bleed because of me. I don't yield to drought. My withstanding power is quite appreciable. Beyond the boundaries of moonlight, I create another beauty. This is a world of dreams. In my real world, there is a sharp, piercing parallel language.
Review 2 K. Sachidanan is a leading poet. He always tries to keep aestheticism in his poems. This poem has an abrupt beginning. The poem has a style of dramatic monologue propounded by
Browning who confesses with pain. Cactus is a symbol of isolated beauty. Once these thorns were flowers and she had many lovers who betrayed her. So she changed all flowers into
thorns which usually happens in our real life. Now understanding her own limitations, she
won‟t attract anyone. Still everyone crushes her including man and animals. Here we can see the helplessness of a lovely lady. Poet points out the realism which reminds us to
pragmatism of Robert Frost. Here the poet is creating another beauty of suffering and
tolerance instead of perennial chasm and that beauty is sharp and piercing which represents the reality of life. The line
“one thorn for each rare drops of water” reminds us the Ganges in T.S. Eliot ‟s waste land. The following lines “ I don‟t yield to droughts” this unyielding mentality of virgin lady reminds us of the Mother Mary in Holy Bible.
The poem as a whole fulfills the idea “ language is the best means for communication.
Review 3 The poem ‘Cactus’ challenges our age-old notions of beauty. Conventionally, beauty is associated with
harmony, colour, softness, smoothness, structure, brightness, etc. A cactus is not considered for its beauty. Its language hurts others; bleeds others; as the thorns are its language, it is sharp and piercing. Once it had flowers. But, it dislikes lovers who cheat. Satchidanandan is called the ‘Voice of the Mutes’, he depicts physical disability with extreme sympathy and kindness; he gives an extra-ordinary language to their mouth; analyses the life of an insane with profound emotion and subtle understanding. In ‘Cactus’ he not only portrays the picture of a cactus grown in a desert, but Cactus itself becomes a symbol implying the life of the oppressed, the exploited. He gives vent to the history of age-old oppression. Satchidanandan has discovered the dormant strength of these marginalized people who have been living under the pressure of perpetual darkness and exploitation. Sometimes Cactus becomes a beloved, deceived by her insensitive lover, sometimes a depressed poet betrayed by jealous friends; Cactus may denote any person deceived by the human world who has lost all his aspirations and dreams of life. His most popular poems such as ‘Stammer’, ‘Grandma’, ‘The Mad’ are the articulation of silent self; at the same time it is also a quest for a parallel language to voice of their hidden suffering, unarticulated voice; he is , indeed, questing for a parallel life for the sufferers. His words are familiar, simple, lucid words, but meanings are novel; connotation of all these words and the melodies too are unheard earlier. The foundation of this parallel life is the soil of this earth but its structure is built high above the earth. - credits to http://www.thethumbprintmag.com/a-man-of-words/#sthash.R5bXnZHR.dpuf