“STILL LIFE” by A.K.Ramanujan

When she left me
after lunch,I read
for a while.
But I suddenly wanted
to look again
and I saw the half-eaten
lettuce and salami,
all carrying the shape
of her bite.

“Still Life” is a simple poem written in a somewhat minimalistic style.The theme is neither the woman the poet has had lunch with nor love for her but the absence of the woman which lingers on after she leaves, in the form of her bite of the half-eaten sandwich.The situation is presented to you with no frills .Nor have any imagery been employed unless one tries to extrapolate the half-eaten sandwich to mean something deeper, in which case the beauty of the capture of the woman’s absence is lost.I would prefer to let the sandwich remain a sandwich.

A similar technique is employed in Andrew Wyeth’s painting entitled “The Master Bedroom”:
The Master Bedroom

In the painting we only see the absence of the master as suggested by the dog sleeping on the bed.I like to imagine this scenario : the walls are bare and decrepit with the plaster coming off and no paint.There is a four poster bed and the sheet bears smudges of lack of washing.There is the window through which soft light falls on the bed .The bed has not been recently slept in.The master had got up and and gone out and not returned .Only the dog sleeps listening to his master’s voice which seems to be ringing in the room .The dog is patiently waiting for the return of the master. Outside there is the tree which stirs occasionally sending in gusts of wind.


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