Swinging on disharmonic emotion
   Date :15-Feb-2022

By Vijay Phanshikar :

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

‘A Minor Bird’ ,
- By Robert Frost
THE typical Frost contemplation! Extremely sensitive -- and sensible! The minor bird’s singing by his house has disturbed the poet all right. He has clapped a few times to make the little bird to fly away. His singing was rather beyond him to bear -- though there is nothing wrong with the melody from the little one up the little branch. The poet is conscious -- no matter his discomfiture -- that the bird’s singing has no problem.
The problem must be within himself, he surmises ... ... there must be something wrong In wanting to silence any song. What can that be -- the wrong within! Possibly, the inner cacophony, the internal anarchy, the clutter of confusing thoughts ...! When the mind is weighed down by unwanted sounds, when the inner being is disturbed by the swirl and twirl of emotions that refuse to listen to reason, the mind is seeking silence. In that state, even a bird chirping appears harsh or raucous or shrill -- and so fully undesirable. So, fly away the little bird, and leave me alone to myself. Please do not disturb the silence I am craving for. For, your chirping does not soothe me any more. It actually pricks me, pierces my inner urge: ... there must be something wrong In wanting to silence any song And hear nothing -- the poet says. But this seeking of silence is not out of a healthy inner urge to seek a stillness in which nothing moves and one gets elevated to a sublime zone.
This seeking to silence the bird’s chirpy twittle-twattle, thus, is out of a sick desire to hear nothing -- even though sweet. Why should, otherwise, one want to silence any song? Engaged in profound contemplation, Robert Frost realises that when his mind is sparked by such a sick desire to silence a song, then there is something very wrong within himself. In the case of some people, that uneasy awareness may lead to a search for the real reason, and an urge to erase it -- so that the mind is calmed down and is ready to welcome the bird sing a wonderful song. Some people, however, may not just become conscious of those ripples of disturbing emotions and continue trying to clap the bird away -- of course, to their disadvantage. But then, this is how one oscillates on disharmonic swings of inner tumult -- many times.