Thursday, December 15, 2016

We Live in Deeds, Not in Years

Keats passed away at the age of twenty-six. But what of trat! He is immortal as he has left behind imperishable footprints on the sand of time. The poets smear by Odes. His achievement compels wonder. In a period of four years, he wrote verse that so far is Un-excelled. As a matter of fact, one’s achievement counts more than one’s length of life. Surely, Keats lives in deeds, not in years. Truly has Ben Jonson saying:

“In small proportions we just beauties see;
and in short measures life may perfect be.”

One day of action, beauty and glory is better than a year so passivity, dullness and indolence. As Ben Johnson would tell us ‘a live of day’s is far better and blessed than ‘an oak, three hundred years’ because while the former is ‘the plant and flower of light,’ the better is destined ‘to fall a log at last, dry bald and sere’. The perfect life is the life of beauty, nobility and utility, howsoever short is be.

Sidaey Keyes dies prematurely at the age of twenty-one. Still he carved out a niche for himself in field of modern poetry and his ‘Prospero’ is a gem of a poem. The instance of Mrs. Toru Dutt is illuminating and revealing. She died before she was twenty-two and like Keats she is also the inheritor of unfulfilled renown. Her poem, like ‘The three of life’ and ‘Our aserarina tree’ and immortal. She lived in deeds and not in years.

So Sheridan rightly remarked ‘A life worthy should be measured by deeds not years’. A single movement of achievement is thousand times better than thousand flat and tame moments.
Tagore is revered for ‘Gitanjali’ and not the many years be lived. Mere breathing or causing won’t do. One should live virtually and vigorously. One should do something worthy of note and recognition.


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