SM (May 3,1981 / Tucson, AZ)

Mahabharata, Book Iii - Sisupala's Pride

Not to Vrishni's uncrowned hero should this reverence be paid,
Midst these mighty crownéd monarchs in their kingly pomp arrayed,

Ill beseems the good Yudhishthir, royal Pandu's righteous son,
Homage to an uncrowned chieftain, to the lowly honour done!

Pandu's sons are yet untutored, and with knowledge yet unblessed,
Knowing Bhishma blessed with wisdom hath the rules of courts transgressed,

Learnéd in the Laws of Duty he hath sinned from partial love,
Conscious breach of rules of honour doth our deeper hatred move!

In this throng of crownéd monarchs, ruling kings of righteous fame,
Can this uncrowned Vrishni chieftain foremost rank and honour claim?

Doth he as a sage and elder claim the homage to him done?
Sure his father Vasudeva hath his claims before his son!

Doth he as Yudhishthir's kinsman count as foremost and the best?
Royal Drupad by alliance surely might the claim contest!

Doth he as a wise preceptor claim the highest, foremost place,
When the great preceptor Drona doth his royal mansion grace?

Unto Krishna as a rishi should the foremost rank be given?
Saintly Vyasa claims the honour, Vedic bard inspired by Heaven!

Unto Krishna should we render honour for his warlike fame?
Thou, O Bhishma! Death's Subduer, surely might precedence claim!

Unto Krishna for his knowledge should the noble prize we yield?
Drona's son unmatched in learning surely might contest the field!

Great Duryodhan midst the princes stands alone without a peer,
Kripa priest of royal Kurus, holiest of all priests is here!

Archer Karna-braver archer none there is of mortal birth
Learnt his arms from Par'su Rama, he who slew the kings of earth!

Wherefore then to unknown Krishna render we this homage free!
Saintly priest, nor wise preceptor, king nor foremost chief is he!'

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Comments (3)

Hey Sean, I am ancient (like 62) and livein another ocuntry.I have jsut spent some hours working through 7 pages sp far of poems from many countries and periods with the word staff in it. Wood staff. Making a poetry book for our friend Ken for whom we have made a wood staff for his 6-t birthday. Your poem is the first I have wanted to vote for and comment on. I reckon it is realist. It moves me. It says how putting it out there on the other IS. If we could all get that maybe we would discover the other is US. Carol
Your style is kind of like some of mine, in the way we tell stories in the form of poetry. I love this poem so much. Honestly, one of my favorites I've read on here. 'in a city where the sun burned into us daily, something cold could settle. ' I love that line.10!
This is more mini-prose than poetry, but who cares. I like it very much. You paint a great picture and I found myself following along with you on that night. Original and engaging.