Round And Round

After a long and wretched flight
That stretched from daylight into night,
Where babies wept and tempers shattered
And the plane lurched and whiskey splattered
Over my plastic food, I came
To claim my bags from Baggage Claim

Around, the carousel went around
The anxious travelers sought and found
Their bags, intact or gently battered,
But to my foolish eyes what mattered
Was a brave suitcase, red and small,
That circled round, not mine at all.

I knew that bag. It must be hers.
We hadnt met in seven years!
And as the metal plates squealed and clattered
My happy memories chimed and chattered.
An old man pulled it of the Claim.
My bags appeared: I did the same.

by Vikram Seth

Comments (16)

I am ambivalent toward this piece. I can certainly appreciate how a small incident within the context of the ordinary can have an extraordinary emotional impact. I think the author portrays that well. And I think the rhyme and rhythm are not in and of themselves distracting. I just find that the emotional import hinted at does not translate as fully through the construction. A very nice piece, though.
I liked this. The rhyming is skillful overall. The form is pleasing. And the narrative is well-told, setting us up with wretched flight in the opening stanza to appreciate the happy memory the little red bag touches off in the last. And then the surprise of who it really belongrd to. -GK
I thought in this poem was some matter What I found was just empty clatter Of hollow words weaving a shallow thought Of connecting a red suitcase with his love past This poems stands pretty small Of no interest to anyone at all First two lines tell the poet is straining to rhyme, daylight, night, flight He failed - the battered poem clattered and finally nothing mattered
I knew that bag! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
I love this poem very much.The beauty of the words arranged in the right order pours out the magnificence of a flight travel to the opposite side of the globe along with a little sentimentality and fun.CONGRATULATIONS.
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