Friday, June 7, 2013


I took my DADA form from a piece written by Rabindranath Tagore, a famous poet and a freedom fighter. The original piece is in an Indian language called Bengali and it is a very beautiful song sung to this day.

If they answer not to thy call walk alone
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open thy mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.
If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart,
and let it burn alone.

Struck down the repetitive lines, the conjunctions, prepositions and the articles in the above to read:

answer not call walk alone
afraid cower mutely facing wall,
open mind speak alone.
Turn away desert crossing wilderness,
trample thorns tread,
blood-lined track travel alone.
hold light night troubled storm,
thunder flame pain ignite heart,
burn alone.

My'DADA' product (lines upside down, altered a bit) 

Alone… burning
The heart ignites
Pained to flame thundered
By a stormy troubled night
Where Lights hold not unto…
Alone…I travel
Down the tracks lined in blood
Of treaded thorns in wilderness
Crossings deserted by a way, turning
In my mind to open
To a wall
Facing a mute, cowered afraid
To walk calls not answered.

The DADA product does not resonate with the spirit of the original piece which, called to march for freedom. And for that I seem to be feeling a bit guilty now, having fragmented such a wonderful piece.

FormForAll: Dada poems with scissors at the dVerse tended by Charles Miller.

In case you would like to listen to the song, here it goes. (The pic is of the singer Kishore Kumar)


  1. Awesome poetry you have created from a very good poetry to start with

  2. A wonderful accomplishment. I liked seeing your process as well as your resulting poem. The repetition of the word "Alone" really makes your poem strong!

  3. Hi Akila, Thanks for showing your process and you have some very nice lines here even if you are not fully pleased- I especially like the line about the thunder - which carries a certain ominous pain. This is Karin at I am commenting on a mobile device that makes me be stuck with an old blogger blog. k.

  4. The treaded thorns leaving tracks of blood--that is a powerful image, so full of meaning. Nicely done!

  5. I think you have created something new & uniquely your voice, certainly different from the original piece ~ The loneliness is palpable here ~

  6. cool on making the process transparent for us... the tracks lined in blood...the unanswered call...

  7. Akila, You created another masterpiece. Kudos girl....♥ Truly impressed...!!

  8. Oh my goodness - I love the process and love love love the final poem. wonderful response to the prompt and a beautiful poem - k

  9. I am sorry to hear that you feel guilty about taking the piece and using the dada method. In these situations I try to combine various other texts to see the outcome. That way the original retains its integrity and perhaps one does not feel guilty as you do. As it is, I think the result of your experiment has compelling parts too.

    1. Charles!

      This song is so popular and resonating that on second thought I felt I should have used some other piece for DADA. But the love for the original piece made me do it, well perhaps the reason for my guilt too. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the process

  10. It was really interesting to read the whole process, and I think the Dada form calls on us to relax our normal tendencies and self-imposed constraints, so you should not feel guilty at all. You took the poem, you took the form, and you have given us Akila uniqueness.

  11. You did an excellent job. :)

  12. Your technique, which I liked, created a very sparse mood... I really liked
    Alone…I travel
    Down the tracks lined in blood
    Very powerful.

  13. You did very well Akila! You chose a poem from an esteemed poet and still managed to match it with yours. That says a lot. You followed the process to a tee. That could be the reason you came in with a gem! Nicely!


  14. I can understand why you love the original piece by Rabindranath Tagore - and thanks for introducing him to me - beautiful soulful words.

    Your DaDa process is lovely too - the isolation appears more acute - but is not disrespectful of the original - so please don't feel guilty.

    Anna :o]

  15. The original is beautiful, but I love what you did with it. Two completely different works, equally lovely.
    Thank you.

  16. Both beautiful, art is a constant reinvention. Thank you for sharing the song as well.


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