Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Fiction Reads: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson is a work of historical fiction and adventure. Set in a backdrop of eighteenth century Scotland, it draws light on the Appin murder that took place in 1752 after the Jacobite uprising. It is a reflection on the history of Scotland of that time and about voyages from Great Britain to America. It slightly sheds light on the slave trade too. It is the story of teenager David Balfour who is the narrator of this story. Having lost his parents, he goes to live with his uncle Ebenezer Balfour whom he has never met before at the House of Shaws in Cramond. A meagre and parsimonious character, he has devious plans in mind for young Balfour. The latter almost encounters doom while running an errand for his uncle by going up to the tower.

Later, Balfour is tricked into sailing on the Covenant which sets sail for America. He witnesses absolute misery, drunkenness of people, cruelty and a cold-blooded murder. He is supposed to be sold as a slave. He sees Ransome, the young cabin boy being killed. He meets Alan Breck (a famous Scottish Jacobite Resistance hero) on a chance encounter when the latter’s boat capsizes in the fog; he is the only member of the crew to be alive. Aboard the Covenant, the captain and some of the crew behave like marauders and decide to kill Breck. Balfour on hearing it confides in Breck and they fight the rest of the crew. Peace at last however it will not be for long.

The Covenant runs aground and Balfour is washed ashore on the Isle of Erraid. Breck reunites with Balfour and soon after, both of them are on the run due to the murder of Red Fox (Colin Roy). It is a time of murder, conspiracy and espionage. During this journey, they experience several adventures. First of all, the descriptions in this story are hard to miss. The language has a lot of gusto along with a feel of the humane. It was published in 1886 in the Young Folks magazine. It is said that Stevenson was influenced by both the Appin murder and the life of James Annesley, an heir to the title of Anglesey. He was kidnapped after the death of his father and he was sold as an indentured labourer at Delaware in the States by the orders of his uncle. He returned after thirteen years to fight a legal battle.

It is no wonder that Kidnapped with its unsurpassable adventurous plot and style of language has remained a favourite. It is simply unique and marvellous.

(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Poetry Reads: Leisure by WH Davies

This is a poem I love quoting to the busy bodies of the world, especially the first two lines, and on its utterance, the effect is usually of silent agreement or a sigh of resignation. I am yet to witness an iota of protest on its rendering, understandably so, for the lines of WH Davies stand out more noticeably than they ever did before. 

Scour you eyes a little over the urban landscape. People seem to be always on the run, the instruments of distraction are manifold now - the television screen is passe, we have cell phones, laptops, iPads, gaming consoles, social networking sites, unreasonably expensive shopping malls, choked-up traffic and mayhem. Not one lingering moment, no simple singularity of pleasure and in such blind, floating conditions the words stand out sparkling and true.   

by WH Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


(Article by Snehith Kumbla)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Poetry Reads: Girl in a Miniskirt Reading the Bible Outside my Window by Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski, the godfather of the dirty realism genre is undoubtedly the master of his craft. This poem has none of the fancy and beautiful lines of poetry. In their place, there emerges a description of an urban setting and a girl of ‘Eastern descent’ reading the Bible. The setting is evident from the description of the girl’s attire and her accessories. There is brevity in his choice of words and something of a narration made from the surface level: eating a grapefruit, the girl’s complexion and skin, her clothes and earrings, her legs’ movement, and his listening to music and peering at her. However it is the last line that abruptly grips the reader. The narrator feels a connection with that girl; like god watching her from above reading the Bible, he says, “I am God.”

A work of dirty realism, this poem also reveals literary minimalism. It highlights a matter-of-fact scene and feeling with a striking and profound revelation at the end.

Girl In A Miniskirt Reading The Bible Outside My Window
by Charles Bukowski 

Sunday, I am eating a
grapefruit, church is over at the Russian
Orthodox to the

she is dark
of Eastern descent,
large brown eyes look up from the Bible
then down. a small red and black
Bible, and as she reads
her legs keep moving, moving,
she is doing a slow rhythmic dance
reading the Bible. . .

long gold earrings;
2 gold bracelets on each arm,
and it's a mini-suit, I suppose,
the cloth hugs her body,
the lightest of tans is that cloth,
she twists this way and that,
long yellow legs warm in the sun. . .

there is no escaping her being
there is no desire to. . .

my radio is playing symphonic music
that she cannot hear
but her movements coincide exactly
to the rhythms of the
symphony. . .

she is dark, she is dark
she is reading about God.
I am God.


(Article by Kabita Sonowal) 

Travel Reads: The Bara Imambara at Lucknow

Spanning acres, the Bara Imambara at Lucknow appears like a lithographic print from the 18 th century. Breathtaking and grand, it was built in the 1780s by a former Nawab of Oudh or Lucknow, Asaf-ud-Daula. As the name suggests, Bara in Hindi means big and Imambara means a shrine. It is also called the Asafi Imambara. It includes a mosque, the bhulbhulayah (the labyrinth), and bowli, a well. Legend has it that there are several passages which are routes to several places such as Kanpur, Allahabad and Delhi.

The Bara Imambara was one of the last works of Mughal architecture without being influenced by other schools of architecture. Further it stands testimony to a past that had a flavor and love for beautiful structural design in forts, palaces and other monuments. One must not miss the gardens either.

My take on it: well, I was at the Imambara on a scorching May afternoon in 2011. Lucknow’s temperature prepared a furnace but it could not spoil my curiosity and delight to be there. Inside the Imambara, it was breezy. The bowli looked amazing from a height. What I remember most is looking down from the terrace of the Imambara. It revealed another time; a place of gardens, domes, a bustling city below and a cacophony of sounds, traffic, voices, claps and much more. Yet it was serene up there.The world appeared stunning then. 

(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Travel Reads: In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh

In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh is an assimilation of a travelogue, an insight into a piece of anthropology, memoir, fiction and a work of history. This book is divided into two parts. The first part describes Ghosh’s stay in two villages in Egypt from 1980 - 1981: Lataifa and Nashawy. He was there to write his dissertation. The second part is a fictional account of an Indian slave called Bomma and his master and Jewish merchant called Ben Yiju who lived in the twelfth century AD. In an astounding form of narration he describes life and trade between Egypt and India from the days of yore connecting them to the yesteryears (1980s).

Very few writers would succeed in this form of narration; the most amazing element of this book is Ghosh’s reflection and descriptions of village life in Egypt of the 1980s. He gives the reader a sneak peek into social customs, ethos and cuisine from this part of the world. Later he reconstructs history with fiction which is marvelous  It also reveals the various trade routes, settlements and other geographical and sociological details from the twelfth century. His knack of storytelling and flair for language undoubtedly make it a truly marvellous read on social realism.

(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Poetry Reads: A Letter to My Aunt by Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas’ poem to his aunt about the right approach to writing poetry is wonderful. When I read this poem, weird people I have known came to my mind, who have never heard of PG Wodehouse or read TS Eliot but who were very quick to dole out advice on writing and literature. Although Dylan was not sarcastic towards his aunt who made an attempt to write, he wrote a most eloquent and appropriate poem that others can still identify with and how I love it.

A Letter to My Aunt
by Dylan Thomas

A Letter To My Aunt Discussing The Correct Approach To Modern Poetry

To you, my aunt, who would explore
The literary Chankley Bore,
The paths are hard, for you are not
A literary Hottentot
But just a kind and cultured dame
Who knows not Eliot (to her shame).
Fie on you, aunt, that you should see
No genius in David G.,
No elemental form and sound
In T.S.E. and Ezra Pound.
Fie on you, aunt! I'll show you how
To elevate your middle brow,
And how to scale and see the sights
From modernist Parnassian heights.

First buy a hat, no Paris model
But one the Swiss wear when they yodel,
A bowler thing with one or two
Feathers to conceal the view;
And then in sandals walk the street
(All modern painters use their feet
For painting, on their canvas strips,
Their wives or mothers, minus hips).

Perhaps it would be best if you
Created something very new,
A dirty novel done in Erse
Or written backwards in Welsh verse,
Or paintings on the backs of vests,
Or Sanskrit psalms on lepers' chests.
But if this proved imposs-i-ble
Perhaps it would be just as well,
For you could then write what you please,
And modern verse is done with ease.

Do not forget that 'limpet' rhymes
With 'strumpet' in these troubled times,
And commas are the worst of crimes;
Few understand the works of Cummings,
And few James Joyce's mental slummings,
And few young Auden's coded chatter;
But then it is the few that matter.
Never be lucid, never state,
If you would be regarded great,
The simplest thought or sentiment,
(For thought, we know, is decadent);
Never omit such vital words
As belly, genitals and -----,
For these are things that play a part
(And what a part) in all good art.
Remember this: each rose is wormy,
And every lovely woman's germy;
Remember this: that love depends
On how the Gallic letter bends;
Remember, too, that life is hell
And even heaven has a smell
Of putrefying angels who
Make deadly whoopee in the blue.
These things remembered, what can stop
A poet going to the top?

A final word: before you start
The convulsions of your art,
Remove your brains, take out your heart;
Minus these curses, you can be
A genius like David G.

Take courage, aunt, and send your stuff
To Geoffrey Grigson with my luff,
And may I yet live to admire
How well your poems light the fire. 


(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

Friday, 15 February 2013

Poetry Reads: Absence by Edwin Morgan

It is yet again a wonderful poem by Edwin Morgan that is filled with nostalgia, warmth and longing. Check the imagery out; it, the birds on the roof, early morning in London, the glow of the morning light and the cold. There is a lot going on in the narrator’s mind and he addresses his beloved as his ‘shadow’.  To him, the wind feels like fire and there is a hint of his being disturbed. He has had a dream in which he saw that he was reunited with his ‘shadow’ amidst the chaos and the traffic. In her eyes he sees what he cannot read and he only wishes she was around. This dramatic monologue takes place in the narrator’s bedroom.

The second stanza reveals the bustle of a morning. The ‘lights are out’ and the ‘air is loud’ reveal the day has begun. Somewhere the narrator wonders if his ‘shadow’ can sense the hubbub on the streets and if she is about – ‘Are you at my heels? Are you here’? He feels a sense of longing and it appears to the reader that he is about to prepare for the day with ‘And I throw back the sheets’. 

by Edwin Morgan

My shadow --
I woke to a wind swirling the curtains light and dark
and the birds twittering on the roofs, I lay cold
in the early light in my room high over London.
What fear was it that made the wind sound like a fire
so that I got up and looked out half-asleep
at the calm rows of street-lights fading far below?
Without fire
Only the wind blew.
But in the dream I woke from, you
came running through the traffic, tugging me, clinging
to my elbow, your eyes spoke
what I could not grasp --
Nothing, if you were here!

The wind of the early quiet
merges slowly now with a thousand rolling wheels.
The lights are out, the air is loud.
It is an ordinary January day.
My shadow, do you hear the streets?
Are you at my heels? Are you here?
And I throw back the sheets. 


(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Poetry Reads: One Cigarette by Edwin Morgan

One Cigarette is about love, romance and the memory of love. Like of all of Edwin Morgan’s poems, it is full of articulation. It is a lucid monologue of a speaker whose lover is away. The lines below reveal wisps of nostalgia; a sense of someone gone and what remains is the memory of the last kiss.

What a reader finds beautiful is the way they can identify with the setting and the imagery of the poem.

One Cigarette 
by Edwin Morgan

No smoke without you, my fire.
After you left,
your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray
and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey
I smiled to wonder who would believe its signal
of so much love. One cigarette
in the non-smoker's tray.
As the last spire
trembles up, a sudden draught
blows it winding into my face.
Is it smell, is it taste?
You are here again, and I am drunk on your tobacco lips.
Out with the light.
Let the smoke lie back in the dark.
Till I hear the very ash
sigh down among the flowers of brass
I'll breathe, and long past midnight, your last kiss.

(Review by Kabita Sonowal)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Poetry Reads: Movement by Tobias Biancone

Ahoy, Wolf here. For some years now I have maintained a notebook where I write down whatever little snatches of poetry, song and quotes that catch my eye. The book title is scrawled in uppercase, ball point ink on the cover: THE CAPRICIOUS LITERARY POETRY AND QUOTE COLLECTION.

Of the many select things listed here, is a poem written by Tobias Biancone. In these days of superficial Internet research, I discover that Biancone is a poet-playwright of Swiss-Italian descent and little else. Anyway, without much ado, here is the poem.

by Tobias Biancone 

like a wave
propelling oneself
above the trifles of life. 
like a flock of birds
rising above
all limitations.


(Article by Snehith Kumbla) 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Non-Fiction Reads: India’s Unending Journey by Mark Tully

India’s Unending Journey by Mark Tully is an encapsulation of several elements about India that reveal the nation’s idea and stance on pluralism. This piece of work reveals Tully’s extensive knowledge of India and his interest and insight on India. As he aptly describes his book in the acknowledgement section – ‘This book is about living with the uncertainty of certainty, about accepting the limits to what we can know, and being willing to question our beliefs. This uncertainty doesn’t apply to religious beliefs or, indeed, beliefs hostile to religion’. It is a wonderful read on India not just in terms of the unity-in-diversity concept, but a look at Indian history, sociology and philosophy.

India’s Unending Journey is a summation of lectures from the Teape Lectures in 1999. These lectures were given at Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol universities that year.

(Review by Kabita Sonowal)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Conversations: Kala Ramesh & the Joys of Haiku

This writer first met Kala Ramesh by happy incidence at the Haiku Writing Workshop held in November 2010.

Here is a little profile sketch that Kala has shared with us, which we reproduce here: Kala has had extensive training in Hindustani classical music, under Smt Shubadha Chirmulay, Pune, for over fifteen years, especially in Pandit Kumar Gandharva’s gayaki, known for the vigour and the effective throw of the voice. She is also familiar with Indian art forms like dance, drama and poetry and strongly believes each genre feeds into the other, enriching the root source of one's creativity.

Our interview here is with Kala, the well known haiku poet.Haiku is a four hundred year old art form of Japan but kept fresh and live both in Japan, and now in India, the West and other countries. Kala also writes tanka (five line poem), haibun (tight prose embedded with haiku), senryu, and renku (collaborative linked verse).

Apart from winning numerous awards and recognitions, Kala is also part of the editorial team for various magazines that publish poetry works in the above mentioned forms. There are several other interests that Kala Ramesh pursues with much gusto, which we will discuss in another space, another time. Here is the interview for now.

SK: How did you end up writing your first haiku?

KR: By sheer accident! I was a classical musician learning to become a performer. I had intense training in vocal music from Smt Shubadha Chirmule, (Pune) for over 15 years and I used to practice for more than 4 to 5 hours a day, on an average.

It so happened I read about haiku at boloji.com and downloaded their lessons. This started me on a path of no return.

The first haiku accepted for publication was by Stanford M Forrester in his haiku journal – Bottle Rockets, but I had to wait for six months to see it in print. It was about the highest peak in Lonavla, on a foggy day in autumn.

Susumu Takiguchi of The World Haiku Club sent me a mail regarding this haiku. I was overwhelmed.

To: Kala Ramesh

dripping mist
pulls the sky
into the valley

ozora wo tani e hikikomu kiri-shigure

This is my Japanese version of your fine haiku. When a non-Japanese is good, one proof can be that it translates well into Japanese. This Japanese version sounds a little bit like haiku by Matsuo Basho or Takahama Kyoshi, a highest accolade for a non-Japanese haiku.

With best wishes,

SK: Do tell us about your association with World Haiku Review, how did it come about?

KR: My haiku poems were featured in Simply Haiku in August 2005, and I received an email from Gabi Greve. She had requested I write about Indian seasons at her blog – World Kigo Database. I agreed. She knows Susumu Takiguchi of The World Haiku Club, and shortly after that I received an email from him with a form attached. One of the questions was: What do you want to do for haiku in your country?

Soon after, I found myself being the facilitator of The World Haiku Club India, on 14th November 2005. I was barely six months into haiku! Then in February 2008, India hosted the 9th World Haiku Festival jointly sponsored by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji (Bangalore) and Sri Ratan Tata Trust (Mumbai).

Susumu san restarted the World Haiku Review in April 2008 after the festival, with me as the deputy editor-in-chief and Rohini Gupta as our technical editor.

SK: Your work has featured prominently in several haiku websites, anthologies, literary festivals, workshops and books. How has writing haiku changed the way you look at life?

KR: There is a controversy whether haiku evolved from Zen, and whether they are inter-related. I’m not getting into that here. I firmly believe creativity in any form to a great extent is spiritual. The phrase "form is emptiness; emptiness is form" is perhaps the most celebrated paradox associated with Buddhist philosophy.

For me personally, writing haiku is no less up-lifting and spiritual than singing a Kabir bhajan.But then I’m made this way – I plunge deep into whatever I’m doing and to me one art form is no different from the other. No, haiku has not changed the way I look at life, it’s vice versa – I came into haiku for I love nature and sense the power that words have on me.

SK: You are a trained classical singer - has rhythm, raag and taal ever inspired your writing, or vice versa?


deep in raga . . .
sudden applause
startles the singer

In Indian Classical Music, raga means ‘melody’ and the root word in Sanskrit means 'passion'. There is a play on the word 'raga' in this haiku.

Unlike Western Classical Music, which is scored, Indian classical is based on improvisation. Here a musician creates on the concert platform and Jazz comes closest to this. When a musician improvises, there is a natural need to go deep within oneself.

Listening to Indian Classical music, the audience can, at any given time spontaneously respond to music being created with loud claps or appreciation. This is not regarded as a disturbance but rather, as an incentive to the artist to create better!

As expected, a musician, who is deep into the raga / melody, having lost touch with the outside world, is startled by the sudden appreciation from the listeners! 

This haiku poem was clearly inspired by Indian raga music. I do have plenty of haiku, tanka and haibun poems in which my friends see rhythm and musicality embedded. I take it as a great compliment.

In Abhinaya Darpana, we have,

Jato hasta stato drusti, Whither the hand goes, the glance follows
Jato drusti stato mana: Whither the glances lead, the mind follows
Jato mana stato bhavo, Whither the mind goes, there the mood follows
Jato bhava stato rasa: Whither the mood goes, there is “rasa” born.

In the silences between notes, between words, between lines, the emotion that arise is rasa - the aesthetic essence - which gives poetry, music or dance, a much greater sense of depth and resonance. Something that cannot be described by words because it has taken us to a sublime plane where sounds have dropped off.

The most important aspect of rasa, the emotional quotient, is that it lingers on long after the stimulus has been removed. We often ruminate over a haiku we’ve read for days and savour the joy of its memory. Thus, although the stimulus is transient, the rasa induced is not.

What RASA does to Indian aesthetics is exactly what MA (Japanese aesthetics) does to the juxtaposition between two images in haiku. This is my honest effort in trying to understand the Japanese concept of MA in relation to my own evaluation of Indian aesthetics.

It is these silences and pauses in haiku, and what this does in the reader’s mind, that fascinate me.

summer sky. . .
the temple doves somersault
into wingsong

midnight jetty
the sound of water
slapping water

SK: How does a haiku come to you? How do you ensure its polish and when does it finally feel complete, that nothing more needs to be added?

KR: Ha! This is a tough question to answer, Snehith. There can be no one method. Sometimes a haiku writes itself out and at times it hibernates in my subconscious for years before it surfaces. And at times, I keep tinkering with it even after it’s been published!

It can be a memory ku or an instant image portrayal, but every haiku poem needs to be crafted, and sometimes it does takes hours, months, even years.

I guess you’ve heard of this observation by French critic, Paul Valery: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned”

My own examples of two extremes:

This happened during our family trip to Shimla almost 15 years back. This image was deeply etched in my mind, for we had rushed to the station but saw it as . . . !

dense fog . . .
the train evaporates
into a distant horn

This haiku below was instantaneous, and it remains untouched since I first wrote it. My friend was talking about the vine farms at Nashik, and how these women farmers slog in these vineyards for months on end.

harvesting grapes . . .
the season slips through
her fingers

SK: In my interactions with you, your enthusiasm and excitement has always been palpable. Do you plan to venture into other writing mediums, apart from poetry?

KR: Thank you, Snehith. That’s very kind of you.

At present I have no intentions of venturing into other mediums of expression. Somehow haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka and renku seem to be taking up most of my dream space!

Plus, all of a sudden I am surrounded by teaching assignments. I want to do full justice to them. Haiku is blossoming in India and I seem to be in the thick of it. This keeps me happy and I couldn’t have asked for more.

SK: Your advice to budding writers.

KR: What are those ingredients that lift a piece of art a notch higher? To me it is resonance and the subtle art of suggestion.

Our ancient texts speak of resonance too. In Sanskrit it is called as Anu-naad. What is Anu-naad? In Hindu thought, Naad or sound, is a primordial sound existing in the cosmos, referred to metaphorically as AUM.

According to ancient texts, taking music as an example – an instrument (such as the voice) only resonates this cosmic sound.

The cavities in the body - like the oral cavity and the sinus cavities – including the spaces from the toes to the brain, all act as resonators or amplifiers for ‘sound’ to vibrate and reverberate, which we call as Anu-naad.

In other words, Sant Kabir has rightly expressed in a bhajan that his body is only a musical instrument which transmits the timeless cosmic resonance.

Now I come to this subtle art of suggestion: If we are aware that we are constantly over stating things, not knowing when to stop, that itself is more than half the battle won. It is these traps that mar a work. I would like to give my poem here which reinstates this thought.


an artist is one
with a glance
a flicker of a smile
a hand gesture
or that feel in her voice
brings out the rasa
an artist is true
with just a hint here
a trace there
allows the rasa to bloom
for, anything less
is truly more

*Rasa in Indian thought means the aesthetic essence

The famous Bharatanatyam dancer – Late Shrimathi Rukmini Devi Arundale had said that Abhinaya* in dance (the rendering of the navarasas through body movements and facial expressions) need to be mere suggestions, anything more becomes drama.

My advice to budding writers would be, to keenly listen to birdsong instead of hearing it mindlessly, to be acutely aware of the breeze brushing your face, rather than seeing others enjoying these senses on TV screens, to roll your food on your tongue consciously rather than gulping it down in a jiffy, to fill your being with a blossom’s fragrance rather than spraying yourself with some perfume . . . I can go on. But you get the drift I guess!

Publishing credits:
dripping mist – Bottle Rockets , August 2005
deep in raga : with explanatory notes-Triplopia, Vol VI, issue 2: 2007
Mann Library: Featured poet for the month of April, 2011
Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, (anthology) W. W. Norton & Company, May 2013.
summer sky . . .Chosen by Peggy Willis Lyles for Magnapoets print edition, January 2009

midnight jetty- A Hundred Gourds 1:3 – June 2012
dense fog - The Heron’s Nest Volume XI, Number 2: June, 2009
harvesting grapes . . . Magnapoets January print edition 2009

(Interview by Snehith Kumbla) 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Poetry Reads: The Arrow and the Song by HW Longfellow

It was at school that I had my first nervous, stumbling brush with this ageless Longfellow poem. I was in third grade then and the teacher had, much to my displeasure, singled me out for reading aloud. The timid, unsure boy that I was, it was not long before the good-hearted teacher remarked in the middle of my halting rendition,"Relax, nobody is shooting any arrow at you." (Laughter in class)

Many years have since passed, a tingling pleasure arises now, whenever I read this one line after line, mimicking that long lost child in me. He was a lot more afraid, but hey, he was me.

At the time that it was published (1845), the industrial revolution had arrived in America, but was yet to stampede through with its cacophony. For the poem echoes of open spaces, clearings, quiet woods, idle time and leisurely pursuits.  Almost two centuries past, an old world charm persists in the lines, apart from a celebration of singularity.

Yes, we must also concede - It is most unlikely that someone somewhere in the English-speaking world (at least) would be looking for a lost arrow - a practicing archer would probably buy one online. As for the song, the refrain would be typed into the ever ready Google search box (In the Internet-crazy regions at least) and lo and behold, simultaneously downloaded. Yet, there is a mystery that remains, of discovery, friendship and curiosity. So here it is, this little time-travel of a song-poem:   
The Arrow and the Song 
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.


(Article by Snehith Kumbla)