Thursday, 15 August 2019

Poetry 2019 Longlist, Indu Parvathi

Travelling Salesman Problem(TSP)*

(Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP): The phrase is from computer science. Given a set of cities and distance between every pair of cities, the problem is to find the shortest possible route that visits every city exactly once and returns to the starting point.)

The travelling salesman toured distant lands.

Stranger to the complexities of computing

and other “vexing considerations of life,”

(as he often put it during long distance calls),

his wife lived by the sea, her churning heart

in perfect rhythm with its rumbling woes.

What else could she do, but weave tapestry

with pliant silk threads in all hues of loneliness.

Red carnations dipped in her heart’s blood,

mossy caverns in tender green yearning,

sunny boulevards in yellow remembrance,

a blue ocean crinkling in waves of faith.

With all the warp beneath, dream worlds rose

in weft, for all the world to see. Sublime!

Craft non pareil! Summum bonum!*1

Brightest truth, purest trust in the universe! *2

The travelling salesman toured distant lands.

his wife lived by the sea, her churning heart

in perfect rhythm with its rumbling woes.


1. A Latin phrase meaning the highest good. Also the title of a poem by Robert browning.

2. Lines from Robert browning’s poem, Summum Bonum

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