frog and nightingale BY SATISH

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The Frog and the Nightingale ~Vikram Seth Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

A Frog:

A Frog A NIGHTINGALE

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Once upon a time a frog Croaked away in Bingle Bog Every night from dusk to dawn He croaked awn and awn and awn Other creatures loathed his voice, But, alas, they had no choice, And the crass cacophony Blared out from the sumac tree At whose foot the frog each night Minstrelled on till morning night Neither stones nor prayers nor sticks. Insults or complaints or bricks Stilled the frogs determination To display his heart's elation. Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’ THE FROG AND THE NIGHTINGALE

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But one night a nightingale In the moonlight cold and pale Perched upon the sumac tree Casting forth her melody Dumbstruck sat the gaping frog And the whole admiring bog Stared towards the sumac, rapt, And, when she had ended, clapped, Ducks had swum and herons waded To her as she serenaded And a solitary loon Wept, beneath the summer moon. Toads and teals and tiddlers, captured By her voice, cheered on, enraptured: “Bravo!” “Too divine!” “Encore!” Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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So the nightingale once more, Quite unused to such applause, Sang till dawn without a pause. Next night when the Nightingale Shook her head and twitched her tail, Closed an eye and fluffed a wing And had cleared her throat to sing She was startled by a croak. “Sorry – was that you who spoke?” She enquired when the frog Hopped towards her from the bog. “Yes,” the frog replied. “You see, I'm the frog who owns this tree In this bog I've long been known For my splendid baritone Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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And, of course, I wield my pen For Bog Trumpet now and then” “Did you… did you like my song?” “Not too bad – but far too long. The technique was fine of course, But it lacked a certain force”. “Oh!” the nightingale confessed. Greatly flattered and impressed That a critic of such note Had discussed her art and throat: “I don't think the song's divine. But – oh, well – at least it's mine”. “That's not much to boast about”. Said the heartless frog. “Without Proper training such as I - And few others can supply. You'll remain a mere beginner. But with me you'll be a winner” Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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“Dearest frog”, the nightingale Breathed: “This is a fairy tale – And you are Mozart in disguise Come to earth before my eyes”. “Well I charge a modest fee.” “Oh!” “But it won't hurt, you'll see” Now the nightingale inspired, Flushed with confidence, and fired With both art and adoration, Sang – and was a huge sensation. Animals for miles around Flocked towards the magic sound, And the frog with great precision Counted heads and charged admission. Though next morning it was raining, He began her vocal training. “But I can't sing in this weather” “Come my dear – we'll sing together Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’ Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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Just put on your scarf and sash, Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash!” So the frog and nightingale Journeyed up and down the scale For six hours, till she was shivering and her voice was hoarse and quivering. Though subdued and sleep deprived, In the night her throat revived, And the sumac tree was bowed, With a breathless, titled crowd: Owl of Sandwich, Duck of Kent, Mallard and Milady Trent, Martin Cardinal Mephisto, And the Coot of Monte Cristo, Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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Ladies with tiaras glittering In the interval sat twittering – And the frog observed them glitter With a joy both sweet and bitter. Every day the frog who'd sold her Songs for silver tried to scold her: “You must practice even longer Till your voice, like mine grows stronger. In the second song last night You got nervous in mid-flight. And, my dear, lay on more trills: Audiences enjoy such frills. You must make your public happier: Give them something sharper snappier. We must aim for better billings. You still owe me sixty shillings.” Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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Day by day the nightingale Grew more sorrowful and pale. Night on night her tired song Zipped and trilled and bounced along, Till the birds and beasts grew tired At a voice so uninspired And the ticket office gross Crashed, and she grew more morose - For her ears were now addicted To applause quite unrestricted, And to sing into the night All alone gave no delight. Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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Now the frog puffed up with rage. “Brainless bird – you're on the stage – Use your wits and follow fashion. Puff your lungs out with your passion.” Trembling, terrified to fail, Blind with tears, the nightingale Heard him out in silence, tried, Puffed up, burst a vein, and died. Said the frog: “I tried to teach her, But she was a stupid creature – Far too nervous, far too tense. Far too prone to influence. Well, poor bird – she should have known That your song must be your own. That's why I sing with panache: “Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash!” And the foghorn of the frog Blared unrivalled through the bog. Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

About The Poet:

About The Poet Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’ Vikram Seth was born in Calcutta in 1952. Vikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children's writer, biographer and memoirist.  He left India to study at Oxford His first novel, The Golden Gate, is written entirely in tetrameter sonnets, He won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1986and the Sahitya Academy award in 1988.

Some point to be noted ….:

Some point to be noted …. The use of the rhyming scheme makes the poem rhythmic and musical. The poet employs interesting comparison like – the nightingale called the frog, Mozart. The manner in which the frog trains the nightingale has been beautifully described. The irony is that the creature which doesn’t even know what music is tries to teach music to a bird like nightingale who possesses a melodious voice. Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’

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Divyanshu Gupta, X- ‘C’ The moral of the poem is that being inspired and influenced by someone much unknown and strange is indeed a foolish work. The nightingale could have very well judged that how could the frog with such a harsh voice be music maestro and she had to suffer for her misjudgement.  Many people in the human society also try to take advantage of the innocence or ignorance of the people.  Moral of the poem

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