Tranistion Poem by Daud Kamal: Summary and Analysis

Given below are our complete notes on the poem “Transition”, written by Daud Kamal. Our notes cover the introduction, summary, themes, and analysis of this poem.

Transition: The Poem

Sun splashed

paving stones. The sky’s cupola

resonant with the cry of birds.

Fem-shaded stream. Swaying poplars.

Hair tousled by the wind.

What is the axis

around which life spins?

Beads of light

on the immaculate grass.

Threshold

I could not cross

not even in dreams. Silk of flesh.

How deep is desire?

Perspective is what you see

as wave is water. Tangled shadows

under the bridge.

The past is a deep ravine

Why does the night heave?

Transition Poem Introduction:

Daud Kamal is a poet of imagery and symbols .The poem is a collection of some very interesting kinetic images collectively giving a sense that life is all about transition- it experiences change every next second, then what is the reason that we are very much stick to the desires or dilemmas of past. Why is that we cannot come overcome those situations which are haunting us. Daud Kamal urges the readers to move along with the present and do not get carried away with the past.

Transition Poem Summary:

Stanza 1 (line 1-9) presents some interesting images which are in a flow. He presents the image of Sun at dawn when the mild rays of the Sun are splashing upon the paving stones. It shows the change of the sun second by second: one second the rays of the sun are away from the stones and the next second, it splashes the rocks. In the next line, he says that the floor of the sky is filled with the crying and yelling birds which are going towards their nests and this cause the oscillating motion of the poplar trees. The first two images in the poem clearly indicates that the poet is talking about the dusk when things are coming back to their homes and life is going to be still and calm in some time. The next line changes the course of the poem when he states that the hair are tousled by the wind which means that life is also in movement but what movement and which movement? He then asks a very striking question of the axis around which life revolves. He conveys a message that everything has a center. Sun ascends in the morning and when the dusk comes the sun goes away. Similarly, the birds who roam around different pasture lands come to their nests in the evenings. But the center of life in not known. The life is swinging in the ambivalence as human beings are not aware of what to do and how to do. And in the last line, the poet once again gives a very clear picture of dew drops, the resort of which is grass and they end up on the surface of grass. The poet gives the transformation of those things but the transformation of life is not revealed. He is a bit confused when he asks the question of life`s center.

In the second stanza (line 10-18), the poet gives the reason of mysterious axis of life; desires and longing for wishes. He says that we human beings, for the sake of this mortal life are fabricating the galaxies of wishes which cannot be achieved, even in dreams. The silk of flesh means the depth of such desires. In fact he mocks human beings for such wishes which have become bodies that haunt them in the future. His view is that humans live on this earth but they build wishes which reside in heavens. The poet then states that humans do go for wishes but their passion is never accompanied for the achievement of the desires. He says that these wishes seem as smooth as wave on water but the depth is unknown. The intricacy of the desire is not even known to the person who longs for it. The purpose of the poet in saying this is that the people wish for unreal things in this mortal life while they don’t go for the actual aim of this mortal life. He thinks that life is in transition so life should be operated in that way as well. In the last two lines, the past which is always spent in building these wishes is like a gorge, which once traps an individual, never lets him go out of the trap. The end of such individual is always doomed then. He, in the last line asks another question that ultimately sums up the whole poem. He asks the question when human beings know the temporary nature of this universe and all its objects then why they lament in the nights on loss of these worldly objects. Why is that humans mourns and longs for the temporary things. Daud Kamal takes human beings on the journey of Sufism: avoiding material approach and developing a selfless self for the achievement of the real purpose of life.

Transition Poem Themes:

Transition:

The major theme of this poem is transition. The poet establishes the thought that everything is flux; everything passes through the phase of transition. He tells that even life is facing transition so an individual must adept himself according to the whims of the life`s transition. He urges human beings to embark on the journey on transition in a firm way and do not get distracted by the struggles of past.

Mysticism:

The second theme of this poem is mysticism. The poet tells that everything has to face end and one way or the other the axis will bring every object close and every object will crumble.  He states that even life is mortal so then why are we moving into region of meaninglessness and ambivalence. He wants the readers to leave away all the materialistic wishes and embark of journey of reality which will ultimately take us to the real meaning of the life.

Transition Analysis:

  • When the readers read the title of this poem ‘Transition’ they get to know that the aim of this poem is of higher rankings. The title clearly indicated that the poet is talking about the phase of transition which every mortal object will have to taste.
  • The poet is known for his images and symbolism and this poem is also replete with kinetic images. Kinetic images are the moving images which the poet develops with deep artistry. In line of the poem ‘sun splashed paving stone’ we see that the rays of the sun hits the rocks which is not a static image rather it is a moving image. Similarly, in line 4, we again come across a kinetic image of swaying poplar which shows that the poplars are in to and fro motion.
  • The epigraph of the poem is of great importance because it shows that the poet wants to be immortal. And we all know that immortality cannot be achieved by the worldly things. But the immortality of deeds can be achieved be following the journey of mystics. They give the direction of selfless self and they urge human beings to see the invisible through the power of their firm faith and hope.
  • The poet takes the transition not as something negative but of positive nature. Because this transition gives maturity to things and it makes everything face new dimensions in life.