A Society in Angst

He was a poet in flames
Who walked the corridors of fame
Carrying the burden of societal angst
On his shoulders in persistent pain.
He was a militant who liked to groan.
He shed tears on society’s malaise.
His verses, sharp and sweeping,
Raised despair across the globe.

Flared up was the grip of anguish
To levels seldom seen,
And palpitations ran high
At every drop of blood in his verse,
Written from the serene comfort
Of his stately mansion.
Even the sated souls spared a tear
To the flow of emotions in his verse.

The day he died, the sun shone.
The newspapers ran the story,
And society mourned
His loss as the end of an epoch.
He had sacrificed his life
Fighting against societal angst.
The masses attended his funeral
From both sides of the divide

To mourn the loss of a symbol.
Invisible in the crowd was the angst
He had carried with him all his life,
But which now lay in an intensive care
Counting its last breath
As wilting buds showed signs of life
And sirens of revival hit the air
For society to reclaim its due.

Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at EPFL, Switzerland; He is a Poet, academician, researcher, author of nine scientific books, and a former Editor-in-chief (1999-2019) of a major international scientific journal. He has published over eighty poems in international literary journals. Read other articles by Pramod, or visit Pramod's website.