Poetry Study Aid: I Believe : Brucellish K Sangma

I Believe : Brucellish K Sangma

The crux of the poem I Believe
is the celebration of the countless longings and abilities of man. Man’s aspirations
are majestic and boundless and the poet Brucellish Sangma firmly believes that
man is endowed with the abilities and competence to fulfill his boundless
desires and lofty ideals.  Working hard
with determination and purpose, man is capable of accomplishing all that he
aspires to. 
poet believes that a human being can soar to unimaginable prominences and
overcome numerous barriers to arrive at his or her life’s objective.
The poem has the feel of a Japanese haiku
poem, with its three-lined stanzas- each stanza an entity in itself. The six
haiku-like stanzas, each stanza consisting only of a single sentence,
cumulatively assert the leitmotif of the poem- the infinite capacities of man
and his limitless dreams and untold aspirations. The poem is written in a
simple style and is in Vers libre
in free verse with no specific rhyme scheme or steady weave of rhythm. The poet
recourses to the use of the poetic technique Anaphora by deliberately
repeating the phrase ‘I believe’ at the start of each stanza. In spite of its
apparent simplicity, the poem is highly symbolic and deeply philosophical.
Anaphora is a poetic technique in which a
word or a phrase is repeated
at the beginning of a sequence of sentences,
or stanza in a poem.
I believe if a pebble is
thrown upwards
I can pierce the heavens
And see the angels at play.
The speaker of the poem ‘I believe’, probably
the poet Brucellish K Sangma herself, asserts that if she throws a throws a pebble
into the sky , she can pierce the sky and have a glimpse of the heavenly
heights and see the angels frolic.
On a literal level, the utterance of the poet
seems a fantasy; however, what makes the utterance pregnant and significant is
the symbolism. The pebble thrown up symbolises the relentless endeavours and persistent
efforts directed by man to elevate his life to a lofty stature and to achieve
the apparently unattainable objectives. The heaven stands for the seemingly unreachable
goals and achievements. With the appropriate attitude coupled with willingness
as well as competence and diligence, we are bound to create our world a better place
to live in, thereby making not only our life but also the life of our fellow
human beings joyful and wonderful. Thus, we can create heaven on earth. The
angels symolises both the great achievers of the worldly world and also the spiritual
aspiration of each and every soul in this world.
The poem has different tiers of being and
import: in an all-inclusive level, the poem illuminates the abilities and
desires of all the men and women; in a feminist standpoint, the abilities and
desires of all women smothered by the outdated social norms and banal cultural
traditions; and in a specific viewpoint, the abilities and desires of the
tribal women in North East states of India. The ‘I’ of the poem can signify all
or any one of these levels. These individuals who strongly wish to liberate
themselves from customs and boundaries that stand in the path of their
advancement, want to unshackle themselves and soar into the greater heights of
human achievements.
I believe I can soar to the
Touch the silky clouds
And feel the stars.
I believe I can dive
Right into the depths
And swim with the sharks.
The poet believes that she can soar high up to
the heights and flavour the delicate fluffiness of the clouds. The heights or the
sky stands for the pinnacle of human triumphs and the sensation derived from
the fluffiness of the clouds signifies the fulfillment and pleasure of attaining
the unattainable. Stars are the congregation of astral figures among men, the
ultimate achievers. The poet believes that with resoluteness and consistent
efforts she can be one of these astral figures who have achieved celestial
stature and brought glory to the human race.
The poet is confident that, like a diver
diving into the depths of the sea to forage for the treasures in the depths of
the ocean, she can dive deep into the sea of life and immerse herself in the treasured
experiences of life. These myriad experiences of life ennoble and enrich the poet
and she emerges as a better human being with profound understandings of the
intrinsic qualities of life.
The depths stands for the sea of life and the
sharks symbolise the challenges of life. The challenge to confront the travails
of life and the exhilarating sensation of overcoming them are immense and
The poet here uses binary opposites- soar/heights
and dive/depths
– to bring out the aptitudes and competence of human
beings and the limitless potentials of their accomplishment.
I believe I can claw into the earth’s belly
Pick up the priceless gems
And adorn myself with them.
I believe I can do many things
Amidst the human angels
Surrounded by the world’s
The poet furthermore asserts that she has the
resolve to claw out the invaluable stones in the earth’s interior and adorn
herself with these gems.
Here, metaphorically, the poet affirms that,
with dogged determination and firmness of purpose, man can exploit the natural
resources on earth for the collective benefit of mankind. Even though clawing
connotes a destructive and violent activity, here the poet confirms that the
violence is not destructive but constructive and beneficial for the whole of
humanity. Man has to resort to violence and destruction at times to bring about
the social changes conducive to his evolution and advancement.
Many a man, throughout the ages, has achieved
great things by utilising their innate qualities and their inbuilt resourcefulness.
They have accomplished many things that have turned out to be extremely
beneficial to the human race and their cherished humanitarian efforts have
endowed them with a celestial status. Hence, they are angelic in nature and
These angelic men and women have stridden to
the pinnacle of glorious achievements with their innate magnanimous spirits and
their characteristic purposiveness. The poet is confident that she can emulate
these victorious achievers through imbibing their life-force and purposeful
But I firmly believe I’ve to complete
The role assigned to me
Where I dream and breathe.
In the concluding stanza, after listing all
the potentials and possibilities that she can realise in her life, the poet comes
out with a firm pronouncement that before the realisation of all these dreams
and aspirations, she has to first fulfill her duties, her obligations and responsibilities
of the familial and the social spheres where she currently subsists.
Each and every human being has innumerable
roles in life and innumerable duties in accordance with the different roles he
or she takes up at different stages of life. Before embarking to accomplish the
countless capabilities and the infinite aspirations, the poet firmly believes
that, man has to first fulfill his temporal duties of his life. The poet, being
a woman has different duties designated to her as a woman and these
responsibilities should be her priority.
The world of reality with its multitudinous
obligations is right before us and first we should fulfill these
responsibilities of the real world. Afterwards, we can start our pilgrimage
towards individual advancement so as to fulfill our dreams and aspirations.