About the poet: Brucellish K Sangma is a Garo poet. Hence she hails from the state of Meghalaya in north-eastern India. She is one of the most eminent among Garo women poets. Not much is known about her. The “K” in Sangma’s name stands for Koksi, her clan name, and it suggests that she is quite proud of her heritage. She has done her Masters in English Literature. Her career as Director of State Educational Research and Training, Government of Meghalaya ended in 2005, when she retired.
Sangma’s famous poems include: A Pair of Spectacles, My Window Seat, The Lord’s Burden, The Query, The Tripper and I Believe. Even though most of her poems were originally written in Garo, she undertook to translate many of them to English to make them more accessible to readers outside her own state as well.
About the poem: “I Believe” by Brucellish K Sangma is the English title of a poem entitled “Anga Berbera” that was originally written in her native language Garo. It was translated into English by Sangma herself.
Setting of the poem:
This poem is set entirely in the poet’s imagination. If that were not so, then the poem would seem quite unbelievable. The situations that she describes, or piercing the earth and the sky, cannot take place in reality. She also imagines that the world is full of treasures and that all human beings are angels. This too is a fanciful picture of the current state of our world. However, the poet’s message is one that is very feasible – that we should dream big, work hard to achieve our goals, be ethical and love our homeland. Hence the poet uses her imagination to teach us a realistic lesson.
Annotation: Line by Line Meaning of I Believe
Please note: N= noun, V=verb, Adj=Adjective, Adv=Adverb, P=Preposition
Pebble (N): A small stone made smooth and round by the action of water or sand
Pierce (V): Force a way through; penetrate
Play (N): Light and constantly changing movement
Soar (V): Fly or rise high in the air
Silky (Adj): Of or resembling silk, especially in being soft, fine, and lustrous
Dive (V): Plunge head first into water with one’s arms raised over one’s head
Sharks (N): Plural form of the word “shark”, that is, a long-bodied chiefly marine fish with a cartilaginous skeleton, a prominent dorsal fin, and tooth-like scales. Most sharks are predatory, though the largest kinds feed on plankton, and some can grow to a large size
Claw (V): Scratch or tear something with the claws or the fingernails
Belly (N): The front part of the human trunk below the ribs, containing the stomach and bowels
Priceless (Adj): So precious that its value cannot be determined
Gems (N): Plural form of the word “gem”, that is, a precious or semi-precious stone, especially when cut and polished or engraved
Adorn (V): Make more beautiful or attractive
Amidst (P): Surrounded by; in the middle of
Surrounded (V): Past participle form of the word “surround”, that is, to be all round (someone or something)
Treasures (N): Plural form of the word “treasure”, that is, a quantity of precious metals, gems, or other valuable objects
Role (N): The function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation
Assigned (V): Past participle form of the word “assign”, that is, to appoint (someone) to a job, task, or organization
Summary of I Believe by Brucellish K Sangma
The poem consists of 6 stanzas. Each of these stanzas is again made up of 3 lines. Hence, the entire poem consists of 18 lines in total.
I believe if a pebble is thrown upwards
I can pierce the heavens
And see the angels at play
In this stanza, the poet imagines herself throwing a pebble above her head and into the sky. She thinks that this small pebble can create a hole in the sky through which she will be able to see all the angels who live there going about their specific tasks.
I believe I can soar to the heights
Touch the silky clouds
And feel the stars
In this stanza, the poet says that she is sure that she will be able to fly to a great height. Once she reaches that height, she will surely be able to touch the smooth clouds and the stars that are shining there.
I believe I can dive
Right into the depths
And swim with the sharks
In this stanza, the poet says she has full faith in herself that she can dive to the very depth of the ocean. Once she reaches that place, she will swim along next to the sharks, and she is sure that they will not harm her in any way.
I believe I can claw into the earth’s belly
Pick up the priceless gems
And adorn myself with them
In this stanza, the poet imagines herself with claws and she uses these claws to penetrate the earth’s surface to reach into its deeper layers. She anticipates that she will find such precious gems that that no one can afford to buy them from her. However, she has no intention of selling those gems anyway. Instead she wants to wear those gems all over her body and make herself beautiful.
I believe I can do many things
Amidst the human angels
Surrounded by the world’s treasures
In this stanza, the poet says that all human beings are actually angels and that all of them have extraordinary abilities. She feels that if all those angels are present with her, then they can accomplish many feats with the help of each other. They know that the world is full of treasures, and they can find them all if they work together.
But I firmly believe I’ve to complete
The role assigned to me here
Where I dream and breathe.
In this stanza, the poet says that before she can accomplish all the many tasks that she has set before herself, she must complete the role she has been given in the land where her home is. This is the land where she breathes, and also the land that comes to her in her dreams.
Suggested Reading: Complete Analysis of I Believe by Brucellish K Sangma
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