The prehistoric poets were fortunate.
Ideas to be chosen were unbounded.
Everything was fresh as the tender coconut water.
Plagiarism was unmapped.
Their poetry lived in souls.

In the nineteenth century,
Solitude formed in Wilcox’s womb,
“Laugh, and the world laughs with you:
Weep, and you weep alone.”
The same lines were echoed later in a Malayalam lyric,
“Chirikkumbol koode chirikkan ayiram per varum
Karayumbol koode karayan nin nizhal mathram varum.”
The similarity was coincidental,
a literary surprise.

Though plagiarists are plenty,
creative resemblance is a truth:
a truth I’m afraid of.
Now I need to MRI scan my poem
before it flies to live in the journal.
Who makes me more vigilant is the plagiarism-fisher
voyaging through my verse with a hook.
Yet I’m thankful to him.

First published in The Literary Hatchet
*The similarity between Ella Wilcox's poem 'Solitude' and
a lyric in Malayalam language inspired me to write this poem.