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Letter: A Poetic Elegy For Harsha Maddula

We are deeply touched by the tragic loss of Harsha Maddula. Your article and editorial made clear how great the loss of this exceptional young man.  He was indeed very much a sophisticated young man already, as evidenced by his own broadminded words which show his heart and mind were firmly in the place where we all need to be in this world today. For his are the eloquent words of a beautiful person, of an open and wise man of peace.  Having said that, we should all want to be like Harsha was. My family extends our heartfelt condolences to Harsha’s family and friends. There is the precious beauty of a loved one. For the sorrow that knows no end, I attempted a poem I would like to offer, for what comfort its simple words might be able to provide. The Maddulas are in our thoughts and prayers.

Stephen and Constantine Cipot and family

In Memory Of Harsha Maddula

Who sought “the mind of an engineer, ethics of a scientist,

soul of a poet and skill of an academic…”


To the sophisticated young man who said such fine words,

who wished to be a scientist, making a study of light,

its primary and secondary effects, that work themselves out in

pleasing refraction and angles, color, shadow and otherwise.

For life is the sum of its illuminated particulars.

Who imagined becoming an archeologist or anthropologist,

making precious human finds.


And who sought beyond formal degrees to be a poet, to include

the heart among the known things… and the substance of love

that is but a dream—to make its affectations transparent to an observer.

Part of a coveted history that is preserved and passed on

through the generations.  So that our quotidian lives and

spring evenings can be known, and our companionable

discussions can extend to other tongues, the voices remaining

present through years and distance.  For the words of a poet

are like artifacts discovered among the treasures of a tell.  

Providing an endless supply of energy and harmony, teaching

we are all descendants of emigrants who left paradise ages ago,

immigrants on the road to somewhere.  


And the greatest part of a history is we can live in this world

together without strife…where the dark clouds have passed and

hate is a fiction, only a word of an extinct language picked up

along the way and discarded—not realized.

Its Rosetta Stone never written or buried in sand.


There is the never-ending beauty of loved ones.

Of the peace that is lost and must be found and reclaimed again.

When I look at life we should all want to be like you were.

Exceptional and wise beyond years.  Striving to be

the kind of physician who heals body and soul.

One who is able to articulate the language of peace.

Stephen Cipot