New Delhi: Author of 51 poems and Kumarakom musings, the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has called himself a shadow of his poetic past. He told an assembly of art lovers here on Thursday that he has stopped writing poems these days.

"I used to write poems. But now it [poem-writing] has stopped," the 83-year-old BJP leader remarked when hosts of an art exhibition requested him to say some couplets. "This time I am the shadow of the poet [in me]."

Mr. Vajpayee, however, did recite a poem, saying it was inspiring him to look deep into himself.

The poem, he said, had "shattered dream" as its theme.

"Sapna toot gya. Hathon mein haldi peeli, paon mein mehndi hai geeli. Palak jhapakne se pehle, sapna toot gya, sapna toot gya," [The dream is shattered. The turmeric in my hand is yellow, the henna on my foot is wet. Before the eye blinks, the dream is shattered, the dream is shattered] Mr. Vajpayee said. PTI