The palindromes of pain and elegance

5th vol  No 1 (July 2018)


Pitambar Naik: Falter and Fall
Dr Vivekanand Jha
Falter and Fall
A Collection of Poems
New Delhi: Authorspress
ISBN: 978-93-5207-73
Pp | Rs 250 | $ 12

The palindromes of pain and elegance

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash ― Leonard Cohen.” No matter what the season is, it’s spine-chilling winter’s murkiness or heart rending rains, it’s scorching summer’s restlessness or solacing autumn’s bougainvillea, it’s in health, and even in weakness a weaver bird becomes quarantined and finishes the larger task. It burns in the seasonal fires to sing the inner poetry as Leonard Cohen opined. No metaphor but the straw of palindromes; splinters and dry leaves and often the fragments of barbed wire or thorns of hope and a bit of elegance. The little one designs the prescient fabric, sculpts the dream nest and creates a heaven out of it. A poet is no less a weaver bird who knits and sews the canopy of solace, peace and appeasement for life.

Living amidst chaos and nonchalant paranoia, it’s the debris of innocent time and human bodies. What can in fact sabotage an indefatigable heart? What can stop the deluging nectar of chirping songs of a free bird, the swaying romance of the ripe paddy fields that gigue in pin drop serenity and the vast moving genocidal expo of the market economy where a common man gets squelched, and the absence of brotherhood among brothers stirs the poet to ooze his angst and trauma.

Poet Vivekanand Jha a compassionate human who dares to express, delineate and sketch the faces of our society. He tries hard to compose a picture of human struggles, relationships and exchange of heart and mind in real life situation in a nutshell. The juggernaut and the colossal socio-cultural challenges can’t ever discourage him to stop nor can the degrading and aggravated human values and morals threaten his pen to take a pause. The entire collection is a kaleidoscopic landscape and transverse valley of artistic aesthetics. The style of language and tone of setting are sacramental, the rhapsodies and rhythms of his inner heart twang a different voice altogether and that certainly seizes the readers psyche in a hallucinogenic manner.

The poet ventures to gauze and understand the pulse of nature and the depth of exuberance in life. Sometimes he tries to identify himself with the lowly and depressed to sing a sky touching humanistic melic and some other times he composes terzarima for natural flora and fauna: It’s the song he joyfully sings which is solacing like an intimate music and heart touching comfort to any wayfarer-

Giving away
the message of breeze
to every ambler (A Banyan Tree)

Despite all sorrow and suffering, pain and pestilence one should dare to challenge to live a life as an inspiration to many. It’s the time of test that is often phenomenal and unavoidable in the earthly odyssey of humans. His words are simple but rhythmic, valetudinarian but impacting, very terse in saying but unfathomable in meaning, they are in fact not measurable in centimeter and decimeter-

I speak
as I suffered (Believe Me or Not)

Often we metamorphose into aloofness and behave nonchalantly but when the heart and soul joins together, things turn into most relaxing and when life sways with burden and anxieties it takes refuse in divinity.

Embracing the divinity
taking refuse
in the prescient power (Bhagawat Gita)

We live in a world that is full of disparity and disparagement, hate reins us and absurdity falters us, animosity and acrimony persistently engages us in a perennial tussle to keep our vested-interest and hegemony intact. We witness alleged atrocities and human rights violation around us; often instead of taking side with the no people we join directly or indirectly with the haves to suppress the have-nots. And the poet cries bitterly saying these words-

We use the stick
To persecute the weak
We use the flower
To adore the tower (Class and society)

Humanity has been pushed to a corner; it’s being manhandled and bludgeoned on a regular basis here and elsewhere. Relationship is chief market stuff; we are split and fragmented into race, class, caste and other cocoon kind of divisions and classifications. The onus of literature and writers to have been to bridge this gulf between groups and classes but they have utterly failed to hit the mark in recent time. The poet here is desperate and dejected to explore humanity; instead he meets it in a pool of blood and accident- “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry ― Emily Dickinson.”

I found
humanity has met with an accident (Humanity)

My weakness is to look unto you with full satisfaction, to discover the fullest possibilities to be intertwined with you. What can check or obstruct love? Is there any torrential force that can scare away the passion and elixir of love? Love itself is a Tsunami it sweeps pains, melancholy and preserves life. How can a poet refrain from singing a love elegy?

Love is eternal
it sings to eternity
what can be equated to love? (Love)

Grief and sorrow is no stranger on earth, it’s no accident but a part of our life. The poet sings a song of solace and saccharine comfort even at the time of grief. Neither the spine-chilling cold nor the life scorching heat, neither the lecherous and deadly relational hazards nor any herculean catastrophe stops him to sit snugly and sing.

I sing a song of glee
Even in the hours of grief (Grief)

What keeps us going; something that is utterly abounding; that can’t be evaded; that in fact propels us to keep going. Whether it’s an amatory love in connubial living or an alleged elicit love affair; it saccharinely promises, leads to heighten the joy of living. And a lot of promises from both ends ooze the sweetest nectar to be licked-

I am living
only for the promise (Promise)

Where is compassion? What has guillotined the sense of brotherhood? Why are in a loggerhead, what goes wrong? Is there any solution to this in this world? A poor voice, full of frustrations and abhorrence, why are often things not set right as expected, why does a culturally and economically boisterous and robust society like ours becomes wan and pale in many in terms of human development and growth? It’s certainly gloomy and desperate! It’s just because-

Society is led by a band of cutthroats
where innocent bleeds
brutal leads

Life is a serendipity and may be like the terrain cliffs of mountain ranges psychedelic and little brutal as well; it’s the unceasing efforts of man to juxtapose beauty with life. And that engages him to seek divine salvation in yoga.

Yoga a holy deep
to achieve salvation (Yoga)

The poet of “Falter and Fall” is poignant and ecstatic to sing eternal songs, he is indefatigable to portray as to preserve the anachronism to harness a diagonal but perennial season. He drives his thoughts to a different territory in search of truth of somberness. “Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes ― Joseph Roux.” Here the poet takes his readers to inherit the much needed peace as truth. He dares the sordid and brutal hegemony politics and history and points at the treacherous vested interest. Though in several instances he is little abnormal and immature, yet, his journey ensembles euphoria for the readers. The collection is certainly readable and worth praising.

Pitambar Naik was born and raised in Odisha in India. He is an advertising copywriter to earn a living; and writes poetry, non-fiction and reviews books in English to love life to its fullest. He has been featured in journals such as Brown Critique, Spark Magazine, CLRI, Indian Review, Indian Ruminations, Galaxy-IMRJ, HEArt Online, Fair Folk-A Magazine of Fantastic, Tuck Magazine, Indian Periodical, Hans India, Phenomenal Magazine, The New Indian Express, Metaphor, Bhashabandhan Review and elsewhere. He can be reached at