Category Archives: Book reviews

Multidimensional Treatment of Love in “Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart”

Multidimensional Treatment of Love in “Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart”

Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar’s collection of poetry “Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart” does explicate the concept of love from various angles, perspectives and point of views. Love is explored in this collection in a stark and apt manner without losing its verve and strength. Here in this anthology of love poems, the love as such is dealt with in a microscopic way taking into consideration the different aspects of it one after the other. The main characteristics brought forth through these love poems are the divine love as the predominant love present in this world, the bliss that is derived out this spiritual love, love as an eternal and interminable feeling, the love one does have for oneself and others, the incredible emotion innate in love, the real meaning born out of love, the elixir of love, the incidents and events culminating in the final consummation of love, the enduring and endeavouring side of love, the description of love as a gentle breeze, the suppleness of love, the regenerative mode of love, the oasis in the desert sort of love, the love that is conducted with the domain of silence, the relentless and restless kind of love, the rejuvenating reaches of love, the love for the beloved overflowing directly from the heart, the emotion recollected in tranquillity and quietness type of love, the imaginative love intermixed with aestheticism, the love that takes place transcending above barriers, boundaries, borders and limitations ,the bewitchingly glamorous aspect of love, the love related to yearning for the beloved in the loneliness of the night, the love that is enacted in the domain of serenity and peace, the trials and tribulations associated with love, the universal love, the gestures and movements born out of love, the recollective and reminiscent mode of love, the reinvigorating sensation called love, the sparks of love created within the interiors of the heart, the love of past pedigree, the done and dusted element of love, the mutual and bilateral love, the reciprocal and one on one sort of love, the clandestine love, the most defining idea of love, the difficulties and obstacles inherent in a love relationship, the all pervasive love, the unselfish love, the all encompassing love, the most visible format of love, the serenity related to love, the poetic love, the aesthetic side of love, the intellectual love, the refreshingly well-versed kind of love, the love that goes on within the framework of isolation and alienation, the lamentations and despondencies which are the hallmarks of love, the heart wrenching type of love, the love that bestows upon us consolation and consolidation, the location of the love in nature, the genuine love, the bleeding love entanglement, the physical love, the in-depth love, the internal love, the externality of love, the new dawn of love, the love that is blended within the institution of marriage, love as a holistic and comprehensive reality in this world, the love of the divine as well as the world and love as the beginning and the end.
This poetry book is put through the scanner of analysis with respect to ten love poems in it which are reflective of the multidimensionality of the theme of love described here.
The Godly Love
The most important love in this world is the love towards the divine. It is also the purest form of love, in the poem titled “To Goddess of Love!”. The specialty of this love is given sum and substance extensively. The Godly love is the most purged and cleansed sort of love, there is a rare beauty in it. It is a love inclined towards spirituality all the way. It is the most elegant and trustworthy form of love in this world. This love enables us to wipe out all the dark influences from this world, this love ejects out ill will and enmity and this love does have the capability of weeding out the nauseating aspects innate in the minds and hearts of the people. It is a love furnished with good feelings, it is also a sacrificial kind of love wherein even the life is sacrificed at the altar of love, and the Muse of the heart is kept intact without falling into pitfalls owing to this love of substantial nature. The divine love is able to drive away all lustrous emotions and violent tendencies from the heart. This love also brings final redemption to the self stock, block and barrel:
O Goddess of Love !
Pristine beauty
Glowing on spiritual throne
Brimming with splendid elegance
Dispel the darkness of hatred
From heart and mind of the ignorant people
And burn all weeds of their impure and lurid desires…
The Interminable Love
In the poem titled “Oh, Eternal Love!”, love is characterised as a wholesome experience which can never ever wither away or wilt out. Love in fact never wanes or fades. Once it is initiated, love is to be had in such a perennial manner because love is the centre of this universe. Such a constant love is present in all particles of this world. In fact love is the overwhelming emotion in this world. Without the presence of love, this world is a useless and futile place to live in. The eternal love is blended with peace and tranquillity present in this world. Such a love of unending nature is the foundation of the good aspects of life here on this earth. The poet pleads:
In the earthly sheath
Of monotonous moments 
Let me be
Far away
From the weary
And dreary times
Of life
The Real Meaning of Love
In the poem titled “Definition of Love”, two diametrically opposed formats of love are perused: one is linked with worldly scheme of things born out of love and the other is the spiritual love which is a love of evergreen nature. The worldly love is encircled with lusty intentions and carnal desires. Here the individuals do have that orientation towards insatiable needs of the flesh. The sacred nature of love is discounted here. This love of materialistic nature is surrounded by fickleness and pure fantasy; there is no solidity adduced to it. It comes and goes by the drop of a hat. It is in fact a quicksand sort of love. When the physical needs are fulfilled, this love becomes so unbearable and problematic. It is a love of clandestine kind carried out to humour the flesh. This love is solely linked to the ways of this world. Within the format of this love, all unsavoury things do take place such as promiscuity and lascivious behavioural patterns. Love is not something that should be given a shabby treatment. It is not the consumption of the flesh; it is not something to be taken in a non-serious manner. It shouldn’t be confined to an insignificant arena, it is not a down and out emotion whatsoever, and it shouldn’t be treated with disdain. Instead love is the most overwhelming emotion touching upon everything in this world. In fact love is all about life and the various aspects related to it. Love acts as a panacea for all the aliments affecting this world. It is something that spruces up our soul. Love is the highest form of poetry in all the senses of the term; love is a journey and the final destination of it is the divine abode where eternal peace is truly encountered by us all. He avers:
Love is life, philosophy, art and religion
A discipline with transformative power
That ennobles us and elevates our souls;
Love is poetry : the abstract of bliss 
Underlying between and beyond the lines,
A facilitating means to an end for soul
That ultimately melts into the eternal ocean 
Of peace, bliss and the union divine.
Love : As a Foundational Principle
In the poem titled “Fountainhead of Love”, the concept of love is narrated as an emotion having everything in it, a heart that is filled with love does have bliss, joy and happiness in it. A true loving heart can never ever hold any ill will in it; a loving heart bestows us with contentment and satisfaction. When true love takes sojourn or residence in our hearts, we are elevated, ennobled and heightened to a dawn of immaculateness adrift of all worldly desires:
for love alone elevates
our soul and mind
with lofty thoughts and ideas,
taking us to ecstatic heights
of peace and tranquillity
beyond the horizon of desires…

Love of Solitary Pedigree
In the poem titled “Serenade of Solitude”, love is seen through the prism of solitude. There is love within contemplation and reflection. The solitude is a higher level of love wherein love does have that surging journey without getting bogged down anywhere. In the format of solitude, everything is remembered and reconciled with, as a result of which life moves on with the feeling of love intact at the heart. When love is perceived as a peaceful thing, then it spills over into our thought processes and entire self; when love is integrated with the self, nature and love go in tandem and conformity with each other building up this world on the common platform of sustainability. The poet reveals:
Sullen, I brood within soul
In contemplative solitude;
Amid serenades of Nature
And feel soul-felt beatitude.

Curative Love
In the poem titled” Healing Power of Love” ,love is termed as a comfortable emotion for the body and the mind. The individual here is in the whirlpool of the emotion of love. Here love lives on within the self with all the grandeur and viability. When life goes through the inhospitable terrines, love brings succour to the self. When the world and the self are broken into pieces, love is the only thing that binds both of them together as one consolidated entity:
Love never stops at one station
Until it carries and ferries us all,
Soulful bonds and loving ties,
Breaking fetters of gloomy heart
Locked in cranky casket of life,
Love consoles the unheard sobs
Healing the deep wounds of life..!

The Transcendental Love
In the poem titled “Metaphysical Lovers”, love is elucidated as having a higher purpose in life. Here love is seen not in a worldly perspective rather from the angle of cosmic reality. We all have short-lived life here and it is a temporary phenomenon altogether, but the only emotion that allows us to break free from all stratifications of life is love. Each and every moment of our life is to be lived to reach one step closer to that fireball of love, in which everything does have the ultimate end. Love as such can’t be imprisoned rather it should have a free reign all the times. The poet talks about:
Loving each other over there 
In the cozy igloo of thoughts
Like a pleasant rendezvous,
With blissful comforts for souls in love
On the delta of romantic times
Beyond the horizon of territorial desert!
The Nostalgic Love
In the poem titled “Down Memory Lane”, love is associated with one’s own existence from cradle to the grave. The bygone love takes the centre of gravity here. The lovely village where the individual lived in brings up memories of enticing and alluring prospect to him/her. Today such a serene landscape is gone with the winds in the life of the individual. Instead he/she lives in the concrete jungles having to deal with the negative aspects of urbanisation trends such as pollution of the air, contamination of water, inhuman attitude, commercialised dealings, the stifling atmosphere, the feeling of alienation and artificial/mechanical ways of living. Here love takes a backseat, still everything is not lost. The remnants of that motherly love of the past linger on unabated even in this cauldron of inhumanity. The individual’s earnestness to get connected with his/her native land and its lovely ways is still alive and kicking:
The veil of terrestrial distance is blown off
From my heart and mind
Uncovering my deep love for
The flora and fauna, the native people,
Arousing and reviving in me
A refreshing nostalgia time and again!
The Melancholic Love
In the poem titled “Sad Saga of Love”, love attains a melancholic tone and tenor. The individual here undergoes sufferings due to loneliness, suppression, oppression and compression. The unloving environment prevails here in an obvious fashion. Here the individual doesn’t have an option but to be in the shackles and clutches of that unloving arena. The quest to break free and in love is there but that is unattainable at present. The rupture from the beloved takes her into an abyss of despair. She does have to do away with taboos, stigmas and inhibitions to reach that plain field of love. She is restricted and constrained and remains chained into that dark corner without the services of pure love. He poignantly describes the plight of a beloved:
With someone’s absence in proximity,
Her intimacy gropes a friendly pillar….
Love cries in cuddled tears of darkness
To transcend a barrier, age long taboo
For her freedom and salvation forever…
The Floodgate of Love
In the poem “Elixir of Love”, love is explicated as a lost and found thing altogether. Here love is weighed down by that romantic overplay and over smartness, that doesn’t bring these loving souls together. Here distance is also an irritant, so the loving union of the hearts must be promoted and nurtured. Although these lovers can not have that smooth sail with respect to love, even then they would like to have that mutual understanding and one on one relationship in the field of love:
Though we cannot dive together into
The unfathomable depth of worldly love
Surging in the sea of our bosom,
We keep feeling through our wavelength
The romantic ripples and the sweet whirling
Of heart-throbs in mutual bower of the unified soul…
The love poems of Bhaskar Jha do have plenty of gumption and inner vitality in their composition. The cardinal thrust that is seen through these poems is their ability to sway the readers into having that rumination regarding the various dimensions of love so prevalent in this world. These love poems are so life altering experiences. These poems can be guidelines and reference points in terms of how the love poems are to be composed and cobbled together because all these poems have all the ingredients related to the composition of love poems and emotions arising out of the concept of love.
As far as the technique of the poet is concerned, the following extract taken from the Foreword by Dr Amarnath Jha is noteworthy:
“The poems are rich in the use of figurative language. The figures, such as simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, paradox, apostrophe, metonymy, allusion etc. have been frequently used. The linguistic devices of polysemy (e.g. ‘The flood of tears tears the heart’ in “Sometimes I Feel” (No.43)) and functional shifts have also been applied very significantly. …………….The cohesive devices used in the individual poems make them stitched together in the overall framework of the volume for the sake of coherence.”
Let this poet of tremendous quality thrive in the future by producing such poetic ventures. My best wishes to him from the bottom of my heart.

Cijo Joseph Chennelil Kuravilangad.
Head of the English Department,
Kristu Jyoti College,
Changanassery,Kottayam,
Kerala,India.

BOOK DETAILS

Soothing Serenades : Straight from the Heart (Collection of Love Poems)
Poet: Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar
Publisher: Authors Press, New Delhi
Publication Year: 2018
Pages 114, Price Rs. 250/- $12

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 pitambarnaikwriter@gmail.com

‘Flowers and Monsters’ : Poems of Atindriyo Chakraborty reviewed by Ballari Ray Chaudhury.

‘Flowers and Monsters’ : Poems of Atindriyo Chakraborty reviewed by Ballari Ray Chaudhury.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote :

In the writings of a recluse . . . one always hears something of the echo of the wilderness, something of the murmuring tones and timid vigilance of solitude; in his strongest words, even in his cry itself, there sounds a new and more dangerous kind of silence, of concealment.

[Beyond good and Evil, trans. by Helen Zimmerman, Macmillan 1914]

 

– This would rightly serve a bonafide specimen towards reading ‘And those other ghosts of love’ by Atindriyo Chakraborty. Awaiting a tomorrow, when the brutal killings give rise to that incendiary text which pursues a deep rooted protest against the raw injustice planned by the state itself,  his relentless advocacy towards a new literary genre allows to bring forth a duologic collaboration of narrative in the poems. More like frescoes, the moving images underlying the text, the constant persuasion of the ‘real’ world outside the poet – justifies to confiscate Barthes’ s fundamentals of authorship –

 

“The author, when believed in, is always conceived of as the past of his own book: book and author stand, automatically on a single line divided into a ‘before’ and ‘after’. The author is thought to ‘nourish’ the book, which is to say that he exists before it, thinks, suffers, lives for it, is in the same relation of antecedence to his work as a father to his child.” [Barthes, the Death of the Author, 1977:145]

 

The poet retreats to a silent refusal and his treatment to the text is more of a commentator being a witness to events happening at the spur of a moment. To cite an example from his poems, we may go through the following excerpt:

 

Wish there was a space where I could let it out –

let everything out

and yet not be accountable for it. So much accounts

and accountancy eats the brain up. I just wish i

could spit fire and poison from my eyes and

mouth and everything else and I could burn

everything and get burned.

 

The clichéd identity of ‘Me’ and ‘Myself’ faces a disapproval from the author. He is a disclaimer, speaking out uncut versions of the ‘negatives’ resplendent with the wounds and blunders, false inhibitions and fear parenchyama, developing out of different changing circumstances. As we read the lines, the commingling gingle of ‘I’ and ‘i’ do hereby adhere to offering a true manifesto of the poet’s confrontation with death and vandalism. His words serve as perquisites of drilling with the dialectics between spectacular commodity economy and unveiling the bleakest of social hegemonic structures within the cultural arena. Hence Atindriyo rejects the captive decorum of writing suave, passive and simply speaking with ‘himself’ in a pensive Eliot mood depicting “every word” as a “mask” [Nietzsche …]

The romance of tomorrows are nowhere. It’s a world of captive recollection of history and the present, social struggles of the Adivasi tribes in Bastar has been the poet’s vehement centres of research and coming in terms with the truer self.

 

beasts that pounce from fore

are easier to fight

but they, who have

clouds & curtains of fake sympathy

to hide behind

while ways of life, aesthetic propriety

and other endowments

that capital brings –

hold control, hold power.

[j’accuse / atindriyo.blogspot.in, Jan 7, 2018]

 

“And i sought to survive.

And may be, just maybe,

I sought the pain as well.”

 

Here three-fold lines with a bold font takes the speaker to the eye of the needle. Together both selves create identities with and without the prerogatives of living or surviving within hostile agencies. One is the seeker of life rotten at both ends, the other also beckons for suffering. Separate lines seem to move in a parallel allegory within structural norms. As an introductory message the poet had said –

“I have observed that things tend to just be there and live and / or die for themselves. that’s funny in a way. i have also observed that people are just like stoned fishes, that’s not funny in anyway. I’m hustling dead butterflies and tiny things that shine up this avenue now.”

[Introduction /And Those Other Ghosts of Love]

 

Being in a “combat zone”,* Atindriyo observed evidences following the protests and struggles of the tribes in and around his localities where canonization and debunking occur simultaneously. The caste ideologies behave as ‘dead butterflies’ or ‘stoned fishes’ as the poet realizes that hierarchy is forever reconstituting in new forms. Hence a multitude of cheap tracts leading to the ‘high’ enlightened and the ‘low’-life acts as a trigger to the poet’s narrative. Each developing moment moves to reconcile and rewind to a new emerging transient new moment cris-crossing different electron pairs in a splurge. No two emergence can be dealt at a time. So, a flux of cause-and-effect order persists in many poems –

 

“Machine place,

Smooth edges, smooth walls, smooth floors, smooth people,

Every thing’s perfect, and everything’s as lifeless as perfection can

Possibly be.”

 

The book centres around lines built too long to decipher a madness that causes repetition, or too brief to evoke a comment. ‘Nothing happens at any cost’ concepts are in–built parabolic movements within the startled cosmos. The age-old quantum mechanics does not apply, no electron theory can be stated as true. All interrogations prove eligible to be instantly dismissed by the reader. Atindriyo cannot be the reader’s choice, because his poems are a different signature altogether. The ‘I’ and ‘i’ are clubbed together, juxtaposed and wildly intersected at many staircases which may signify ways to unmask the signs of language – a  language which we need to speak to reach the eye of the needle, a vocabulary that hides a decadence that cannot be cured. It’s a shame that we are unable to unleash wounds that are created by histories of political power-wars, cold blooded murder operations, furies that cannot be uttered behind sound of silenced verses.

 

Against a backdrop of “frenzied genocide”* taking place in various villages in Bastar, being a witness to “violent systemic clampdowns on the communities of Bastar”,* the uncensored brutal killing procedures planned by the state, pursues a different mode of communication outrageously through logical attempts of a single verb ‘pouncing’ –

 

And i can see the owl staring at me for i don’t know how long

And i can see the city turning into a leopard at midnight

With dark black spots in the yellow blaze

And pouncing at the midnight

And pouncing at the sea

And pouncing at the ships in horizon

And pouncing at endlessness

And pouncing at me

But the window is to be stronger than the city

And i am to survive the city

And i am to survive its yellow blaze and dark spots

And i want it to see me surviving

but for all these to happen

 

Here the irregular usage of lines in a stanza proves a sudden retaliation of age-old violence inflicted on a whole generation to rebel against fascist approaches.  

*[‘Indomitable Bastar – An Eyewitness Account’ ]

 

We may wish to quote from Paul Blumberg in order to understand the impact of fascist politics on the poet who does not tame himself towards submission in desperation. Atindriyo”s some of the conspicuous compositions refute against this backdrop. Blumbergh says – “The main thrust of the autocratic organization is to drive the mature adult back into childhood. The mature individual strives to take an active part in his world, but the chain of command renders him passive. He seeks to be independent and to control his own beahviour, but as an employee he is rendered dependent and essentially lacking in control over his own behavour. The mature individual strives for the long time perspective . . . but . . . his time perspective is consequently shortened. He seeks to achieve relationships based on equality, but as a subordinate, he becomes just that, once again as in childhood.” [Paul Blumberg, Industrial Democrcy : The Sociology of Participation, p.131] On the contrary of this comparison, Atindriyo’s poems like the one in page 9 of the book says –  

 

I will never be a mannerquin – because my gaze can never ever be

as fixed and as theirs are, and my check can never be as cold as

theirs and, ah well

what the fuck am i talking about?

 

– ‘talking about’ mannequins and then negation of the thought communicates in two specific generic ways. ‘I will never be a mannequin’ signifies ‘I certainly can’ but I’m not. He puts the question as an answer, though deliberately inappropriate.

 

As the line begins with a ‘No’, the underlying signifying agent here is a positive “yes” concept. It says – “because my gaze can never ever be as fixed and as theirs are” i.e., the poet here affirms his being a “living” mannequin, his cheeks actually are “as cold as theirs”. A meagre space reiterates to speak “for” the topic, but in the form of  a rhetorical question. Then comes a longer space between lines. The poet continues as :

 

My haiku

was burning

for whatever it was worth.

 

These lines conform to a more realistic truth. A distracted apathy is wiser and more connotative. Here as a symbol growing between the text picture, a sudden and abrupt brevity in line – pattern. Long winding word-pathways seem less in numbers. As if a different orbit comes to light, endangered and punched back to a negligible character. As if doors are about to close at any precarious moment.

 

Yes, its that hour of the tiger again

A shapeless from, a formless shape, whatever

Nothing concrete, just an hour –

….

Lost in eyes that burn the dark.

And nothing else.

And this too, shall pass.       

 

Only a moment, but that would also “pass” into oblivion. Perhaps we should go back to Borge’s parable “Fauna of Mirrors”. The defeated, the destroyed or the subjugated class of people consigned to the other side of the mirror are nothing but the double of their conquerers. But Borges says that, one day that side of the mirror would eventually rise and put an end to the Empire’s hegemony.

 

Pg 15 marks a new turn over. It shows what modernity has in store for us.

“all the horizons

And soon, all will be put out, Whiffed away with one stroke of a hand.

….

People, you see, are a pretty lousy bunch that look similar, walk

similarly

And even talk about and think of similar things.

 

Here words log in to a different game. It signifies a power structure, the way politics works. We may feel this is in a way a caricature of democracy, a grotesque parody which when unmasked, would leave us with the hope of a rational method of execution of power. “One stroke of a hand spells out the paradox of fascist ideology of power. This very political sourcing has been conferred by the people, by “we”. It would be necessary to refer to Jean Baudrillard regarding his outstanding thesis in his chapter “Carnival And Cannibal” :

“It would perhaps also explain the general tendency of populations to delegate their sovereignty to the most innocuous; oligocephalic of their fellow citizens. It is a kind of evil genius that induces people to choose someone more stupid than themselves, both as a precaution against a responsibility you are always wary of………” [Carnival And Cannibal / Pg 15, Jean Baudrillard]

 

The repetition, the observing of ‘i’ and ‘I’ both at the same wave of speech, analogous structural patterns of human expression, emotion and melodrama constitutes a legal detachment of the poet. His pursuit remains undone. He is not finished as the pages end up, instead of trying to pull it to the brim. The poems does not agree to be complete or perfect in timing their end. Things are not yet settled, the market culture fails to furnish you as the reader to this text. When the monitors become a kind of idolatry, we know we have destroyed each of our lives’ ‘original’ – we are only the photocopies of ourselves and that is the submerged parody underlying the title : we have made a ghost of ourselves, and the poet valiant enough, plays a part to that virulent conspiracy.

 

Acknowledgements

 

  • I owe my heartiest gratitude to Mr. Shubham Roy Chowdhury for his special mention of the poet regarding a project undertaken by myself.

 

  • War Diaries / Jean Paul Sartre, Trns. Quintin  Hoare, Calcutta 2005, Seagull.

 

  • A sick planet / Guy Debord, Trns. Donald Nicholson – Smith, 2008, Seagull.

 

  • Carnival And Cannibal / Jean Baudrillard Trans. Chris Turner, 2010, Seagull.

 

  • http : // attindriyo.blogspot.in

 

  • Indomitable Bastar – An Eyewitness Account, Trans. Atindriyo Chakrabarty.  

 

  • Industrial Democracy : The Sociology of Participation / Paul Blumberg.

 

  • Beyond Good & Evil / Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Helen Zimmerman, Macmillan, 1914.

 

  • The Death of the Author / Roland Barthes / Intertexuality, Graham Allen,Routledge 2007.

 

  • And those other Ghosts of Love / Atindriyo Chakvarty, Antivirus, (Dhaka – Liverpool) 2013.                  

The chronicler of lost causes”as referred by Sunday Telegraph, 20 May 2018; Atindriyo has proved to be a meticulous observer of human relationships, culture and traditions linked within  personal perceptions. Being a bilingual poet and author, his research of changing strategies of the government towards the Adivasis of Bastar in Chattisgarh, the atrocities forced on the people every moment and the political warfare that causes the people to struggle for a survival has been rightly addressed in the book ‘ Indomitable Bastar’ : Account of an Eye- witness ( published by Bastar Solidarity Network, 2018. )Earlier in 2015, “Television of the Rotten Soul”,  an anthology of poems of Falguni Ray was published. In addition to these,  Atindriyo has studied deeply the culture and background of the Caryapad, the first specimen of poetry written in Bengali dating back to the 10 th century. His research and translation should fetch a wider readership in future

Dr Ballari Ray Chaudhury, author of 5 Bengali anthologies  alongwith 2 English  poetry  titles, pursued her literary career as researcher. Her field of interest has been poetry, translations of Poems from other languages,changing trends in  the history of Bengali literature with in socio-cultural perspective. After being awarded a doctoral degree, she visited center for linguistics, University of Oxford to work with Prof Aditi Lahiri and Dr Stephen Parkinson in a project  on July 2012. She has been a recipient of krittibas puraskar, the prestigious award given by Sunil Gongopadhyay, the renowned eminent stalwart of Bengali literature. She has been invited as a poet and panelist in the Dhaka Literary Meet this year for her contribution in poetry and research.

A love of life in What if the Sky Falls?

A love of life in What if the Sky Falls?
L B Chhetri

Bhisma Upreti, a well known poet and essayist of Nepal who has several books in his credit, has come out this time with ‘What if the Sky Falls?’. The more affectionate about this creation is that it is published by GREY SPARROW, an America publishing house. It’s a collection of 28 poems, initially composed in Nepali and translated by different translators from Nepal only.

Out of 28 poems 14 are titled from Natural objects such as Rivers, Hills, Seas, and Flower etc illustrating poet’s attachement with nature. He sees deep meaning in these Natural objects and through these meanings the poet tries to establish relationship between man and nature. For example his first poem ‘River – I’, may leave an impression on readers that to the poet the relationship between nature and man is somewhat problematic,

In the flood last year
my parents were lost to it

but, in the very second poem ‘River – II’, the poet reconciles and paints in admiration the beauty of the river, a meaning, to some extent, beyond ordinary people’s observation.

On the rivers,
thoughts and feelings surge, then subside like ripples
their softness settles in my heart
as their dynamism moves towards my feet.

A good reader will notice poet’s sense of love of nature in ‘their softness settles in my heart’. Similarly, in ‘River Tinau and old tree’ he discards the idea of contaminating rivers with ‘tears and blood’ because ‘it washes away all beauty.’ He abhors crime.

Bhisma Upreti enjoys liberating his poems from set of meters and rhyme schemes but his words maintain rhythm with artistic expression. The poems in the collection are short and in some exceptionally short lines are used with frequent breaks (Sea I, Sea II, for example). This provides the serious readers plenty of room for pause and reflection.

Vitality of Bhisma’s poems is undeniable. ‘Black’ for example begins with a single line – ‘I am actually just a color’ and readers stand with the poet and visualize several colors standing in a row -red, green, blue and yellow. These are colors, only colors, but complete and each ‘carrying independent identity’ in them. Color ‘black’ is also there with enough pride of being a color; ‘yes, black which holds all color.’ Poet is dealing with an enormous theme of apartheids, racial segregation and discrimination. Through this poem and others we feel how strongly the poet is associated with the causes and sufferings of the common masses. To me ‘Black’ is the best poem in ‘What if the Sky falls ?”

The key themes woven into the poems in this anthology involve a love of life, question of humanity, identity, hope, social discriminations etc but mostly his poems speak on the theme of disparity and inhumanity. Two more poems in the book are most remarkable – the title poem ‘What if the sky falls?’ and ‘Sea – I’. The poet is worried about the gradual loss of humanity. He fears, one day humanity may disappear from the earth.

Poetry to Bhisma Upreti is life. He wants to express himself through his poetry. He wants to converse with his environment, with nature, with society and even with the god and for that he chooses poetry as a medium. He is sincere to his poetry. In diction he is choosy in the sense he avoids exaggeration. He seems to be reserve on several issues but his poetic voice is consistently in command for the material throughout. The message in each poem leaves an impression on the readers. ‘A Teashop Boy’ seems to be a simple poem of destitute but the poet’s concern is worth noticing-

with no school
what future does he have
and the light to explore it.

The poems in ‘If the Sky Falls’ exhibit a mature style and advanced understanding of the poetic techniques and wordplay. ‘Statue’, though a short poem, tells a great lesson. Man is not to stand like a statue. He is for action. Similar theme is there in ‘River –III’. Rivers are to flow. Human are to act.

Where is the first poem? As per the content page River I is second poem. Is it printing mistake, an oversight? Or, may be the beautiful cover page, portraying picture of Himalayan Range is the first poem (call it a picture poem) of Nature that depicts beauty of Nepal.

(L B Chhetri is a Nepalese scholar, poet and story writer. His books of poems and short stories have been published. He is the editor of Nepali Literary Journal ‘Charaiwati’ and also a chairperson of Kavidada Sahitya Samaj (Kavidada Literary Society))

Aju Mukhopadhyay’s Selected Poems by Dr. Dalip Khetrapal

4th Vol, No 1 (April 2017)

Aju Mukhopadhyay’s Selected Poems by Dr. Dalip Khetrapal

Whenever I go through Contemporary Vibes, I often come across a poem of Aju Mukhopadhyay, distinct in tone and tenor, lucid in expression and weighty in thought and meaning and so has the distinction of being among those few modest poets who are though unique in every sense of the word, excessive humility propels them to keep themselves in low-profile.

It is not for nothing that Aju has won some prestigious awards for his poetry both in India and abroad. He has eight books of poems in English and two in Bengali to his credit. His poems have been published in 24 anthologies that include an anthology of poems from India as well as from Australia titled: ‘Poetic connections and The Dance of the Peacock’, published in Canada. Despite occupying an exalted position in the esteemed Indian and foreign journals, websites and e-zines, in anthologies of contemporary world haiku and also of Modern English Tanka, his poems find a significant place in the ‘Best Poems Encyclopedia’, Poetas Del Mundo (Spanish), World Poetry Yearbook, World poetry Society, World Haiku Anthology, Margutte (Italian), Sketchbook(US), Syndic Literary journal (US) are only some magazines and journals, though more could be mentioned.

It is only after making great strides in the field of poetry that Aju has sent me his  latest anthology titled, ‘Time Whispers In My Ear’ for review. After going through the anthology I found that it is thought- provoking and educative as it has enhanced my own knowledge at least of geography and history. Beneath the poet’s simplicity of expression one gets to see ideas and thoughts that are universal and that clinch the wise, the philosopher and the intelligentsia—all alike. It is a style that is transparent like a clear, still or flowing stream through which its bottom could be easily seen.

Some prominent features whereby I’m struck by the anthology are:  nature, pictorial quality, lyrical melody, psychological perception, highlights of corrupt scenario, moral philosophy and a strong sense of justice. However, almost all poems are shot through and through with the strong element of humanism, compassion, love and hope. As a champion of the underdog, the poet directly and sometimes indirectly conveys his deep concern for the poor, the weak and the downtrodden. Through the anthology the poet has expressed his discontentment, anguish and dissatisfaction, sometimes implicitly and sometimes explicitly with the ailing, corrupt and seemingly irredeemable system. It seems that I would be able to illustrate the poet’s thoughts and feelings effectively, more precisely and clearly only through vital quotations from his anthology.

The highly pictorial nature poem, ‘Time Whispers in my Ear’ (p.11) also assumes a psycho-philosophical form as it progresses. In this, natural movements in nature are silhouetted against time, presenting exquisite Keatsian pictorial quality and sensuousness that are reflected in the lines like: ‘susurrus over the vast undulating grass/tumbling of water….cracking of billy meandering streams/flowing of molten lava down the ravine/spewing of ash…..spread of forest fire….spreading rapidly with the wind….rains…rolling of water bodies….seeds sprouting, trees growing and dying…..sibilation of nature’s shifting phase;/nature is at work…in every pore and cell…..’Such keen and intense perception of nature quite aptly and naturally seeps into the poet’s sub-conscious mind wherefrom instantly generates psycho-philosophical ideas vented metaphorically: ‘time whispers in my ear/that with nature it flows with all its belonging/to the events forthcoming/while consciousness keeps its progress in everything/constantly rolling towards the future…..that past never sits in its forlorn chair/but leaves its essence for assimilation….that the ethos of the bygone ages, their zeitgeist/can never be recovered by any strategist’. This fluid philosophical perception gets intensified by modifying and upgrading Blake’s highly popular imaginative verse with sharper insight: ‘To see the world in a grain of sand’. For Aju, ‘the world may be seen in the grain of sand/but the flow of sand is constant;/infinity may be guessed in the palm of hand/but it cannot be gripped by any standard;/time whispers in my ear/that everything passes on forever.’

‘The Day is Lost In The Shimmering Twilight’(p.50) is a didactic poem replete with various objects of nature and derives its strength from its well-knit, metaphorical and highly picturesque qualities. Its lyrical beauty is further enhanced by a strong sense of natural justice, imparting to the gist of the poem a rather logical and universal meaning: ‘The opaque and dark evening sky/without a particular hue, defy/the reign of the Sun as it goes to set/and pulls the erstwhile bright warm day straight/into its mysterious unfathomable womb. These metaphorical lines have been aptly brought vis-a-vis ‘those who rise up with renewed oomph/at the prospect of devouring the evening young…..sink eventually into its hazy darkness….’ Likewise, ‘….those who never look at the hieroglyphs/of the evening sky in obscure light/pulling the day into its hold aright/and the majority of sheep/who never realize that the day…..is kept at bay/to be lost forever into the unknown fold…live the useless life of ignoramus…..condemned like a Sisyphus. The image of Sisyphus reinforces the effect of the comparison. Sisyphus was a cruel king of Corinth who offended Zeus and so was condemned to roll a huge boulder up a hill in Hades forever only to roll it down on nearing the top again. How a day is born to die in no time is explicated metaphysically by the ‘holocaust of time’ with exquisite poetic dexterity. ‘The day in the shimmering twilight/in its ever hopeful flight/into the mysterious womb of time/never to be reborn after melting of the time.’

The poet also views nature in all its mysteries and complexities. The unique and mystifying nature of Nature is vindicated through the poem, ‘Bumblebee Bamboozles’ (P.106). With his keen observation the poet discovers how a bumblebee violates the aerodynamic laws and bewilders even scientists by moving swiftly with light wingspan while carrying ‘its heavy body weight’. He finally concludes the poem rather wisely by hinting intelligently at the very abstruse nature of Nature:’ ….there are laws beyond assumption/More wonderment at every step beyond our horizon,/Nature has more in store/To shock the recalcitrant science’. Through picture making quality the poet at times, perceives nature from a philosophic angle as ‘At the river bank’ (p. 97) evinces. Through his picture-making quality, the poet presents a vivid picture of stillness and calm that has been silhouetted against the movement and din of life which also marks the philosophy of a chosen area of the poem: ‘And quiet flows the river/without a ripple or shiver/trees stand windless/not even a whiff in space/no leaf shakes, no sound,/fishes are sleeping…halts at the bank of the river….’

The poet’s heart often unconsciously goes out to the suffering, uprooted and agonized humanity, revealing his profound sense of justice, humanity, love, compassion, empathy, sympathy, anxiety and concern for the entire suffering mankind. ’In Reasonable support of the Hazara people’ (p.55), the poet’s sensitive soul could hear the anguished cries of the Hazaras, ‘a distinct ethnic group’ of Central Asian Afghanistan, ‘….relocated in other countries due to persecution and fear/though they’ve every right to live in their land as live the others.’ He first speaks of natural justice, ‘all living beings are born with equal birth rights/to be taken care of by the Mother Earth/none has the right to dwarf or cull others/unless it is Nature’s spontaneous action…..’Finding the helpless Hazaras, hapless with no help conceivable from any corner of the earth, he exhorts his fellow poets and humanity in general to relieve their wretched condition and alleviate their agony: ‘It is the voice of the Poets, voice of Peace, voice of Love /for the Hazara people, appealing to all who have been/so far persecuting them, appealing to all humans throughout/the globe to put a stop to it mainly because we’re humans……Rise up brothers to …..embrace brothers/be humane, not just dogs.’ To reinforce this idea the same theme is however, taken up in ‘The Uncivilized’ (p.61) wherein ‘Uigher, a nomadic pastoral tribe/of Turkish origin in Xinjiang,/ find it difficult to survive/squeezed out by the Han Chinese…to kill theTibetan culture, depopulate, destabilize/the peaceful Tibetan Buddhist race……’Further, ‘Creating tourism and villa in the land of Jarawas/leads to the extinction of the aboriginals’.

Man’s greed and loot that traverse from sea to earth and thence, to heaven, is all brazenly ceaseless. Natural reserves, like oil, coal, gold, minerals and all woodland treasures are plundered inducing ecological disaster first and its wrath, later. Horrific and unabashed tales of loot and pillage, sometimes even in the name of God and religion, could be witnessed in all ages. Infusing poetic beauties into his bitter satire and irony,the poet explicates his expansive idea satirically thus: ‘Wherever minerals, oil or woodland treasures are found/men run to acquire the wealth profound/extinguishing the pristine flora and fauna/and the indigenous people, Nature bound,/in Amazonian, Peruvian forests, hilly belts in India/in Indonesia, Philippines, Canada and Africa,/Moving into galaxies, to the north and south poles/plundering the reserves of the earth and heaven—feel victorious, but the soil they stand on shifts/for their pollutive role in human lives— civilized people are the most uncivilized.’

In ‘The Adivasi’(p.62) man’s greed, cruelty, selfishness, deceitfulness and exploitation are graphically elucidated : ‘…greed/ For gold flashing in their eyes, swooped with guns/And swords like human hawks on unknown land… Columbus with Bahama Arawaks/And other tribes of Caribbean islands,/Cortes in Peru with the Incus,/The English settlers in America/With many tribes including the Pequots/And with many others in Australia/Following James Cook’s visit in the year/1770, so savagely/Behaved with all the unarmed innocent Adivasis of the foreign lands who welcomed them,/That made them ride the rough roller coaster/ To embrace certain death and devastation/ Original Americans were pushed/ From eastern Atlantic to the western/Pacific for burial in the ocean. ’Most tragically,’ All such indigenous human beings/Who were so devastated, sold and killed/Were cultured and civilized, lived fulfilled’. Despite the painful and shameful fact that ‘over the corpses of tribes wealth’ was ‘made/In socialist, capitalist countries, it becomes a farce when some misguided terrorists shine…’ even today. And it is deeply pathetic that the Adivasis are not lauded though they displayed unexampled determination and strength of will by not yielding to the callous invaders even after being threatened, converted and brainwashed. Further, advasis being the ‘first born on earth’, are the most original inhabitants, it would be totally absurd to ‘ogle at jarawas,/Oldest Andamanese, like the beast in cage’. It is also ridiculous, rather a ‘puffed up farce’ to declare ‘International Day of/World’s indigenous people’ by the highest/World-body…’leading globalization to become a rather permanent ‘stain on human glory’. The long thought-provoking poem finally ends with the externalization of the poet’s deep sense of justice supplemented by a bit of relevant counseling. He affirms that if the aboriginals were to be removed, it should have been done with their consent and they ‘must be compensated/Be aware man, awake; Honor Nature/To be honored by it, to live better’. ‘Fall of a Habitat’(p.107) is another moving poem that explicates how man has shattered the joys and dreams of ‘lion-tailed Macaque’, ’giant Malabar squirrels’, ‘nilgiri  langurs’ by usurping their natural habitat. Instead of sharing their habitat, mankind, consisting of ‘adventurous, profit monger and corrupt’, rape and ravish ‘nature they live’ as ‘coffee, tea, rubber and minerals have stolen men’s hearts’. The evil in modern man is thus, sketched tellingly and effectively with certain historical facts and instances by the poet through many poems.

The poet, however, does not remain focused on the darker aspects of life for, for him, every cloud has a silver lining. ‘A Woman Savior of Mankind’ (p.13), is a beautiful, but pathetic poem based on the sacrifice of a 22 year old café-worker who ‘rising to the occasion’ saved ‘…children and half-dead sea farers’ when the South Korean boat drowned. The poet becomes most lyrical while expressing her act of sacrifice: ‘Igniter of the sacrificial fire/With the fire glowing within her;/Inspired by the Divine will and bliss/She lives in man’s heart for her selfless sacrifice.’ Sacrifice, humanity and best human values comprise the essence of the poem, proving how hope is still alive and perceptible in this hopeless world. In ‘Hope’ (p.47) the poet rests his entire poem on hope ‘even amid terrorism and destruction’. He confidently asserts: ‘ a hope growing within/that catastrophe will not happen’. In ‘Nuclear the Evil Force’ (p.84), after describing the after effects of atom bomb, the poet instills a sense of hopefulness among humans by stressing how ‘Karma may be uplifted by human wisdom/To defeat the evils of life like nuclear fission/To keep high the flag of freedom’. In ‘Nelson Mandela…Victory’ (p.14), sublime values, relentless human struggle and all humanitarian traits are displayed most spontaneously by Nelson Mandela, the former president of Africa and the Noble Prize winner for peace. For a great freedom fighter, an ambassador of social peace, a strong man with iron will, 27 years of ‘jail was nothing to him’ whose ‘patience and perseverance with persistent resolution/were the basis of his lifelong struggle…he was unconquerable….’ His death in 2013 at the age of 95 sparked mourning around the globe.

Again in the midst of rampant corruption and evil, the poet discovers great humanitarian souls like ‘Sri Aurobindo’ (41) who ‘…was a lotus born in mud, away from the mundane scene’, yet ‘the cascading Supramental light…touching the sky kept its foot on earth fixed’. It is the divine perception of the poet itself that enables him to see how God sits in the body of his seer poet whose face reveals ‘the eternity…Out of intense love for men he sat away from eternity’. But, all the same, the poet does not lose sight of ‘Small fries in shallow water and surface gazers/were lost in his fathomless water.’ The poet further illustrated his positive traits in ‘A complete human being’(p.44) to underline how he evolves certain qualities to enable himself to serve the cause of suffering humanity: ‘The inner being pushed him from one to the other theme/He was a poet, revolutionary, yogi, journalist, writer and thinker…’ Likewise, in ‘Buddha Purnima’ (18), the poet delineates Lord Buddha’s ‘sympathetic attitude’, his ‘benevolence’, message of ‘love and peace; desire-less boon’ that touch ‘our soul/is not an enigma’. The poet’s eulogy of all these icons is not only appropriate, but also commendable. He could foresee a beacon of hope even where there is pitch-darkness which also vindicates his bi-focal vision.

A philosophically moralistic poem, ‘Pray that you Play your Part Best’ (p.33) has a lot to teach to mankind. The poet stresses how humans are mortal and how death equalizes all, ‘but blinded by pride’ men ‘do not see the beyond’. Further, ‘the world would not have progressed without death.’ As a deist he wisely goes on to say ‘If you cannot admit God, do not explain it away in Nature’s way’ and like an innocent child ‘pray that you can play the part best as you are assigned’. By implication the poet means that one should conduct oneself well without allowing one’s moral certitude to collapse. Corollary to this is ‘United in Camp-fire’ (p.34) that elucidates unity, harmony, peace, love and universal brotherhood. The poet explicates the oneness of humanity lyrically, symbolically and picturesquely: ‘we live in camps, united in camp-fire/for the world is a field of our sojourn divided in camps….’The poet finally advises us to shed ‘pride, domination or diplomacy’ and ‘embrace all with pure love/for that is the only sovereign unity’.

Some poems of Aju are also infused with deep human psychology, he at times, project the inner workings of the sub-conscious mind. In ‘Invisibly with me’ (p.24) memories of idle days with certain variations—sweet, bitter and sour creep up on the poet’s psyche while taking tea. The poet lyrically expresses his thoughts that meet his heart ‘in various ways/flowing over me, through me/coming out of the doors of the body and behave ‘differently at different times… nature changes seasonally, endearingly, roughly, lovingly…presence constantly….’ ‘Invisible yet perceptible’ (p.23) is infused with subtle psychology covering a wide range of human existence and activities with present, past and future, all merging into one: ‘Age is pushing them with feet/as they try to rise from the subconscious deep/the relationship, physical vital mental/heterosexual or asexual or obscure camaraderie/ passionate quagmire from the oblivious memory….’ ‘Inwardness’ is also written in almost the same vein, fusing present, past and future into one, covering a broad spectrum of activities and bringing many layers of consciousness into play ‘…Of time past in bitter-sweet taste/In erotic sense, with pain or pleasure/Fear of the unknown, hope for the future,/Alone yet in company….’

The anthology, hence, is the most explicit manifestation of the psyche of the poet. Doubtless, Aju carries a fertile and vibrant psyche that  brims over with ideas, feelings and thoughts that are sometimes weird, sometimes brilliant, sometimes abstruse, sometimes mystical, sometimes deep, sometimes rational, sometimes fanciful, sometimes psychological and sometimes philosophical. The anthology also covers almost all gamut of human thoughts and emotions and serves as a sumptuous mental and emotional food for the entire literati all over the world; posterity will also surely remember him as a great poet.

 

 

Work Cited

Time Whispers in my Ear. Aju Mukhopadhyay. Lucknow: Online Gatha. 2015. Paperback.

 

Songs of a Dissident: Echoing the Strong Voice of Protest

3rd Vol , No 2 (August 2016)

Songs of a Dissident: Echoing the Strong Voice of Protest

Songs of a Dissident is a wonderful olio of protest poems by Scotts Thomas Outlar who has vented out his ‘Shock and Awe’, his anger and indignation at the cruel activities being carried out in the world. Happenings around him in his milieu seem to have far-reaching impact on him. His poems are born out of his sensibility, nurtured and matured, in the gloomy atmosphere of his time.  A rebel poet, yet of compassion and universal outlook, Outlar out-shadows the grey thoughts of the nefarious people whose evil intentions always keep looming large over the process of maintaining the global peace and harmony. All the poems of this collection, woven well, deal with grave issues – Government corruption, the dealings of the Federal Reserve and international banking, having the will to overcome problems with strength of character and consciousness, sense of empowering the individuals. They present vignettes of human life passing through myriads of trajectories and penumbras of modern complex experiences, sweet and bitter, abrupt changes in and collapses of order, political and social, moral and cultural and personal disappointment of the poet and his agony.

Of all the major problems of the world, nuclear proliferation is a subject of concern. Nuclear weapons, if misused, might cause havoc to the world in general and humanity in particular. The poet is well aware of the devastating impact of nuclear technology. In the very first poem “Trump Hand”, the poet arrests our attention to and makes us alert against the pernicious repercussion of wars, civil or nuclear, impending or imminent. The war in the name of expansion of power and strength leads us nowhere but to the grave. Saddened by such negative motive of war-monger countries, he makes us feel the deadening impact –

            .……………….bombs
            dropped
            from all of the war
            props
            poisonous and poised to hiss
            with a snake’s tongue
            venom on the fang drips

He has depicted the heart-wrenching, eerie scene caused by the devastation of the war, in the following lines taken from the same poem-

           A river of fire
            in a ring around the city

            ……………many lives
            lost
            from all of the lies
            cast
            carelessly and callously
            with spiteful intentions

Ecological concerns can be witnessed in his poetry. Wars have affected everything. Their bad effect is palpable in our life. Even nature is not spared. Let us see here-

            The trumpet march to war is sounded

            A prepackaged agenda in the form of a siren

            lulling the ships off the sea

            to bum-rush the desert shores

            and strip the land of all its worth

      while sucking at the tit of Mother Nature until she’s bone dry

            Can you hear the silent cries

            of a million slaughtered innocents?

The poet is a man of strong zeal and enthusiasm, imbued with sense of hope and optimism. He voices his angst and protests against the ‘spiteful intentions’ of the world mad with power and at the same time he wants those relegated to abyss to rise up again to their feet to cope with the perpetrative forces of the world. In spite of the mass destruction, loss of lives and properties, the victims must not lose their hope because

            at the brink of a New Age
            sipping freely from the full well
            raining Love from the constellation
            with a song from the spheres
            about the cycles of time
            The wheels, they spin
            The gears, they turn
            The dust drifts away
            as the Phoenix flows out from the ash

His poetry bears out his revolutionary instinct. Socialistic and revolutionary urges, with satiric undertones mark most of his poems. He is disillusioned with the world, as he feels frustrated, cheated and betrayed in the lurid game of power politics. A note of bitterness and pessimism can be felt in the poem “Absolute Zero”-

            I am a bled dry bone

            whose marrow has been wasted

            with no remorse

            nor empathy

            to spare for this skeleton world –

            I write a eulogy

            as a death wish

            for all hope and salvation –

Political aggression in hand in glove with corporate sectors, social injustice, scientific and technological advancement are some of the remarkable happenings that have misbalanced the proper Order. Growing sense of capitalism has baffled and confused the people. Humanistic concern is on the wane, dignity of man is pushed to its nadir. However, the poet believes in revolutionary optimism. With his optimistic zeal, he wishes to bring about big transformation in his society. His poem “Sucked Dry” has his hope of survival in the tides of turbulent times-

            The bloody valley of silicon wants its cut of lithium

            Don’t pull the plug until they’re done

            the War Machine is having fun

            they pulled the wool over everyone                    

            to fleece the herd on every front

            and now we’re all victims to the violence of a New World Order

            as our desperate heart diligently fights to keep the hope alive

            day after day after day after day after…

His poetry is laced with bitter and severe criticism and irony. His comments are direct and explicit. He is very critical of communal strife among people in the name of caste, creed and community and bigotry as is happening around the globe. He makes scathing assault on the political system headed by “Fat Cat Politician / perched atop the congregation” and the money monger ‘Jackal’ of the corporate world, ‘snake oil salesmen’ with ‘Vials full of drugs’. In “Venom Laced Jackal Fangs”,

he depicts a scaring picture of such people and their evil intentions-

            Propaganda laced with venom           

            sent out from corporate jackals

            Saliva drips from fangs

            they can taste the next victim

The people have to realise their dignity, goodness and indestructibility of their inner strength. They have to muster courage and cope with the divisive forces. The lines grabbed from the poem “One Foot in front of the Other”, a very exhorting poem, are reflective of determination, resolution, faith in oneself, confidence, encouraging attitude they must adopt and exercise till the last drop of blood-

            What you can do

            is what you must do

            and what you shall do

            with this very day

            and every day after

            until the work is complete

            and your soul can lay down to sleep.

In the poem “Feudal Futility”, he expresses his awe and sock at the people who take interest in the news about ‘Royal family / of this or that European country’, Kings and Queens/and Princes and Princesses/and Royal courts and henchmen / and mafia and control freaks / and psychopaths and elitists / and governments and bureaucrats    / and law enforcers and pigs’ who have oppressed, suppressed and tortured the common people for axing their grinds. He expresses his surprise –

            and yet, still,

            the mass man, the common man,

            the mean man, the nothing man,

            clamors for a comeback

            of their oppressor.

‘Sacrificial Lambs’ is another poem of growing resentment and protest. He compares the common people to ‘Lambs’, symbolic of innocence, mute, submissive, negligence etc to be sacrificed at the altar of royal interest and greed. They lay down their lives for

            for their King and Queen

            and Bishop and Rook

            and Knight

He is not glorifying their sacrifices. Rather in reaction and disgust, he is taking them to task. All the controlling forces from political social, religious to the authoritarian have been bitterly satirized and exposed to the world.

“Apocalyptic Eagle” is a symbolic and metaphorical poem which goes a long way in bringing home the point of view of the poet. The symbol of this imaginary creature stands for all the oppressing forces of the world. The picturesque imagery of the ‘Eagle in the sky’ appears tearing into ‘the fabric of creation’. He describes it

            It has two wings that symbolize

            the false paradigm

            of a political structure

            meant to pull the wool

            over the eyes

            of those who are already blind.

He further describes it as It is ‘kin to both the vultures/and the serpents’

            It has no compassion nor empathy

            for its victims; in fact,

            it rather enjoys drinking the blood

            from the spilt vein of a martyr middle class..

In his poem “National Amnesia” , he has raised some national issues, including the ‘national anthem’ , ‘especially the brutal, nasty, hard-hitting, / hard-edged, gladiator style contests‘ with troops facing each other for war. His poetic self is very critical and disapproving of any sort of war in the name of nationalism. What he wants is the peace, prosperity of the country and that is possible only when the middle class of people prosper and do better in their life. He believes in total uplift of bourgeois section of society.

“Late Onset Puberty” has juxtaposition of his ideas well expressed with a wonderful distinction between two types of the people – oppressed and the oppressor, developed and the underdeveloped. Hitting hard at ‘American pop culture’, he is sad at heart that most of the people have become self-centric with vested interest. Lack of unity with collective responsibility and consciousness leaves major problems unresolved. There is no place for such individualistic attitude of the people in the penumbra of his poetic world. He very seriously explains-

            The difference between

            the winners and the losers

            is that the winners

            use adversity to become stronger

            while the losers

            cower at the altar of their oppressors.

            The difference between

            the evolved and the regressive

            is that the evolved

            use their power to scale the mountain

            while the regressive

            hang out at the base sucking thumbs.

Cultural and moral downfall of the Americans has also bothered the poet. To see this degeneration of the people, he unlocks his deepened sense of agonised feeling and desperation. In “Reboot in the Blood” he puts a question mark on America, calling it a country of dullards indulged in drinks. He validates the sole reason for the generational digression with sarcasm and bitter irony-

            Maybe because

            of all the barley beer

            that expands the guts

            and numbs the minds –

            all the wheat parasites

            that bring consciousness

            crashing down

            in a tired heap.

Political upsurge, social injustice, economic depression, unemployment, woes and suffering of the poor, their misery and wretchedness and other affairs and events find realistic portrayal in his poetry. In the poem “Feeding the Beast” he expresses his disappointment at countless problems his country is faced with. He speaks out openly-

            Terrorism, torture, hackers, racism, war,

            gossip, meaningless trivia, self-important

            politicians yapping their gums, a broken

            economy, unemployment, etc. –

            and you know what?

            I kind of like it.

He doesn’t like torture, lies, back-stabbing, murder, rape, emotional hurt, cheat, deceit, unemployment, hacking and whacking, dirty politics , torture and gimmicks by CIA agents which have defamed his country.  With his revolting attitude, he wants the people to

            Disassemble all the machines and factories;

            let it all collapse in a mushroom cloud.

            No worries, it’ll all come back around

            and build up again

            in the next cycle.

He believes that when corruptions are galore, the country is no more. It has to collapse. Thinking of the myriads of problems he becomes prophetic. He remarks in his poem ‘The Days Are Numbered’-

           The Kingdom will collapse

            when the winds of chaos blow

            up from the sea

            across the water with the tide

            pulled in by the moon

            as it does a Blood Dance in the sky

            to rattle the bones

            of the Beast

            after its Empire has been cut off at the throat 

           

In the poem ‘The Good Old Golden Rule” he gets suggestive and protesting when he asks the people to

 

            Remove the fangs,

            suck out the venom,

            shed the skin and

            slay the snake

            in order to demystify the dragon.

Because ‘The system run by the sold out sycophants of Satan’. He is fed up with distrust, political opportunitism, sinister manoeuvre against the authority and domination. He comes up with an idea to put an end to this entire chaotic situation. He expresses that ‘The simplest solution is to just pull the plug’ on all chaos. He also suggests-

 

           Love that which is Good with violent passion.

            Hate that which is Evil with an equal fervor.

            Carry both a sword and a rose.

            A flower of peace for those who choose life.

            A blade in the guts for the liars;

            cast their bones in the fire.

 

“Money Trail” best sumps up the poet’s thoughts and idea. It has all the themes of his poetry put together in this very poem dealing with ‘fall collapse’, ‘controlled demolition’, ‘national security blackouts’,  ‘whitewash investigations’, ‘Machiavellian tactics’, ‘Bush/Bin Laden connections’, ‘Halliburton’, ‘Black Water’, ‘Saudi influence’, ‘The Federal Reserve’.

Another beautiful poem is “It’s a Power Thing” which makes a comparison between two types of people out to control- money and mind- respectively. Here, the poet is successful in exposing the brain -washing game of the so-called authority

In the poem ‘Decision Time’ he motivates the people that time has come ‘Big decisions must now be made’. He further encourages them

 

The last poem of the anthology is ‘Artificial Dye’ in which the poet expresses his stand with explanation and clarification. Though he is a poet of protest and resentment, he doesn’t lose his temper. Expecting a ‘Revelation’, ‘Renaissance’, ‘Revolution’ what he does is point to take note of-

 

            I do not show anger.

            I do not lose my cool.

            I simply go inward

            and calmly, quietly, and methodically

            grind one tooth against another,

            creating a sharp fang

            that one day will bite

            with a fury never before seen or heard;

            and it will be glorious.

His reactive thoughts coalesces into positive vision of a ‘New Age’ where Atlantis will be reborn, all the  chaos  will be pushed at the alpha point, omega order will be restored and he and his people will have a country of their choice. With the hollowness of capitalistic, political and corporate order of the times exposed, he, now has a sanguine vision of a better nation grounded on social equability and equanimity.

In the final analysis of Scott Thomas Outlar’s poetry, it would be no exaggeration to pronounce that he is a rebel- humane-liberal-progressive poet. His poetry is vibrant with a sense of social consciousness. Humanistic concerns are quite palpable. His poetry is an expression of his intense dissatisfaction with the present day system of America and his strong protesting voice against it. It also bears the Marxist standpoint and leanings. His poetry is animated with social consciousness and imbued with political and corporate resentment. In his poetry he has represented the bourgeois section of the people. The language is very effective and simple. Imagery is evocative and stirring.”Songs of a Dissident” deserves wider range of readership the world over.

Happy reading!

 

Reviewed By Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar .He is a review editor ofbh Asian Signature.

 

The Broken Boat

The Broken Boat

Nitin Soni’s The Broken Boat is a collection of 35 new poems. boatKnown as ‘The Curly Poet’ and honored with the title of ‘Most Popular’ (at Delhi University), Nitin is a poet, storyteller, script writer and social worker who feels the pulse of the people in streets and countryside. Dr. Sukrita Paul Kumar, Poet, Critic & Academician has rightly called him ‘a budding poet who is bound to blossom and flower‘. The Broken Boat ferries away to the shore the fragmented sensibility of the weaker sections of society grappled with a variety of issues – social, moral, personal, familial- ranging from poverty, racism, hunger, identity, frustration in love, failure of the system to gender inequality, and woman’s plight. He has tackled all this issue with a touch of social and political realism. Some poems are lamentation over the loss of ethical and moral, human values. The poet also cries out (at) the dehumanized and devitalized nature of man in modern times. Agonized sensibility of woman has found a hyped-up demonstration in Nitin’s poetry which is concerned more with modern man and pressing problems around him. True, ‘this is a sentimental ride which reflects our society.’

Nitin Soni is a humanistic poet with cosmopolitan outlook. Humanism is the crux of his thought and philosophy.His poetry is a universal appeal for creating a ‘harmonious world of virtue’. He cries out in his poem “Such Are Wounds” :

            My wounds are human
            Humanity is wounded!

            I can’t describe the scratches inside
            Are in a variety of giggles
            And masks.

His love for humanity and sympathy for the beggarly people gets reflected in the followings lines taken from the poem “ Do you Know”:

            Wear a cap of humanity

            I call it ‘Love’, not charity!

Nitin is a poet of love and romance. Wonderful image of romance and love is  well depicted in his poetry. He, in the poem ” Do You Know”,  avers :

            I have seen a bridge

            At her lips;

            Where I stand in peace,

            And transfer joyful glances

            Into her eyes; nothing left behind!

Most of his poems in this collection are woman-centric. His sympathy with woman is recurring themes of his poetry. He is saddened to see the plight of woman in society. The treatment meted out to her is appalling and demoralizing. Killing of a girl child is a social stigma on the face of humanity. “Womb-to-Tomb” a poignant poem that presents a pathetic condition of a womb that meets its tomb even before it sees lights of the day-

            Blessed soul in womb

            A boon for the human race

            Her future, pre-decided

            A bane for the human race!

The poet conveys the sad saga of an unborn girl child through his sensitive poem “Say No to ‘Abortion’” Which unmasks our misogynistic attitude:

            The unripe fruits of my dreaming world

            Waving hands to the cruel skull

            Discoloured, abandoned, and aborted I am!

            Farewell to the world full of colors…

His poetry is in fact a universal appeal for uplifting her uplift and overall betterment. He vehemently criticizes the killing of girl child. At the same time in the poem dedicated to “To A Girl”, he also highlights the killer instinct of woman to rise up like a phoenix:

            Punch me I have a heart
            Hit me I am not the last
            Blow me out and I will light up again
            Throw me out I will not complain.

Woman may be an ‘innocent creature’ who can dance ‘gleefully on melodious songs’, with no words but ‘the pain and agony’. However, she is a woman of substance who can fight all odds of life with great aplomb. That’s why the poets reproduces her proclamations and firm determination in his poem “She Speaks Tears”:

            I want to fight adversity. I want to stand tall.

            With determination.

            Confidence. Will-power. I won’t give up…

The poet in him is vocal about while seeking honor and basic rights to be bestowed on her. Some of such poems are – Blind Girl, Womb-to- Tomb, To a Girl,  Oh, Ugly Woman, Poor Mother, Black Woman, Even She, I saw her in my eyes, She Speaks Tears, Laali, etc.

He is a poet of minute observation of life around. He finds so many things that either please him or dishearten him to such an extent that he takes up his poem and express wistful or pleasing thoughts and ideas. He selects his poetic stuff from common scenes of activities. Of such social observations captured in his poetry, man-woman relationship amply arrests our attention. He presents a very common picture of a family rooted in traditional customs where woman is very docile, meek, and submissive. However, the male attitude is questionable. “Man And Woman” is a bitter poem which lays bare everything including lecherous longing of man:

            She always

            Licked

            The dust

            From my feet.

            And I always sucked

            The breasts

            I had been provided

            To feed.

            I was a man

            She was a woman. Indeed!

In another poem “Even She”, he presents a loveless side of man’s heart and mind where lustful obsessions have taken a permanent root for the satisfaction of his carnal desires. He takes the side of a ‘whore’ and brings to light the lustful attitude of man:

            As soon as she made an attempt to flee away,

            She saw a bunch of people looking at her with stones in

            hand, and condoms at the edge of their lustful lips!

Woman is mother. Her motherly ethos is what makes her complete that supplements the cycle of humanity- a continuum of creation. Her children are her world. She can sacrifice her life for their sake, not to talk of selling her body. She has to adjust herself between marital and sexual responsibilities. The poet has thrown sufficient light on the darker side and the plight of a prostitute who has to take of her customers and children alike. He makes us peep into her life which is like ‘an old dying and defeated boat’:

             I knew she sells her body

             And- shuts the door

             To his lustful desire-

             Always present

             And naked on the floor

The poet criticizes all those men who regard woman as an object of desire. His resentment and antagonistic attitude to such men can be witnessed in lines of ‘Oh, Ugly Woman!” which contains the elements of womanhood that makes her greater than any other creations of God. The poet’s weapon of circumlocution for making fun of man is superb:

            Oh men

            Go ahead

            Keep mocking at these

            Ugly women.

He holds religion responsible for the sad plight of woman and takes religious community to task. With a very witty and gritty of expression, he tries to make fun of ‘religious scholars’ who make a great hue and cry over a trivial pertaining to woman. The triviality of this issue is expressed in the following lines of the poem “Of Religious Scarf”:

            That black scarf,

            Her identity,

            Her pride,

            Her religion,

            Exposed…

            By the window

In his poetry, he depicts a very sad picture of woman in distress. His poem “Poverty’ is such a serious documentation of sad end of a woman’s life. She is sexually, physically and emotionally exploited and subjected to prolonged tortures and then brutally killed. He cries out-

            Hungry body

            Wounded Soul

            Digging earth

            She is no more…

The questions of so-called scholars as to ‘who took off your scarf?’ and whoever will be killed’, meets an eye opener when the girl replies that it was the window who had taken off her scarf.

Going through his poems, it is evident that his poetry is also the expression of intense resentment against the social and political system of the country. He feels that the systems devised for the uplift of the common people fail to bring smiles on their faces. The lack of proper channelization of providing succor to the poor people is eating into the vitals of the democracy.

            She was loved

            Yet she was raped

            Her dreams shattered by

            Those beasts

            Who molested humanity, love, affection, brotherhood, sisterhood

            And celebrated wickedness

In the same poem he makes fun of the concept of “Incredible India”. He is critical and satirical of the moribund system prevailing in India. He leaves us baffled with the question put to-

            How can I be proud to be an Indian?

            Is India safe? Is India great? Or is it “Incredible India?”

            Nonsense! It’s not “Incredible India”

            It’s a place where you can rape innocent girls

In his poetry, there is mixture of sense of loss and sudden realization. He makes a wonderful juxtaposition between romantic fantasies and reality. Apprehension in love is well reflected. He as a lover seems to be under constant fear, fear of losing his beloved to some other person.

            I face reality

            And find myself all alone

            feeling lonely,

            I hide in a corner

            As someone approaches to destroy me

            By taking her away. (Dusk and Dust pg 48)

However, realization dawns to him in the long last and he comes to terms with the reality and this is what leads to the positive and sanguine conclusion of the poem “Dusk and Dust”. He gives a noble dimension and orientation to his love. He shifts his focus from the physical beauty and love to the metaphysics of love. He feels the companion of his soul along the insightful journey of his life. With inspiring succor so mustered, he feels ecstatic as he is ‘going to meet my creator!

His poetry is replete with description of incest relationships with Electra and Oedipus complexes that shock him to such an extent that he scathingly lambasts the vain manliness of the lecherous people. The people, black sheep of society, are indeed loathingly disgrace to mankind. His personal feelings and observations find a vent-out in the poem “And Golden Apples” that deals with the relationships between his father and mother:

            Too much pathos in my mother’s face

            And too much lust in my father’s eyes

            Who, after mouthing the simple

            Breasts of his better half, came

            In to taste the apples

            I was growing up with.

            Such a disgrace

            To mankind.        

His poetry also contains melancholic and poignant strains. Patches of pessimism are palpable in some of his poems. He is saddened to see that ‘Scholars of medicines’ have ‘ruptured frailty’. ‘Feelings of bereavement’ surge in the atmosphere of festivity as “lovers celebrate the death of love’. In the poem “Strange Lover”, he laments death of love –

            I am a bird of the new age,

            Freedom I have earned well

            Emotions and devotions have not paid off well

            As my love is down into a grave  

However, he adds a very unique dimension to his bereavement. Since in the celebration of his love’s death, his tears are not welcomed, he gets philosophical and brings about idiosyncrasies of reconciliation when he accepts-

            Death of love is a way to freedom

In short, Nitin’s The Broken Boat is a poetic endeavor to sail through quagmire of social and familial evils, with observation and realization, irony and satire, furrowing the world with feministic perspectives either side, leaving behind the foams and tides for the readers of poetry to get a feel of his feelings and intensity of emotions. Human predicament, utter negligence of the individuals, isolation and alienation of the self, perversion, nerve- shattering experience, minute observation of life etc find a realistic treatment in his poetry, mostly compressed in a feminine voice and that is very unique of his writings.

In his poetry, he is not only ‘romancing with poetry in fluffy notions of love’ but also puts forth glaring social issues with great compassion and sensibility. Addressing the social problems is of prime concern for him. The system has failed to come up to the expectation of the people. Hence he has lambasted the system for its failure. The Broken Boat is punched with satire, irony and severe resentment and indignation, love being the motivating stimulation for rowing on the river of his thoughts and intense feeling. He wants to zero in on the positive ideology of social and global harmony and symmetry and comprehensive values of morality and ethics and of course, humanity. He has succeeded in echoing his voice around the globe for ushering in the internal utopia of purity of heart, love and relations and external world of global fraternity and harmony. His poems show sense of loss, new age dilemma and reflections, dejection, despondency and disillusionment of modern ways and approaches to love. On the other hand, they also articulate realization of reality evading romantic fantasies, and apprehension of and fear of losing love. He has dealt with all this with great panache and elegance. The following lines from the poem “Farewell to Rumors” best describe his poetry as sensible, sensitive and realistic reflection of human existence with its upheavals as it has

            a mirror of impracticality

            A shadow of blind-reality

            The time roars higher,

            Stating: the chaos was to those who live in chaos.

“The Broken Boat” is sure to lead the readers to explore the layers of consciousness after sailing through the quagmire of myriads of social and moral evils, and personal and impersonal depravities and abnormalities.

Happy reading!

Book Reviewed by —-Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar.He is a Review Editor10801644_10204637325948678_9145761407248314636_n of Asian Signature.

 

A Place for Your Ghost Animals

The Disorder of Things: A Review of Kushal Poddar’s A Place for kpYour Ghost Animals (Colorado Springs: Ripple Effect Publishing LLC, 2015)and Understanding the Neighborhood (Melbourne: Blank Rune Press, 2015) by Dr. Amit Shankar Saha

Michel Foucault in the first chapter of his book The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences describes at length Diego Velasquez’s painting Las Meninas. He explains how the artist has brought the focus by juxtaposing various elements depicted in the scene, including the usage of the mirror and the reflection cast on it. The fulcrum, the punctum and the hint of a narrative all come alive in the painting. A hundred or so pages later Foucault writes about how true writing began:

True writing began when the attempt was made to represent, no longer the thing itself, but one of its constituent elements, or one of the circumstances that habitually attend it, or gain some other thing that it resembles. These three methods produced three techniques: the curiological writing of the Egyptians – the crudest of the three – which employs ‘the principal circumstance of a subject in lieu of the whole’ (a bow for a battle, a ladder for a siege); then the ‘tropal’ hieroglyphics – somewhat more perfected – which employ some notable circumstance (since God is all-powerful he knows everything and sees all that men do: he is therefore represented by an eye); finally, symbolic writing, which makes use of more of less concealed resemblances (the rising sun is expressed by the head of a crocodile whose round eyes are just level with the surface of the water). We can recognize here the three great figures of rhetoric: synecdoche, metonymy, catachresis.

Although writing is very different from painting, at a certain point in the history of civilizations they were the same. The development of language brought an end to figurative representation in writing and led it to the path of linguistic tradition. But the deep-seated homology between painting and writing is sometimes depicted in poetry. Kushal Poddar’s writing has such a primitivism and yet they are utterly modern. It is the coexistence of contradictions that make Poddar’s work poetry. Cleanth Brooks in “The Language of Paradox” writes that “paradoxes spring from the very nature of the poet’s language” and quotes T. S. Eliot on poetry: “that perpetual slight alteration of language, words perpetually juxtaposed in new and sudden combinations.” This is the hallmark of modernity and Kushal Poddar’s poetry is seeped in it: a poem of his is titled “Violent Calm”, poems begin with sentences and phrases like “Bleed the trees, branches”, “The sharks fall into lazy deaths”, poems end with the phrases like “serve me/ my sleep”, “numbing satisfaction”, or in the middle of a poem a combination occurs like the lines“A grain of salt rubs/ its soul on my eyes.” But what comes out from all of these, quite prominently, is the imagist aspect of Poddar’s poems for he paints with words what Velasquez did with strokes in Las Meninas. Take for example Poddar’s short poem “Stairs” from his book A Place for Your Ghost Animals,where a brilliant display of light and shadow occurs, created through words and where the visual and the lexical combine in a harmony of its own:

                        These stairs have

                        vertical dark sides

                        parallels of light

                        and two unseen angles

                        where they meet

                        and discuss our feet.

Poddar first depicts the vertical dark sides and then brings in the parallels of light, which are both visual as well as verbal because the readers too are in the dark until they are made aware of the picture that is gradually being revealed. Yet, the picture that is revealed is not an unqualified one but given configurations through words “vertical” and “parallels.” Once the image is established in the mind of the reader, immediately a paradox is created of something that is being made aware of but not visually revealed: “two unseen angles.” It creates suspense, which is utilized is the last couplet where the light and the dark meet to “discuss our feet.” The fulcrum of the poem occurs after the first four lines and the focus pivots on to “our feet.” The imagery is very visual depicting two people standing unseen at the stairs but the punctum is deliberately kept outside the frame of view since we don’t know what is being transpired between the two. Yet there is a hint of a narrative even in this staccato imagery. The very word “feet” resounds of “fate.” The word association is not of anything other than mere sound, which is the peculiar characteristic of poetry. It almost makes us read “unseen” as “unknown” – the unknown fate of two people standing on the stairs. Kushal Poddar’s poems yield effortlessly to the language of painting.

Poddar always starts with an image in his mind which he transfers into the mind of the readers through words that reveal apparently concealed resemblances. This imagist aspect of his poetry is evident in almost all of his poems. Often modernists are accused of distorting reality but the modernism that Poddar displays in his poems is a matter of perspective and subtly mediated by emotions. Even though poetry has imagist qualities, it does not find analogy with painting because a painting can be perceived at once as a whole but a poem cannot be read all the lines at the same time. Poetry, or for that matter any form of literature, reveals gradually, as one goes further into reading it. Thus it is more comparable to music, which has this akin characteristic. But what if the canvas is not a flat one? The topography of Poddar’s canvas is not flat but, rather, a globular one. Poddar paints his word pictures on a round urn, which on turning reveals gradually with a latent surprise at every turn. Let us take one more example of Poddar’s poems, this time from his book Understanding the Neighborhood, “Reading In-between.”

                        This must be about your mother,

                        I say reading a sad piece.

                        No, the poet shakes his head, I

                        wrote about the day I first

                        visited the circus. I nod.

                        The same thing. A lioness

                        leaps through a flaming ring into

                        my mind. They kept her hungry

                        all day, promised to let her see

                        her cub after she marvels

                        at this trick, and they whispered

                        in my ear – Be her cub, she won’t

                        know the difference. This, a sad

                        song, I say. No, about

                        a fun day, says the poet.

Every line of this poem reveals something new, constantly surprising the reader. It seems the conversation between the narrator and the poet in the poem is done in anticipation of the reader’s emotional response and modifying the perceptions at every turn. The poem talks about a poem within the poem, which the narrator assumes to be about the poet’s mother. Immediately this is negated by giving a picture of a circus. But as soon as the reader eases into a different perception, the idea of the mother is again brought back in the form of the lioness. An emotion of pathos is expressed regarding the lion but there is a further twist when it is revealed that the poet is asked to be her cub. Thereby the emotion is shifted and heightened at the same time. The reader’s feelings of sadness is anticipated and put in the words of the narrator but then the poet again gives a satirical twist by mentioning it to be a fun day and not a sad one. It almost veers on the side of bathos but with a sense of acute irony. This too is a visual poem with the imagery of the lioness leaping through the flame into none other than the reader’s mind. And there is musicality too in the usage of the words “sad”, “day”, “say”, etc. The question that naturally arises is whether this is Poddar’s trick or art? Sartre has said that poets have the capacity to perceive things in their bare particularity. John Foster in his book The Nature of Perception says that “our perceptual contact with things in the physical world becomes direct at the point where there is no further perceptual mediation within the physical domain.” It is the raw sensation of sights and sounds, called qualia, which Poddar has the ability to perceive directly without any intermediary. Jean-Francois Lyotard has called “modern the art which devotes its ‘little technical expertise’ … to present the fact that the unpresentable exists.” Poddar’s ability is that technical expertise. By making visible what was conceivably invisible is what makes Poddar’s poetry a work of modern art.

Kushal Poddar’s poems very often create enigmas and leave the readers in a state of flux, in a state of multiplicity of possibilities and sometimes in a shock of recognition. In “The Invertebrate” he writes about a moth:

                        I shall release you, moth. I shall

                        stand on my peeling-away porch

                        and see you wave back. Oh such joy.

                        Can I afford to bear it? Your

                        freedom depends on the answer.

He leaves the poem open-ended and introduces a degree of undecidability in the mind of the reader after speaking of “joy”and raising the spirit because he transfers his state of mind into the mind of the reader without giving any access to finality. The reader is kept in a suspended state, in a somber mood, in a moment of flux. In poems like “About the Black Cat” and “The Prismic” he shows us things that apparently do not exist. In the former poem there is no black cat and yet the entire scene becomes a black cat. In the latter poem he pictures an imaginary and yet a tangible triangle formed by the lover, the winter outside and the glass. His imagery is inventive – “spikes of rain on your head”, “nails of water on your feet” – and yet not difficult to perceive once pointed out. He does not philosophize but only rarely in a way that a magician does with a sleight of his hand. “The Faithful Faithless” is a prime example of that. Sometimes he comes with a wry humor as in “The Old Goat.” Sometimes he is sensuous as in “Moaning a Prayer.” It is not only his technique that is inventive but equally his diction: “fossick”, “gloaming”, “nolition”, “friable”, “maws”form the vocabulary of his tangential thinking. Sometimes he comes with such inventiveness, which by virtue of being applied in a particular manner skirts away from being banal and stand out as a literary device: “a tractor/ rests on a bag of hybrid seeds” (“Fields”). Images of the dog, the cat, the lover, the shark, the mother, the father, the brother, the neighbor, and others populate his poems. These imageries are very much impressionistic like transitory mental manifestations. His refined ability to concatenate words in a particular order that brings out a hidden meaning is exceptional. His poems are both personal as well as social but never any one strand leaves its subterranean lair. His poems arouse a synesthetic response from the readers because they appeal to the senses at an awkward angle. He can call the borrowed sugar from a neighbor’s house, can make auto lights yelp, can cause songs to tumble and roll and can pour good luck in a madman’s ear. He can make poems speak to your eyes. He brings about a disorder in things and then shows you the hidden order of beauty.

 Kushal Poddar: Born in a warm corner of India, a lone child kp1 brought up with his shadow mates, Kushal Poddar (1977- ) began writing verse at the age of six. He adopted his second tongue as the language to dream on. Widely published in several countries; prestigious anthologies include Men In The Company of Women, Penn International MK, Van Gogh’s Ear; been featured amongst the poets for the month December by Tupelo Press, Vine Leaves Literary Journal’s Best of 2014 and in various radio programs in Canada and USA; and collaborated with photographers for an exhibition in Venice and with performers for several audio publications. He once gave this answer to a question posed in an interview- “This morning a stranger on his seat next to mine in a public bus pointed out toward the sky and asked, ‘Does not the blue look like a child in a cradle?’This is the role of poetry in our society. Poetry is a tool to arrest the vast beyond within the canvas of personal experience. To limit the limitless so our thirst and longing for it remains unquenched. And hence I write.”He presently lives in Kolkata and writes poetry, fiction and scripts for short films when not engaged in his day job as a lawyer in the Calcutta High Court. He has previously authored a collection of poems titled The Circus Came to My Island.

Dr. Amit Shankar Saha, is a researcher,am1 reviewer, editor, story writer and a poet. In a previous avatar he was also a guest lecturer. His love for literature led him to obtain a PhD in English from Calcutta University. His research articles have appeared in anthologies and journals internationally such as those published from Purdue University (USA), Drew University (USA), Bordeaux University (France), etc. His short stories and poems have been published in books and periodicals both in India and abroad. He is also the co-founder and coordinator of Rhythm Divine Poets group. His website is http://sites.google.com/site/amitshankarsaha and he blogs at http://amitss6.blogspot.com

”The shimmer of the “Shimmering chimes”

 

”The shimmer of the “Shimmering chimes”

Maaya Dev is one of the major contemplative voices of modern India.maya dav She is an eminent, erudite poetess who has the international recognition when it comes to poetry and the book under review is her very debut Anthology.

“The holy dawn dreams

Somewhere with the yawns of the universe

Let me unfold to a new day

Let the sunflower kiss the sun

To welcome the shimmer of the “Shimmering chimes”

                                                                                    ~SHAMSHER~

  These were the verses that got scribbled as soon as i grabbed the book “shimmering chimes” and looked at its cover page. The contemplative, soothing, magnificent cover page in itself is asking sheer poetic brilliance to manifest. It can be a vital source of perennial flow of springs in the garden of poems, planted by soulful poets-The most sensitive of human being. The title shimmering chimes goes as deep in the labyrinth of heart as the sun’s rays falling on the sea. The hallmark to leave an imprint in the reader’s heart was obvious even without unfurling the glossy pages ahead. But then the wheel had to move on ….

Again, the very next page was boldly emblazoned shimmering chimes as though if signing over with one’s own poetic fervor and zeal to keep up the continuum.

Chivalry and humility can well be seen with the dedication that the poetess have made

I dedicate this book to’

Entire Uni-verse’

…because of which this book is seeing light”.

She have reflected the modesty of Indian culture, of her soil, of her being and it’s then that Sanskrit verse of hitopadesa see’s the light-  in act, in discipline ,in one’s culture through her verses

विद्या ददाति विनयं विनयाद्याति पात्रताम्

पात्रत्वाद्धनमाप्नोति धनाद्धर्मं ततः सुखम्

After the dedication, the impressive foreword that can leave readers at awestruck is written by two notable prolific dignitaries (Ravi Subramanian & Dr. Santosh Bakaya) of our time.  (P.no 7-15)

Author too spoke from her desk speaking about the book vehemently, of different aspects and connectivity with readers. She has deeply expressed her gratitude to one and all.

This volume of sixty poems is circumscribed uniquely in its own way not to be labeled and goes simply beyond few words of reviewing. It’s something which needs a meditative approach to get into its soul. There can’t be any taxonomy wherein the poetess work can be defined as it swirled, danced and prophesized vehemently with an unperturbed flow like one’s own breath. The sheer poetic brilliance and aura that leaves no space other than wondering, pondering, praising, enjoying, feeling is commendable.

As an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna her very first poem “Hare Krishna” (p.no 25) reflects and leaves an imprint of her undying love and faith towards Krishna or in a broader domain her spirituality that fills the void of space and time that maps anything and everything. I can’t stop myself from citing something that concretes my aforesaid and her poetic prowess along with her undying love towards Krishna.

“There I see you! I see me!

Ah! I see me in you!

Hare Krishna!!”

There is no element of separation between the divine Krishna and an immaculate soul. Krishna my lord (p.no 60), Sat Chit Ananda – Bliss (p.no 62) further reinforce her own love towards Krishna and in a broader domain a cosmic whisper. All these poems weren’t merely spiritual poems solely but somewhere they have the power to take the readers on to a cosmic journey through revelation of meta-physical concepts, co-relation and ramification of self through these verses. Divine transformation (p.no 65) implicitly intrigues us of acquiescence as of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Saar.

She says “Sometimes how much I love to let myself,

Plunge into the abyss of your bluish oceanic love,

Where I swim in the ecstatic bliss of unknown joy. “ 

 Moving further is the enlightenment of one’s own journey as a seeker wherein in-depth revelation of seeker and self is unveiled. The metamorphoses of self as a seeker seeking SELF can well be seen in the “Beacon of Enlightenment (P.NO 26)”. The flow and picturesque of the verses itself is soothing and enlightening.

The theory of Feminism and of its different contextual perspectives have always been the core and soul of many a poets, researchers and scholars. Author Maaya dev have captivated the essence of mysticism of a woman and no wonder she have embossed it with the title “A Living Enigma” (P.no 27). She have articulated woman as a mystery, as a beauty, as supremacy, and so on and forth in a stupendous way.

The spirit and esteem of being a woman and for a woman is well running into the nerve and verve of poetess and in her verses. The vibe in this poem is in itself meticulously exhibiting her poetic prowess and her spirit.

 A peep into her own verse from “A living Enigma”

“Her veil is mystic, demure,

Concealing rhythm of all seasons.

Woman’s love is perennial

Her emotions volatile, ajar. “

A Poet’s heart is his/ her poems as its not only craftsmanship but living of (in) or for those moments again and again or as some longings. What a conceiving Birth of a poem ” (p.no 28) which speaks of piousness and integrity of poetic aura wherein poetess considers  her work as alive as she herself .  

Romanticism or precisely and purely spiritual romanticism coupled with and integrated with the depth of contemplation, introspection are the base wherein some beautiful poems are weaved majestically. “Beloved soul “(P.no 93), “what if?” (91), “A beautiful journey(p.no 69) are some of them. She is well aware of the the power of ‘shunya’ and there she says:

“Beloved soul….

We revel in the nothingness to merge as whole

We coalesce in perfect unison

To stay beyond as lovely twin souls.”

 A deeper perspective of what it takes to be a poet can well be seen with an unfathomable depth and poetic divertissement. Though the poems are crafted on different echelon, some soft, silky and light, other richly textured, intense and adroitly composed but all are in corroboration of the author’s integrated thoughts of being a poet. Yes, it’s not easy to be a poet, as it’s far beyond just weaving of words. In fact, its self-actualization and self-realization and all these have been well put forth by the author.  “Poetic Glance” (p.no 90),”Unwritten poetry” (P.no 81), “Twinkle Twinkle my little poems “(P.no 79),”World of words” (P.no 77) are some such poems which speaks immeasurably the quest, trajectory, feelings and sentiments attached with being a poet, with one’s own words and of course, the deeper revelation of its beauty and power to unfold the secrecy of life and existential. Her love towards word can be witnessed from the poem world of words (p.no 78) where she coalesce with the world of words and penned down

“World with words- A world of Illuminations!

World without words – An eerie of grave silence!

Oh Words! I bow in front of thee! “  .

At some point while going through all her poems on a communal basis, somewhere I felt it as to be another discipline, another poetic allied dimension to the discipline of ‘ontology’. She was unveiling of herself, of her being, of her flow and somewhere was reaching to the dominion beyond, where she and her verses were in perfect coalesce . Throughout the book her whisper of emotions, sentiments and feelings were seeking, signifying, soothing and were taking different leaps and bounds of different height. There is scaling, de-scaling, rhythm, beats, nodes and somewhere all these are resonating to form rainbows riveted in words. She was into some kind of introspection, meditation, contemplation and with some sense of immortal flow to merge up self with divine flow. Dripping with divinity, wrapped with emotions, punched with her prowess she was baffling into her own world.

“Beyond my reach

Lay a world of dreams

My arms fall short                  {“Beyond, P.no 88}

Yet they try to reach

To grab those glitters”

What good is of poetry, if it’s not felt and if it’s without any soulful purposes? And arguably, with convictions she has tried to fill all the bases upon which poetry stands in a reflective and broader way, if it intends to serve any serious purposes at all, objectives other than enjoyment or entertainment. Her clarion call as a poetess can well be dissected with the poem “Ability beyond Disability (P.no 33), few more Rejections (P.no 35), Symbol of Transition (P.no 71), Humdrum of that green valley (p.no 73) and Womb’s doomsday (P.no 75). As an illustration of her heartfelt and compassionate writing, let me recap her own verses,

“In its volatile firth,

‘Able is labeled as disabled’.

Though the destined journey can’t be impeded  

When ability beyond disability reigns “

And again she says

“As a phoenix risen from hopeless life

They sail through invisible wings with a will “.

{Ability beyond Disability}

Her verses are refreshing, soothing breezes that have somewhere a healing power too. The above poem is a great tribute to all those special kids of Almighty.

On the façade of living as a writer and facing rejections she has wonderfully weaved a magical poem.

She says:

“On the eternity of time

A writer lives enliven moments.

He lives alone listening

to the chimes of his own ode.               

Daily he carves for pet statuette

Out of his poetic strokes.

So, one day he swirls like Rumi

In euphoric ecstasy.”

  {Few more rejections}

 Impermanence is the only permanence in this world. The different streams and flow in our journey takes different transitions and strides. Her vivid capture on transitions is well marked in her heartfelt poem “Symbol of transition “

“This heart wrenching glimpse

Sought my attention in a weird way

When I saw him clutching something unusual

It devours my curiosity to dig the unknown,

What he is so possessive and scared of loosing?  

Yes I saw! It is a medallion he held so closely

That unveils his glorious past even in shabby state.”

(Symbol of transition, P.no 71)

 Nature remains the most prominent, protruding and fascinating theme of almost all the poet since time immemorial. There is no degree of doubt that nature beguiles her.   Poetess Maaya Dev seems to be euphorically in dalliance with nature and with the same spirit and zeal as of the nature’s poet William words worth.  ‘Rendezvous with nature’, ‘Oasis’, ‘Autumn Moon’ are some few picks from the spectral domain of nature which captivates and somewhere have the power to carry the readers to feel the bliss of nature.

Apart from all the fancy amalgam of a poet’s imagination, she also has the sublimity towards society, nation and mankind. ‘A Plight of mother India’ speaks in volumes of the vastness that she feels for Mother India.

With a lucid, compelling and powerful vocabulary this book has enough of food for thoughts. There is a deeper analytical meditative touch to all the poems and I will be leaving further for the reader’s to have their own opinion on the ground.

I will love to wrap the review of this wonderful book with book’s own blurb that precisely and aptly describes the book in totality.

“Shimmering Chimes is an outcome of dreams that we all dream solemnly and each poem is pebbles collected from the shore of imaginations, experiences, feelings, spirituality, love and almost what all encompasses life. The book is seeking, soothing, symbolizing, synthesizing, singing, shining, shivering, surviving, and synapse between shimmering and chimes.”

   Shimmering chimes by Maaya Dev

“Maaya Dev’s debut Anthology –‘Shimmering Chimes’ is a potpourri of priceless poems of different shades and colors. Sprawling with ontology, spirituality, philosophy, meta-physics, patriotism this book traverses and smells the petrichor of soil, the extravaganza of nature and is in dalliance with Author’s dream of acquiescence.  As a debut anthology it won’t be any hyperbole, if I dare say with conviction that ‘This book is a tour de force’ “.

Rating: 5/5

Shimmering Chimes /poetry collection/Maaya dev/Authorspress, New Delhi, Sep 2015/ISBN 978-93-5207-110-4/Pages 93/RS 195/$10

 Recommendations: “This book shouldn’t be missed at any cost.”

Thank you all for your patience full reading.

Book reviewed by: Shamsher Singh   ( An engineer, poet, critic, Reviewer )

Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love: Romantic Celebration of Life

3rd Vol , No1 (January2016)

Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love: Romantic Celebration of Life
Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love is a beautiful collection of love poems dealing songs-of-love-400x400-imadhhzhwmzpjcmgwith different aspects of human love, intense romance and profound philosophy of life. Awarded by international bodies such as Poet bay (USA) and the Writers Guild of India,Pravat Kumar Padhy, professionally a Petroleum Geologist, is a significant poetic signature with his presence in the contemporary scene of haiku writings. As a poet he is highly published both nationally and internationally. Thanks to the style of his writings, he has been accorded international recognition. All the poems contained in this book are emotionally engaging, fascinating and exhilarating and they brilliantly capture human emotions in all its shades. Beatrice van de Vis, Editor, The Four Seasons of the Haiku, from UK has rightly commented- “P K Padhy’s Songs of Love is an epic celebration of love and life, leading the reader on a lyrical and memorable journey through the cycles of life.” Dr Padhy himself reveals-

We walk down
The garden of life
Reminiscing
The poetic sublime.
Wind whispers
All the songs
Of our poetic flight.
Our journey
Is an extension
Of the boundless voyage.
However, in the present anthology he appeases our heart, touches the emotional strings that make a melody of romance and songs of tender love filling life with joy and happiness. Simplicity of expression and its presentation is another feather added to it. The poet derives pleasure in the celebration of life, even though faced with myriads of challenges. In the very first poem ‘Songs of Love- A Celebration”, he himself introduces it

Wings of aspiration
Muse the music of shyness
Collecting vibrations of
Meandering rhymes.
Our amazed maiden meet
Manuscripts sonnets of
Different verse
Back in our mind.

The poet is emotionally so matured, romantically pure and metaphysically insightful that he paints love with rainbow of his feelings ennobled by trajectory of experiences and truthful realization He describes love in newer light and drapes his thoughts of love with the emotional refinement. The melodious rhythm of life lies in fantastic flow of love-

Our love is a ceaseless
Melodious celebration,
Our love is the lamp
And we are its brightness,
Our love is a song
And we are its rhythm..

Sensuousness is an important aspect of Padhy’s poetry. Exploration of sensuous realm of life through the purgatory process of love or love making is quite palpable in his poems of love. He lets us peep into the secret chamber where love culminates into an inexplicable unification of soul on the ecstatic bed of life. He reveals-

I sink myself
Below your neckline
And inner self silently.
You surrender
At sea-bed near the shore
Under the roaring tides.
Passionately we search
Each other closing our eyes.
Intensity of passion along the journey of love is very important to carry on a romantic life. The poet takes great care to intensify the feelings of heart to such extent that bodies entwined lose their sense of physical existence and souls locked inside witness the vast ocean of pleasure and floods of lights of eternity. In consummation of love, he recovers himself by realizing the sacred purpose of the creation, and for that matter procreation-
In your cosmic love
I search the
Cause of the creation
And wish
I could discover
Adam and Eve.

Romantic imagination is yet another characteristics of Padhy’s poetry.Like Romantics, he takes flight into the vast realm of fancy and fantasies and captures the experience of soaring aloft with his beloved. In this journey, he befriends clouds, hill tops , birds etc.

I take you
To different peaks,
Like birds
You wish to fly
Over the hills
And beyond
The bounds of the sky.
We sketch differently
To measure the love
And it is still deep enough
When you glance
From the top.

His thoughts on love, romance, longing and yearning shift from physical plains to metaphysical zenith. ‘I’ and ‘you’ become ‘ We’ through the sincere journey. The gradual evolution of self and soul provides a spiritual and metaphysical dimension to his poetry. Inner progression transgresses the materialistic aspect of passion and herein lies the universal appeal of his poems. Let us see here –
The warmth rejoice
Of the sacred celebration
Carries
The nostalgic memories
And reaches out to the sun
Of a new bright light.
In the open
Ecstasy quaintness sky,
On the cosmic path,
We continue to walk
With the evolutionary smile.
Realizing the perennial significance of love and melody in life the poet croons out melody of soul in the valley of life. All those in love, in the loving embrace of lovers get a beautiful feel of it as their life is filled with joy and pleasure, soothing comforts and peace. The poet romantically captures those moments as sweet memories and also get us feel and realize the unflinching power and healing impact of love-

Memories are preserved
In the tiny pebbles
Of the meandering flows.
Songs of love scintillate
On the colourful edge
Of the living span.
The caring warmth
Of our creation
Nurture us to rest
In the evening hours.

Togetherness in life, facilitated by love helps the people to tide over all the troubles of life. Love sprouts hope and with this weapon they succeed in beautifying their life. That’s why the poet himself reveals-

Life is a wave
Of joy and sorrow.
Harmonically it swings
In the high and low.
I collect the grains of hope
By the side
Of the completeness
And wish
The waves of our creation
Would breathe the zest of life
For the longest time.

Love is eternal and beyond the clutch of Time. Despite passing ages, the feeling of love is always there and this is what finds an apparent treatment in the following lines impregnated with metaphoric excellence and the poetic skills.

Time transgresses
Over wealthy age.
Lamp of love
Still continues to burn
Behind the eagerness
Of perennial urge.

In a nutshell, Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love sprinkles some spontaneous, sensuous, sonorous and sweet showers of love and romance on the loving and affable readers of love poetry. The poet has taken special care to portray Love in its varied hues, with acme of intensity and passion, with rainbow of feelings and emotions, in view of its perennial significance in life. The language and diction is quite remarkable for its simplicity and clarity of expression. Apt usage of metaphors and other poetic devices lends extra beauty to this extra-ordinary, lyrical and wonderful casket of love poems.

Happy reading!
Writers Workshop, Calcutta 2012
Poet- P. K. Padhy
ISBN 978-93-5045-029

Reviewed By Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar .

Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar is a review editor of Asian Signature.10801644_10204637325948678_9145761407248314636_n