BOOK REVIEW: To Whom I Return Each Day – Leonard Dabydeen

August 16, 2017

To Whom I Return Each Day JPEGBOOK: To Whom I Return Each Day

Author:  Jaydeep Sarangi

Publisher:   Cyberwit.net (11 April, 2017)  

Pages (Paperback) : 75 pages

ISBN   10 8182533988

ISBN   13 978818253398

 

Paperback: $15.00

Book Review: Leonard Dabydeen

Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers. – Yevgeny Yevtushenko

 REVIEW:

This book, To Whom I Return Each Day by author Jaydeep Sarangi is an olio of forty-two poems packaged beautifully in a bundle of 75 pages. For some of us, it may be blasé to say, “All Good Things Come in Small Packages”, but to peruse poems in this book, To Whom I Return Each Day, will rivet your mind and keep you spellbound with deep-seated soul searching – in a world we continually observe in ways that are good, bad and very often indifferent. John Thieme, a Faculty Member and Professor of East Anglia School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing in the United Kingdom, with specialty in postcolonial and colonial writings, vehemently comments (see back cover of the book) that,

“Jaydeep Sarangi’s poems are moving testaments to parallel lives lived on either side of walls. Personal and political, they summon up the evanescent beauty and small moments with a quiet reflectiveness that speaks volumes.”

This “sari of poetry” as author Jaydeep endearingly describes his book, To Whom I Return Each Day, spans a period of a year in nurturing, during his sojourn in varied places he nostalgically called home away from home in Kolkata, India. With an ebullient poise and mindful jubilation, he writes in the Preface, “I wear it [sari of poetry] in different kinds. My familiarity with many poets of the world is the chief stream of my joys and happiness. It’s very unique in order and disposition. It is flowing in my veins.” And in the same sustaining oceanic depth of gratification, he sighs in continuance …”Now, I’m anchored in Kolkata, a city of rich cultural roots. I attend poetry readings and get the most of these gatherings of poets; young and old. … I ride with this rare legacy of languages and cultural plurality in my back.” And within this ambulatory cornucopia of poems, author Jaydeep presents us with this elegant platter, To Whom I Return Each Day.

More so, Jaydeep’s eclectic poetic journey is analogous to the thought process of the lead character, Percy Fawcett in the movie, The Lost City of Z, when he was cautioned by the Fortune Teller that, “What you see is far greater than you ever imagined.” And underscoring his [Percy Fawcett] mind-set, his wife Nina Fawcett said to him, “To dream is to seek the unknown. To look for what is beautiful is its own reward. A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, what’s a heaven for?”

http://www.moviequotesandmore.com/the-lost-city-of-z-new-trailer/

And so, too, in absolute defence of poetry, Percy Bysshe Shelley (1821) said, “Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.” In approbation, also, William Wordsworth quipped, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”

http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/poets_on_poetry.htm

This book, To Whom I Return Each Day is specially dedicated to late Nobel laureate, poet and playwright Derek Walcott, who passed away on March 17, 2017. It was published on April 11, 2017, and author Jaydeep Sarangi unequivocally sculpted Walcott’s name in the book, in dedication as a symbolic gesture of Walcott’s prodigious literary inflected experiences on the international poetry platform. Walcott’s poetic oeuvre, inclusive of his Nobel prize (1992) and the T.S. Eliot prize for The White Egrets (2011) among a constellation of literary awards, most likely served as an ecstatic paean to weigh triumphantly on Jaydeep’s own work. Without much pause for comfort, he continues his poetic navigation in the sea of thoughts, as in the words of New Yorker’s Hilton Als (reflecting on the death of Derek Walcott),

The sea, memory, the joys and terrors of physical love, the close distance of family, black market women surrounded by all sorts of color, palm trees, the lush funky earth known as home or elsewhere: these were his subjects.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/derek-walcott-a-mighty-poet-has-died

And this is how we come to pan the pages of Jaydeep’s To Whom I Return Each Day. Let us take a look at the first poem, The City of Nine Gates (p 11),

Fire is surrounded by smoke,

Deep water by its banks

 

Every action, every work, small and big

Is surrounded by defects.

 

Our feet are in mud, doors half open,

Eyes are half closed. Always cover up

Stories for others. Write new lines

If poetry gives Hope. Poems set us free

From bonds of actions.

 

Whatever happens began in the past before the rain.

Moments swing between minds,

Moods and gates at several planes.

 

Each small moment is brighten up-

nava-dwara-pura, the City of Nine Gates.

We steer our ships in deep water. We are

Out for isles nowhere, for trials of our soul.

 

Simple, lucid and powerful versification in this poem, The City of Nine Gates, in order to visit this garland of poetry, To Whom I Return Each Day. In Vedanta philosophy and according to the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Part 76, Chapter 5,

Lord Krishna uses this metaphor of the city of nine gates. … . By saying that the self realized man   living   within this physical frame   is ever watching over the activities of the matter equipment   around him. He is a mere witness   and so neither rejoices nor   is he sad ,   neither acts nor   causes others to act, while living in this city of nine gates.

http://www.vedantaindailylife.com/2012/08/the-city-of-nine-gates.html

And Jaydeep vehemently espoused that this mind/body consciousness, within the parameters and perambulations of the city of nine gates, can be realised through poetry. In his opening paragraph of the PREFACE in this book, he writes “Poetry bears a flag for peace and hope. They are prayers. Poems are for peace and order in human life.” 

In this poem, My Mother (p. 14), Jaydeep writes (last three stanzas),

Your red soil gave fruits. I touched the cords

It became a full song.

As wagons of life matters move towards the eternal,

A quite fall under the Neem tree, pure air.

I’m healed. I hold origin of life.

Here the author refers to Mother Earth and the spiritual connection of man to ”Mother”. An esoteric touch.

In the title poem, To Whom I Return Each Day (p. 15), Jaydeep dwells on the emotional gateway of the human psyche. He writes in the opening stanza,

 

My father, when I as a tiny boy, asked me

To have something to whom I can return each day.

I carry the frontier advice in my small chamber

Where boundaries shift, links delinked.

Mind is guru, at times, restless pointer

Useless as weapons after the war. I return in the night,

After the rain. Woods are fresh and green.

And in stanza 3, Jaydeep speaks to his ‘Dulung’ – the river that courses through the mystic Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, thus,

My Dulung has a natural course

My forefathers lay bare on its banks.

They have a happy abode, somewhere beyond these words.

Priest chants, santi santi santi.

Peace in the land is the rose that blooms

Every season. Every house is wet by love.

And in the last stanza (p.17), the author brings to us a blissful home-coming consciousness, without dwelling on his multitude of poetic wanderings, so resonant in similarity to Nobel Laureate (Literature) Derek Walcott’s love for home, thus,

I return to each small city

Where people are happy

Ethnic culture is their home

Where my mother sleeps. Eyes closed,

Hands folded. Morning prayers to the Sun God

Keep her healthy. Mind is free

For others to plant trees of brotherhood,

Of peace of the peninsula, home of hearts.

A common thread weaving through this panoply of poems in Jaydeep’s book is his intensity to harness peace, love, harmony and brotherhood among humanity. His conscious (and subconscious) stream of imagery is consummated in the poems by nature, or things natural in the environment. Let us take a read of the first stanza in this poem, Last Rites of My First Love (p.31),

When there are no stars in the sky

I count memory

I brood over present unhappiness

Blood sprinkle all my parts

My uneasy hands search for solid mass.

And in continuation in stanza 5 (first five lines, pp. 31-32) with a sacrosanct tone,

I walk anywhere to nowhere

I visit small rivers of the mind, plant my sapling

Wet green is my company

Leaves of these trees

Bear my survival. I live.

There appears to be a symbiosis among trees and the human spirit in many of Jaydeep’s poems. And the analogy of Derek Walcott’s love for nature is so evident. Take a read of Tree in Me (p.33),

Each one of us

Is having different weather.

And then in, I Go Green (p.34),

Wherever I go, my little brother’s voice,

I carry my green hopes.

And here on this, A Tree and My Daughter (p.44),

Do you hold history in your hands?

 

I give you words to paint your tree, dear,

The sapling you have. Colour it

In your mind. Plant it near the river you chose to live.

Give a name: My Green Tree. Watch it grow in you.

 

Here Jaydeep certainly takes me to Joyce Kilmer’s (1886-1918) poem, Trees,

I think that I shall never see  

A poem lovely as a tree.  

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/12744/trees

But not all the poems are about greenery and trees. Some of the poems flow in confluence with a spiritual undercurrent to ignite a holistic nature on the reader. As in this poem, Nataraja (p.45),

Shiva, the cosmic unison, of life and death

Of all orders, near the perfume river …

And other poems flow in imagery and simplistic style with social nuances that have affects in the author’s life, as in A Dalit Poem (p.52),

Years back, you had to wait

Till I fetch water from a pond.

Your touch polluted my creamy skin

I coiled within. I framed rules for you.

Won elections with promises, bellyful.

And without much pause, the reader is obliged an open invitation to read this book of poems from beginning to end.

Jaydeep’s poetic sea of poems in this book, To Whom I Return Each Day, flows with a delightful wind-rush to the ocean of poetic joy. He visualises the poem as the magical elixir, empathetically remarking [in the PREFACE): “I’ve witnessed life in different shades; castes, creed and religions in India and overseas.” And continuing his brooding note, saying: “The candle of poems burns slowly, very slowly. I watch them burn in me. Poem build up a ladder to the heaven in mind. I try to explore what’s there between two ultimate pages: life and death.”

Jaydeep Sarangi was born on 11 December, 1973 in the town of Jhagram in West Bengal. He grew up with Muse in his childhood upbringing, writing poetry at a very young age. According to Indian English poet, Sahitya Gourav, writing in the Boloji blog, Jaydeep Sarangi is a prolific bilingual writer, translator, interviewer, editor, critic and a highly acclaimed literary academic. His works and achievements are too numerous to mention in this review. Jaydeep Sarangi is the author of 30 books, to include poetry publications: From Dulong to Beas: Flow of the Soul (2012), Silent Day (2013), A Door – Somewhere? (2014), The Wall and Other Poems (2015), To Whom I Return Each Day (2017), Lall Palasher Renu – Bangla poetry collection (2017).

“Dr Sarangi’s poems ,articles and reviews have appeared in different refereed international journals and magazines in several countries.He has read poems on different shores and reviews on his works have appeared worlwide.He has guest edited three   issues for muse india on marginal literatures from the Eastern India and the North East and Derek Walcott.He has been invited as resource person/writer in several universities in India , Australia,Poland,Germany,Slovakia,Italy and USA.

Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi is Associate Professor, the Deptt. English , Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College (Calcutta University), 30,Prince Anwar Shah Road,Kolkata-700033,WB, India.”

(http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Writers&WriterID=2518)

 

Jaydeep Sarangi was also the volunteered guest Editor for Muse India e-Journal Issue 73: May-June 2017, on the works of Derek Walcott (1930-2017), Nobel Laureate (Literature) . This writer’s article: “Musings on Walcott’s Life and Work” was published in this journal.

http://www.museindia.com/viewarchive.asp?myr=2017&issid=73

http://www.museindia.com/viewarticle.asp?myr=2017&issid=73&id=7260

When I received Jaydeep Sarangi’s book, To Whom I Return Each Day by mail in May 2017, signed by the author, there was a note on the Dedication page (Book dedicated to Derek Alton Walcott (1930-2017): “Dear friend Leonard, We will be the rhythm and the tears and the blood of history.”

We will wait for the rain.

This book is available:

https://www.amazon.com/Whom-Return-Each-Day/dp/8182533988

http://www.bookbutler.com/search?isbn=8182533988

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: A Rich Man

July 29, 2017

Poem: A Rich Man by Leonard Dabydeen

 

A Rich Man

 

When a rich man is afraid

That he may lose everything

He sleeps less for not being paid

And twitters almost about anything.

 

God forbid time will come

When he and his cronies

Will wonder if they and some

Will squawk about their follies.

 

What shall we do next? They ask

Sitting on their laurels at last

Abracadabra what is our task?

Scrubbing hands to wash the past.

 

And this rich man will sit and ponder

What is it like being poor, I wonder?

 

 

 

Book Review: Hare Krishna

July 26, 2017

July 19, 2017

 

MAHATHI BK REV PNG

Author: Mahathi

Book: Hare Krishna

Publisher: Prowess Publishing, May 2, 2017

Pages (Print Length) Paperback 402 pages

ASIN B071VDC76Y

ISBN  978 161 813 284

Kindle Ed. ₹ 321

Paperback  ₹ 450

 

Book Review: Leonard Dabydeen

Bhagavad Gita Verse 7, Chapter 4

Whenever there is a decline in righteousness, and a rise in unrighteousness prevails, then do I manifest myself, O Bhaarata.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 7, Chapter 4

Mahathi’s 8th book, Hare Krishna is an empowering tour-de-force of the glorious and adventurous saga of Lord Krishna’s childhood in mellifluous versification, inked in prosody of bansuri-like narrative and lyrical ballads. The book is a trans-creation in English by Mahathi based on the immortal Hindu classical epic, Srimad Bhagavatham by luminous spiritual H.H.Sage Sri Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa (see back cover of the book). It is the arduous arrival from Mahahi’s 6th book, FINDING THE MOTHER, another trans-creation in English verse reflective of SRI SUNDARA  KANDA, H.H. Valmiki’s 5th Canto of SRIMAD RAMAYANA and well-recognised as an immortal classic of English Literature.

Author Mahathi’s prodigious Hare Krishna is staged as another English literary classic, prodding his literary esteem as “arguably one of the best English poets of the 21st century.” (see back cover of the book). It is set as ballads in iambic meter in 47 dramatic narrative and lyrical poems, with inclusive conundrums offering insightful explanations on critical religious topics related to Lord Krishna and Hinduism to flag 402 pages.

In order to appreciate, understand and absorb with relentless joy the childhood adventures of Lord Krishna as in this author’s book, Hare Krishna, it would be incumbent in body, mind and spiritual upliftment to quest for Lord Krishna. From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia,

“Krishna (/ˈkrɪʃnə/; Sanskrit: कृष्ण, Kṛṣṇa in IAST, pronounced [ˈkr̩ʂɳə] (About this sound listen)) is the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism.[1][2] He is one of the most widely revered and popular Indian divinities, worshipped as the eighth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu and also as the supreme God in his own right.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna

In his blog, ThoughtCo.com, Subhamoy Das explains,

“As one of the principal gods of Hinduism, Krishna represents mankind’s aspiration to embody all that is divine. Amorous and loyal, he is seen as the ideal husband, and his playful nature is a gentle admonition to remain good-natured in the face of life’s challenges.

As counsel to the warrior Arjuna, Krishna serves as a moral compass for the faithful. His exploits in the Bhagavad Gita and other holy scripture are ethical models of behavior for Hindus, particularly on the nature of personal choice and responsibility to others.”

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-story-of-the-birth-of-lord-krishna-1770453

According to IndiaNetzone, the illustrious and spiritually glorifying childhood of Lord Krishna, being enshrined in the Krishna charitas, with Krishna blessed as the eighth incarnation of God Vishnu, is a significant part of the Indian epic Mahabharata. In the first three paragraphs, under the title: Childhood of Lord Krishna, Indian Classical Tale, Mahabharata,

The mischief and miracles by Lord Krishna in his infant days are still revered and remembered by the Indians as the holy antics by the Vishnu avatara in Gokula with the Braj people.

After the birth of Lord Krishna, his father Vasudeva brought him to Gokula. He was brought up in the safe and secured supervision of mother Yashoda and Nand. The maternal uncle of Lord Krishna, King Kansa was destined to die in his hands and thus the king wanted to kill Krishna right from his birth. During his childhood, Krishna faced several perilous situations that were designed by the notorious Kansa, however no one could slay him for his unsurpassed divine power.

There were great rejoicings and celebration in Gokula after the Braj people came to know about the charming son of Nand and Yashoda. The astrologers predicted that this divine child would kill the demons and the evil, thus he should be called the Lord of the herds and the Gopis. King Kansa somehow came to know that his reason of death lived in Gokula and kept on sending demons to slay all the children of the place.

http://www.indianetzone.com/38/childhood_lord_krishna.htm

And within this eternal swirl of a magnificent worldly amphitheatre, author Mahathi garlanded Lord Krishna’s childhood saga in this book Hare Krishna, in euphonious narrative and lyrical ballads. In offering BLESSINGS to Mahathi, Jai Srimannarayana writes,

Touch His [Lord Krishna] story anywhere. It is sweet. Put it in poetry or prose, and it is sweet. Let anyone sing it or write it, and it is still sweet because the very nature of the Lord is sweet. (p v)

Mahathi’s unequivocal due diligence in the pursuit of writing Hare Krishna, based on the epic classic saga SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM by H.H. Sage SRIKRISHNA DWAIPAYANA VYASA is sculpted from his undeterred belief that our fractured society and its social ills make us inhuman in a human world. This is Adharma. And only by following “Dharmic path alone can bring eternal peace and prosperity to the world.” (See back cover of the book).

In his own perambulating over this book, Hare Krishna, Mahathi informs us of his inner soul-searching, saying,

2 years of writing, 2 more years of waiting, strenuous research, a lot of prayers, a lot more of penance, pain, joy, tears and divine rhapsody; a little intuition, a shower of invisible benisons from THE MASTER and a never ending influx of blessings from family, friends, relatives and well-wishers…oh at last ready is HARE KRISHNA.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/hare-krishna-about-my-latest-book/

In typical vintage poetic affluence garnished in fun, pun and satirical brush-strokes, Mahathi  reaches out to us with deep-throated emotions that resonate with Hare Krishna in this poem, Pages (first stanza),

Leaf by leaf through the pages of life,

 searching for that something amiss,

 longing for the eluding bliss…

 through the maze of childhood

 into the amazing youth…

 

And takes us to stanza 4,

 

Love, hate and disgust bubbling out

 through the pores of sanity

 that remained unchanged but entrapped

 in life-long charade

 leading my way to the mystic;

 the strange and the unknown;

 unfelt all these years

 I dwelled, drudged and drained…

 leaf by leaf through the pages of life…

(Mydavolu Venkatasesha Sathyanarayana‎ to Literary Love,June 7, 2017, Face Book)

Mahathi is the author’s pen name. His true name is Mydavolu Venkatasesha Sathyanarayana. Dr.Madagula Nagaphani Sarma says in the ASHEERVABINANDANALU that the author adopted the pen name perhaps for a reason, in that the name “MAHATHI is the VEENA of divine sage NARADA.” (p viii)

And Evans Terence Mantyk, President and Co-Founder of the Society of Classical Poets, writes in the FOREWORD of Hare Krishna,

To write a book-length ballad is no small feat. Since Samuel Coleridge’s seminal Romantic work Rime of the Ancient Mariner was published in 1978, only a handful of poets have attempted a ballad this prodigious.

It appears evidentiary that Hare Krishna by author Mahathi is the most voluminous ballad poetry book in the last two centuries, in consideration of the following,

1798 – Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel T. Coleridge; lyrical ballads by William

             Wordsworth;

1897 – The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde;

1911 – Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterson;

2013 –  The Ballad of Radheya by K.R. Sharanya

(MAHATHI) https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/hare-krishna-about-my-latest-book/

Indian ballad poets of the last two centuries, to include Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949) and Jaishankar Prasad (1890-1937) are not given consideration here relative to their volume collection of poems.

If we can dare to concur that Mahathi’s gem stones of ballad poems in Hare Krishna ascribe him to be “a poet of enviable literary supremacy” (see back cover comments), let us randomly enjoy the bansuri so rich in aesthetics, metaphors, pun and satire for good entertainment.

Take a look at the initial poem, dedicated to LORD SRI KRISHNA VAASUDEVA, titled PRAYER AND DEDICATION (first stanza, p xxiv)

OM

I scrawl ‘Hare Krishna, Krishna’;

my quill as Ram impels!

When sure can quell all sin; my ink,

Why other tales I tell?

A warm, pleasant dedication to Lord Krishna, reciting the Krishna mantra. Lord Krishna can quell all sins. Imagery and satire, using ‘my ink’ to tell more tales.

And the first poem, AVATAR, (stanza 1, 4, p 1),

The two dumb torches glowing in vain

in grim silence of jail…

gloomy, gloomy… who harkens there

a mother’s painful wail?

 

Vasudeva, Vasudeva,

O’ shackled father’s love

helpless to help thy wife art thou

or save thy child art thou!

Beautiful beginning! Beautiful setting, full of drama. AVATAR symbol of God Vishnu incarnated as Lord Krishna on Earth.  And mother Devaki in child-birth pain with her eighth child. Father Vasudeva in panic mode how to save this new-born child.

Continuing AVATAR, (stanza 32, 33, p 6),

It’s new, all new experience;

his own city looked strange,

with rare unknown beauties, and world

as entered virgin age.

 

It’s Krishna Ashtami, the eighth

diem from full Moon day

of Sravana month. Oh the night

was dim, chilly and gay.

 

Continuing AVATAR, (stanza 63, 65, p 12)

For once he kissed the child

and tenderly placed

beside his wife, sighed, peeked around

with feelings interlaced.

 

Hare Rama, Hare Rama,

Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare,

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,

Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare.

Here Vasudeva feeling overjoyed and safe. Something mysterious about to happen. Drama and excitement. And then finally comes the Krishna Mantra, so esoteric, so removal of illusions – All-Attractive, All Pleasure. Beautiful bansuri and drumbeat vibrating a spiritual platform. Transcendental, indeed.

Let us take another random turn to this ballad on LORD BRAHMA (# 18, stanza 1, p 114),

Mysterious are ways of God.

For even Lord Brahma,

Creator-God of life in worlds;

Krishna, an enigma!

Here in this ballad (57 stanzas), author Mahathi aesthetically and rhythmically expresses how Lord Krishna as God-Head incarnated on Earth is able to commandeer Lord Brahma, as creator of the universe, to share Vedic knowledge as the Father of Dharma. As in stanza 37, p 121,

“Created thee Vedas O’ Lord

to lead the human race

through foul mundane rough paths

to gain the sacred grace.”

And I take special note of author Mahathi trans-creation in English in classic Elizabethan style. It is in this genre you will find his literary forte.

And a look at another ballad, KRISHNA ON BHAKTI (stanza 4, p 271),

“Alas they speak of Godliness,

but ask for carnal spree!

These natural human traits can get

from vices never free!”

Bhakti “In Hinduism, it refers to devotion to, and love for, a personal god or a representational god by a devotee.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakti

Lord Krishna’s concern of “human traits” in the collage of human carnal knowledge begs the question of freeing ourselves from such attachment. Author Mahathi explodes in this ballad our attainment of bhakti – true devotion to Lord Krishna. Imagery so scintillating.

A significant and interesting observation in this book, Hare Krishna is that the author, Mahathi has ended each beautiful ballad with the KRISHNA MANTRA – the 16 word GREAT MANTRA of opulent omniscience …The mantra is a spiritual call to the Lord, meaning, “Oh energy of the Lord, please engage me in the loving service of Lord Krishna.”

http://www.harekrishnajapa.com/archives/1118

Mahathi was born on June 12, 1958 in Nelore, Andhra Pradesh, India. He first practiced law as an advocate in Nelore, and then joined the Government of India as a Superintendent of Salt at Nelore. His quilted literary journey began in his late 20’s – early 30’s, while pursuing academic studies and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, and later a Masters of Law degree. His first best poem, Housemaid’s Daughter copped the Editor’s pick (www.enchantingverses.com). This was followed by a First Prize win for his poem, Farewell in the P4 Poetry Competition (www.p4poetry.com).  He has four published anthologies of poetry and narratives viz (1) Golden Lotus (2) Plastic Faces and Other Poems (3) Wheels and (4) JUST HUMAN, Be They on Love, Nature, Beauty or Burning Social Issues. Book reviews include, Watching You, A Collection of Tetractys Poems by Leonard Dabydeen (2012); Searching For You, A Collection of Tetractys and Fibonacci Poems by Leonard Dabydeen (2015). Mahathi’s 6th book, Finding the Mother, is a trans-creation in English of H.H. Sage Valmiki’s Sri Sundara Kanda, the 5th Canto of Srimad Ramayana – best acclaimed as an all time classic of English literature. He is also a member of the World Renaissance for Classical Poetry under the guidance of Dr.H. Tulsi. And  now Mahathi brings us this book, Hare Krishna, a trans-creation in English of the “eternal Indian epic, SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM by H.H. Sage SRIKRISHNA DWAIPAYANA VYASA” – revelling Mahathi as “one of the best Indian English poets of the 21st century.”

Here is a book that you will find lavishly entertaining as it reels out the mystical and spiritual episodic childhood  of Lord Krishna in beautiful ballads. The book is available here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hare-krishna/id1220419132?ls=1&mt=11

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hare-krishna-mahathi/1126058529?ean=2940157362904

https://www.overdrive.com/media/3232132/hare-krishna

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hare-krishna-1

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mahathi_Hare_Krishna?id=AEiIDgAAQBAJ

http://www.ebooks2go.com/Hare%20Krishna

July 19, 2017

 

MAHATHI BK REV PNG

Author: Mahathi

Book: Hare Krishna

Publisher: Prowess Publishing, May 2, 2017

Pages (Print Length) Paperback 402 pages

ASIN B071VDC76Y

ISBN  978 161 813 284

Kindle Ed. ₹ 321

Paperback  ₹ 450

 

Book Review: Leonard Dabydeen

Bhagavad Gita Verse 7, Chapter 4

Whenever there is a decline in righteousness, and a rise in unrighteousness prevails, then do I manifest myself, O Bhaarata.

Bhagavad Gita Verse 7, Chapter 4

Mahathi’s 8th book, Hare Krishna is an empowering tour-de-force of the glorious and adventurous saga of Lord Krishna’s childhood in mellifluous versification, inked in prosody of bansuri-like narrative and lyrical ballads. The book is a trans-creation in English by Mahathi based on the immortal Hindu classical epic, Srimad Bhagavatham by luminous spiritual H.H.Sage Sri Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa (see back cover of the book). It is the arduous arrival from Mahahi’s 6th book, FINDING THE MOTHER, another trans-creation in English verse reflective of SRI SUNDARA  KANDA, H.H. Valmiki’s 5th Canto of SRIMAD RAMAYANA and well-recognised as an immortal classic of English Literature.

Author Mahathi’s prodigious Hare Krishna is staged as another English literary classic, prodding his literary esteem as “arguably one of the best English poets of the 21st century.” (see back cover of the book). It is set as ballads in iambic meter in 47 dramatic narrative and lyrical poems, with inclusive conundrums offering insightful explanations on critical religious topics related to Lord Krishna and Hinduism to flag 402 pages.

In order to appreciate, understand and absorb with relentless joy the childhood adventures of Lord Krishna as in this author’s book, Hare Krishna, it would be incumbent in body, mind and spiritual upliftment to quest for Lord Krishna. From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia,

“Krishna (/ˈkrɪʃnə/; Sanskrit: कृष्ण, Kṛṣṇa in IAST, pronounced [ˈkr̩ʂɳə] (About this sound listen)) is the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism.[1][2] He is one of the most widely revered and popular Indian divinities, worshipped as the eighth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu and also as the supreme God in his own right.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna

In his blog, ThoughtCo.com, Subhamoy Das explains,

“As one of the principal gods of Hinduism, Krishna represents mankind’s aspiration to embody all that is divine. Amorous and loyal, he is seen as the ideal husband, and his playful nature is a gentle admonition to remain good-natured in the face of life’s challenges.

As counsel to the warrior Arjuna, Krishna serves as a moral compass for the faithful. His exploits in the Bhagavad Gita and other holy scripture are ethical models of behavior for Hindus, particularly on the nature of personal choice and responsibility to others.”

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-story-of-the-birth-of-lord-krishna-1770453

According to IndiaNetzone, the illustrious and spiritually glorifying childhood of Lord Krishna, being enshrined in the Krishna charitas, with Krishna blessed as the eighth incarnation of God Vishnu, is a significant part of the Indian epic Mahabharata. In the first three paragraphs, under the title: Childhood of Lord Krishna, Indian Classical Tale, Mahabharata,

The mischief and miracles by Lord Krishna in his infant days are still revered and remembered by the Indians as the holy antics by the Vishnu avatara in Gokula with the Braj people.

After the birth of Lord Krishna, his father Vasudeva brought him to Gokula. He was brought up in the safe and secured supervision of mother Yashoda and Nand. The maternal uncle of Lord Krishna, King Kansa was destined to die in his hands and thus the king wanted to kill Krishna right from his birth. During his childhood, Krishna faced several perilous situations that were designed by the notorious Kansa, however no one could slay him for his unsurpassed divine power.

There were great rejoicings and celebration in Gokula after the Braj people came to know about the charming son of Nand and Yashoda. The astrologers predicted that this divine child would kill the demons and the evil, thus he should be called the Lord of the herds and the Gopis. King Kansa somehow came to know that his reason of death lived in Gokula and kept on sending demons to slay all the children of the place.

http://www.indianetzone.com/38/childhood_lord_krishna.htm

And within this eternal swirl of a magnificent worldly amphitheatre, author Mahathi garlanded Lord Krishna’s childhood saga in this book Hare Krishna, in euphonious narrative and lyrical ballads. In offering BLESSINGS to Mahathi, Jai Srimannarayana writes,

Touch His [Lord Krishna] story anywhere. It is sweet. Put it in poetry or prose, and it is sweet. Let anyone sing it or write it, and it is still sweet because the very nature of the Lord is sweet. (p v)

Mahathi’s unequivocal due diligence in the pursuit of writing Hare Krishna, based on the epic classic saga SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM by H.H. Sage SRIKRISHNA DWAIPAYANA VYASA is sculpted from his undeterred belief that our fractured society and its social ills make us inhuman in a human world. This is Adharma. And only by following “Dharmic path alone can bring eternal peace and prosperity to the world.” (See back cover of the book).

In his own perambulating over this book, Hare Krishna, Mahathi informs us of his inner soul-searching, saying,

2 years of writing, 2 more years of waiting, strenuous research, a lot of prayers, a lot more of penance, pain, joy, tears and divine rhapsody; a little intuition, a shower of invisible benisons from THE MASTER and a never ending influx of blessings from family, friends, relatives and well-wishers…oh at last ready is HARE KRISHNA.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/hare-krishna-about-my-latest-book/

In typical vintage poetic affluence garnished in fun, pun and satirical brush-strokes, Mahathi  reaches out to us with deep-throated emotions that resonate with Hare Krishna in this poem, Pages (first stanza),

Leaf by leaf through the pages of life,

 searching for that something amiss,

 longing for the eluding bliss…

 through the maze of childhood

 into the amazing youth…

 

And takes us to stanza 4,

 

Love, hate and disgust bubbling out

 through the pores of sanity

 that remained unchanged but entrapped

 in life-long charade

 leading my way to the mystic;

 the strange and the unknown;

 unfelt all these years

 I dwelled, drudged and drained…

 leaf by leaf through the pages of life…

(Mydavolu Venkatasesha Sathyanarayana‎ to Literary Love,June 7, 2017, Face Book)

Mahathi is the author’s pen name. His true name is Mydavolu Venkatasesha Sathyanarayana. Dr.Madagula Nagaphani Sarma says in the ASHEERVABINANDANALU that the author adopted the pen name perhaps for a reason, in that the name “MAHATHI is the VEENA of divine sage NARADA.” (p viii)

And Evans Terence Mantyk, President and Co-Founder of the Society of Classical Poets, writes in the FOREWORD of Hare Krishna,

To write a book-length ballad is no small feat. Since Samuel Coleridge’s seminal Romantic work Rime of the Ancient Mariner was published in 1978, only a handful of poets have attempted a ballad this prodigious.

It appears evidentiary that Hare Krishna by author Mahathi is the most voluminous ballad poetry book in the last two centuries, in consideration of the following,

1798 – Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel T. Coleridge; lyrical ballads by William

             Wordsworth;

1897 – The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde;

1911 – Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterson;

2013 –  The Ballad of Radheya by K.R. Sharanya

(MAHATHI) https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/hare-krishna-about-my-latest-book/

Indian ballad poets of the last two centuries, to include Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949) and Jaishankar Prasad (1890-1937) are not given consideration here relative to their volume collection of poems.

If we can dare to concur that Mahathi’s gem stones of ballad poems in Hare Krishna ascribe him to be “a poet of enviable literary supremacy” (see back cover comments), let us randomly enjoy the bansuri so rich in aesthetics, metaphors, pun and satire for good entertainment.

Take a look at the initial poem, dedicated to LORD SRI KRISHNA VAASUDEVA, titled PRAYER AND DEDICATION (first stanza, p xxiv)

OM

I scrawl ‘Hare Krishna, Krishna’;

my quill as Ram impels!

When sure can quell all sin; my ink,

Why other tales I tell?

A warm, pleasant dedication to Lord Krishna, reciting the Krishna mantra. Lord Krishna can quell all sins. Imagery and satire, using ‘my ink’ to tell more tales.

And the first poem, AVATAR, (stanza 1, 4, p 1),

The two dumb torches glowing in vain

in grim silence of jail…

gloomy, gloomy… who harkens there

a mother’s painful wail?

 

Vasudeva, Vasudeva,

O’ shackled father’s love

helpless to help thy wife art thou

or save thy child art thou!

Beautiful beginning! Beautiful setting, full of drama. AVATAR symbol of God Vishnu incarnated as Lord Krishna on Earth.  And mother Devaki in child-birth pain with her eighth child. Father Vasudeva in panic mode how to save this new-born child.

Continuing AVATAR, (stanza 32, 33, p 6),

It’s new, all new experience;

his own city looked strange,

with rare unknown beauties, and world

as entered virgin age.

 

It’s Krishna Ashtami, the eighth

diem from full Moon day

of Sravana month. Oh the night

was dim, chilly and gay.

 

Continuing AVATAR, (stanza 63, 65, p 12)

For once he kissed the child

and tenderly placed

beside his wife, sighed, peeked around

with feelings interlaced.

 

Hare Rama, Hare Rama,

Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare,

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,

Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare.

Here Vasudeva feeling overjoyed and safe. Something mysterious about to happen. Drama and excitement. And then finally comes the Krishna Mantra, so esoteric, so removal of illusions – All-Attractive, All Pleasure. Beautiful bansuri and drumbeat vibrating a spiritual platform. Transcendental, indeed.

Let us take another random turn to this ballad on LORD BRAHMA (# 18, stanza 1, p 114),

Mysterious are ways of God.

For even Lord Brahma,

Creator-God of life in worlds;

Krishna, an enigma!

Here in this ballad (57 stanzas), author Mahathi aesthetically and rhythmically expresses how Lord Krishna as God-Head incarnated on Earth is able to commandeer Lord Brahma, as creator of the universe, to share Vedic knowledge as the Father of Dharma. As in stanza 37, p 121,

“Created thee Vedas O’ Lord

to lead the human race

through foul mundane rough paths

to gain the sacred grace.”

And I take special note of author Mahathi trans-creation in English in classic Elizabethan style. It is in this genre you will find his literary forte.

And a look at another ballad, KRISHNA ON BHAKTI (stanza 4, p 271),

“Alas they speak of Godliness,

but ask for carnal spree!

These natural human traits can get

from vices never free!”

Bhakti “In Hinduism, it refers to devotion to, and love for, a personal god or a representational god by a devotee.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakti

Lord Krishna’s concern of “human traits” in the collage of human carnal knowledge begs the question of freeing ourselves from such attachment. Author Mahathi explodes in this ballad our attainment of bhakti – true devotion to Lord Krishna. Imagery so scintillating.

A significant and interesting observation in this book, Hare Krishna is that the author, Mahathi has ended each beautiful ballad with the KRISHNA MANTRA – the 16 word GREAT MANTRA of opulent omniscience …The mantra is a spiritual call to the Lord, meaning, “Oh energy of the Lord, please engage me in the loving service of Lord Krishna.”

http://www.harekrishnajapa.com/archives/1118

Mahathi was born on June 12, 1958 in Nelore, Andhra Pradesh, India. He first practiced law as an advocate in Nelore, and then joined the Government of India as a Superintendent of Salt at Nelore. His quilted literary journey began in his late 20’s – early 30’s, while pursuing academic studies and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, and later a Masters of Law degree. His first best poem, Housemaid’s Daughter copped the Editor’s pick (www.enchantingverses.com). This was followed by a First Prize win for his poem, Farewell in the P4 Poetry Competition (www.p4poetry.com).  He has four published anthologies of poetry and narratives viz (1) Golden Lotus (2) Plastic Faces and Other Poems (3) Wheels and (4) JUST HUMAN, Be They on Love, Nature, Beauty or Burning Social Issues. Book reviews include, Watching You, A Collection of Tetractys Poems by Leonard Dabydeen (2012); Searching For You, A Collection of Tetractys and Fibonacci Poems by Leonard Dabydeen (2015). Mahathi’s 6th book, Finding the Mother, is a trans-creation in English of H.H. Sage Valmiki’s Sri Sundara Kanda, the 5th Canto of Srimad Ramayana – best acclaimed as an all time classic of English literature. He is also a member of the World Renaissance for Classical Poetry under the guidance of Dr.H. Tulsi. And  now Mahathi brings us this book, Hare Krishna, a trans-creation in English of the “eternal Indian epic, SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM by H.H. Sage SRIKRISHNA DWAIPAYANA VYASA” – revelling Mahathi as “one of the best Indian English poets of the 21st century.”

Here is a book that you will find lavishly entertaining as it reels out the mystical and spiritual episodic childhood  of Lord Krishna in beautiful ballads. The book is available here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hare-krishna/id1220419132?ls=1&mt=11

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hare-krishna-mahathi/1126058529?ean=2940157362904

https://www.overdrive.com/media/3232132/hare-krishna

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hare-krishna-1

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mahathi_Hare_Krishna?id=AEiIDgAAQBAJ

http://www.ebooks2go.com/Hare%20Krishna

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM: It Always Rains in that Green House

May 9, 2017

Dedicated to Derek Walcott (1930-2017)

by Jaydeep Sarangi

Jaydeep-Sarangi JPEG

It always rains at St Lucia, Achille finds roots in the chaotic hybrid world.

Silence chants from the annals of history. So many bards flock together

From shores of time.  The elder of twin boys.

La Plata to Di Hong

The Ganges to river Yuna

All bear a name: re-writing a name.

 

Fruits are juicy, flowers with perfume,

Core of fire  burns each heart, nature’s plan.

Each one has a story to share in silence.

So we stop. We listen to mountains sing,

Rocks, caves and falls prepare minds

For a moment of calm awakening of inside.

Ancient sages bless for a supreme quiet stream of light

Flashing from each joint of bones. It’s home. Home

For green knights. Soul of the native,

Season of mist makes all hearts juicy, language

Kissing words of luck hours by hours.

Love letters are taken  from the bookshelf.

 

The sparrows and seagulls compete with doves,

Crows have part with images, history of the land,

No man can ever be more sensitive than

By the fire of the Muse, star apple kingdom.

Sense of the power and romance of  flora and fauna

In poems living, like the song of  the bird, trees old and new,

Flood each heart where poetry is a visitor, a valued priest.

 

Migratory birds search for home. Ruins of a green house.

We need one soon.

 

All poets count the humming of a bee, blood in their poems

Fair creature of an hour, all lines spark. It rains, rains always.

 

After this poem, rain will start. St. Lucia is our home.Another life.

Love after love!

 

About JAYDEEP SARANGI:

Jaydeep Sarangi is a widely anthologised poet with five collections in English, latest being: To Whom I Return Each Day (April 2017) which was released at the University of Uine,Udine Italy. He read poems in different shores of Australia, Europe and North America. Sarangi’s poems have appeared in many prestigious magazines like Indian Literature, Kavya Bharati, Setu,  Muse India, WEC, The Asian Age, CV, etc.  He has delivered keynote address in conferences/seminar  on new poetry in different Universities in different countries. He has guest edited a special issue on Derek Walcott for Muse India(www.museindia.com).Dr.Sarangi may be reached at: jaydeepsarangi@gmail.com

Jaydeep Sarangi Faculty,Dept. of English Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College (Univ. of Calcutta) 30,Prince Anwar Shah Road , Kolkata: 700033,WB,Country:: India -Ph 09477807031

 

 

 

Poem: For Derek Walcott (1930-2017)

May 9, 2017

by Leonard Dabydeen

DEREK WALCOTT JPEG

Sir Derek Walcott

Me know him nah dead,

Him only gone.

Fuh watch dem schooner

An’ listen some

See dem white egrets

Walking by the rocks

Feet like dry bamboo

Their heads bobbing, weavin’

Like Bob Marley singing

‘Buffalo Soldier’ in a dread lock

Wait till tomorrow come

To see Odysseus sitting

On a backyard bench

Talking to Derek

Till mornin’ come.

 

 

 

Salutation to Mother: Happy Mother’s Day

May 9, 2017

by Leonard Dabydeen

 

From that special moment

as conception tickles her womb

Motherhood takes root

like a banyan tree

she’s a nascent woman

pristine in her own castle

all consummate Jai Santoshi Ma

so devoted to happiness, prosperity

void of selfishness, fiery maw

ebullient cooing heartbeat Durga Ma

shakti aur bhakti, ma mukti

Lakshmi mata, Saraswati mata

child in her cocoon you are

migrating in her pulse

she sleeps portraying your dreams

sculpting body, mind and soul

many are nights of bad tales

she strokes your karma

for birth into a new world

always a silent bhajan

aarti her pregnant tummy

her smile an embroidery of faith

her utmost wish mere ma

satyam, shivam, sundaram

glorious joy to the world.

.

Musings of Sir Derek Walcott’s Life & Work

April 27, 2017

GOVT ST LUCIA JPEGMusings of Sir Derek Walcott’s Life & Work by Leonard Dabydeen

Sir Derek Walcott PNG

SIR DEREK WALCOTT

 

His heart palpitates

in island breeze

wind guiding mind’s sail

island swaying island

from Castries to Port of Spain

from Bridgetown to Kingston

like ‘fireflies caught in molases’.

~ Leonard Dabydeen

 

BREAKING NEWS on the early morning hours of Friday, March 17, 2017, in sombre silence in his home in Cap Estate near Gros Islet in St. Lucia in the Caribbean Sea, and best known as the “Helen of the West Indies”, Sir Derek Anton Walcott passed away. He was 87. He was suffering from a bout of illness, but died peacefully in his sleep. His son, Peter made the announcement. According to William Grimes of The New York Times, on March 17, 2017, his (Walcott) “death was confirmed by his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. No cause was given, but he had been in poor health for some time…”

(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/books/derek-walcott-dead-nobel-prize-literature.html?_r=0). He was survived by three children.

Walcott was a phenomenal connoisseur of the Caribbean literary brew as a poet, playwright and painter, with a penchant to make master boundaries on the international playing field. His Anglo-centric foundation was strong and irresistible in confluence – creole and English. The UPI’s Eric Duvall says, “Walcott’s complicated personal narrative mirrored that of the West Indies itself, where a mishmash of cultural imports have created a diverse, often complicated society ensconced in tropical paradise.” Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. (http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2017/03/17/Nobel-winning-poet-Derek-Walcott-voice-of-the-Caribbean-dead-at-87/9541489790001

As if he had a premonition of his life with a literary affluence, Walcott writes,

Love After Love

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was yourself. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/love-after-love/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_6mgbRSUzo

 

Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. In 2016 he became a Knight Commander of the Order of St Lucia. His was a gratifying life of dreams and visions, commandeering imaginary with the visual, even as a playwright.

OF FUNERAL, OBITUARIES AND TRIBUTES: DEREK WALCOTT

On March 27, 2017, St. LUCIA TIMES reported the funeral of Derek Walcott. The funeral took place at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries on March 25, 2017. There were a swath of professors, writers from across the globe, government dignitaries and media personnel in attendance, offering condolences and sharing the loss of this Caribbean literary giant.

https://stluciatimes.com/2017/03/27/derek-walcott-laid-rest

Sir Derek Walcott was given a State Funeral by the Government of St. Lucia

State Funeral of Sir Derek

GOVT ST LUCIA JPEG

Government of Saint Lucia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQRfHaNeW8o

 

The funeral service was held close to where Derek Walcott grew up as a boy. It was as if he wished this connectivity with home and island to underline his final moment.

D W Q PNG

https://www.quotehd.com/Quotes/derek-walcott-playwright-quote-visual-surprise-is-natural-in-the-caribbean-it-comes

 

A special dignitary in the name of Professor Emeritus Edward A.C. Baugh, a Jamaican poet and scholar, and an authority on the work of Derek Walcott, delivered this eulogy (only an excerpt),

“We mourn and we celebrate a genius who was a prodigy, a maker. A Caribbean man who has made us and the world see more clearly the Caribbean landscape, Caribbean light. But we also mourn and celebrate a person. Someone with the virtues and the shortcomings that defined him, as the persons who knew him valued.”

 

He was finally crested to rest at Morne Fortune near the Inniskilling Monument, within a short distance from the resting spot of Nobel Laureate, Sir Arthur Lewis.

https://stluciatimes.com/2017/03/27/derek-walcott-laid-rest

In another eulogy, according to ST. LUCIA TIMES, under the header, “World bids farewell to Derek Walcott”, Monsignor Patrick Anthony made a fervent appeal to the packed congregation,

“to be proud of what Derek has done for us as a Caribbean people … to lift our heads high and say we can stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world.”

https://stluciatimes.com/2017/03/26/world-bids-farewell-derek-walcott

This writer finds it alarmingly voluminous in magnitude to plunge deep into the Caribbean Sea to capture all the prodigious voices that echoed, or continuing to echo, tributes and obituaries for the transiting of this literary giant from the island shores of St. Lucia, Sir Derek Anton Walcott. Suffice it to say, a non-exhaustive list of online players is presented here. This is followed by an almost comprehensive, glasnost olio of youtube voices that explode the life and work of this colossal literary West Indian son.

 

ONLINE TRIBUTES and more…Global connectivity:

 

The PARIS REVIEW: Searching for Derek Walcott

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/03/31/searching-for-derek-walcott/

Repeating Islands, Derek A. Walcott, St. Lucia, January 23, 1930 – March 17, 2017: ONLINE TRIBUTES

https://repeatingislands.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/derek-walcott-1930-2017-online-tributes.pdf

the star.com – News. World: Poet Derek Walcott, a Caribbean giant and Nobel Laureate dies at 87

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/03/17/poet-derek-walcott-a-caribbean-giant-and-nobel-laureate-dies-at-87.html

 

An olio of youtube voices …collected online by this writer…

 

YouTube State Funeral Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQRfHaNeW8o

Artists Hold Special Wake For Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iCULPfVEJ4

Sir Derek Walcott on His Life and Work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_6mgbRSUzo

Sir Derek Walcott Reads Beginning of Omeros

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQupJNRE3b0

Sir Derek Walcott’s Extended View on Omeros

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z67iA4QCF14

Sir Derek Walcott Laid To Rest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4XSOS5lN6Q

Sir Derek Walcott : Family Moment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUoN0ufS060

 

The Walcott Brothers: A Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYsZORiVTb8

Sir Derek Walcott On Empire and Language

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrqKsGY9urM

A Reading by Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSH4qjN2v_c

Derek Walcott: The Perpetual Ideal is Astonishment | 92Y Readings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZxySOMSxOs

Sir Derek Walcott: Black Writers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsYKDAtUetE

Sir Derek Walcott: Oprah Pays Tribute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDfoA_dfwvs

Sir Derek Walcott: Love After Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSS5Y9az4iI

Love After Love by Derek Walcott: Read by Roger Housden

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B36L9Av7uO4

 

Derek Walcott tribute: Linton Kwesi Johnson reads Love After Love – BBC Newsnight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_3QbH_aNmc

(short skit) Love after love by:Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Ni9a2cPlE

Sir Derek Walcott: POETRY IS AN ISLAND

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zWLloaVgPg

Love After Love by Derek Walcott – Read by Tom Hiddleston

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z850LNbudlw

love after love poem by derek walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvytgrDO4eg

Love after Love by Derek Walcott: Kim Rosen and Jami Sieber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V8ltOfLJkM

David Whyte recites Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOqxUrkJgc4

Oprah recites Love After Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rltojO-WxA

 

Love After Love – Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlljQKq25zs

Poem reading by Derek Walcott, Nobel Laureate in Literature

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxdjlqiz4q4

Derek Walcott reads Crusoe’s Island

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1emY_omZM

derek walcott died at 87| derek walcott poems| derek walcott love after love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vMZO8OpQOY

Tribute to the Honorable Sir Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYvPV87ZgOM

derek wolcott, Nobel laureate Derek Walcott dies at 87, St Lucia – Pigeon Post News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn-mDXp9KbQ

”A far cry from Africa” by Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF-8wIXJRVY

Tribute to 2015 Griffin Lifetime Recognition Award recipient Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7bDCUpmtg

 

Derek Walcott Photostory FINAL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg9eTcMqViA

The Light of the World – Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnqlO–1Kk8

Derek Walcott – The Glory Trumpeter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCy5uZN21AM

IN AMSTERDAM, Poem by Derek Walcott.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80bU-owHmG8

“Star” by Derek Walcott (5:21 AM)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8btxEf1qF84

1 – Derek Walcott : a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, writer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLdX9n1JJkw

2 – Derek Walcott : a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, writer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOWztBOMsjA

UCSD Convocation: Derek Walcott

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0T3KPmc6ZM

 

Derek Walcott Caedmon Audio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Olxc6u31g

 

Adios Carenage – Part 1, Derek Walcott’s epic poem, “The Schooner Flight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVw8uqIPreo

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 1 of 5

Lesley University

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVjDnz59hlA

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 2 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GotLXZFpxNY

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 3 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZMgQfyKa-M

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 4 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29RP6doR2qI

Derek Walcott reads White Egrets at Lesley University Part 5 of 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hdSz0dIJ9w

 

Matthew St. Ville Hunte, who lives in St. Lucia, reminisced in the PARIS REVIEW on March 17, 2017 just after the death of Derek Walcott, that

To be born on a small island, a colonial backwater, meant a precocious resignation to fate. —Derek Walcott

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/03/31/searching-for-derek-walcott/

 

Derek Walcott’s Life and Work spanning almost nine decades are a rich, delightful musicality, imbued with an effervescent glow of Caribbean history, literature, culture and arts and an intoxicating blend of Western canon. From Britain to Boston to his homeland in St. Lucia, and skipping over to Jamaica and settling in Trinidad, he was a maverick trumpeting poetry , painting and plays with untiring energy and colossal power. His life was his work, and vice versa.

Derek Walcott was born, together with his twin brother, Roderick, on January 23, 1930, to Bohemian Methodist parents in the hometown of Castries, St. Lucia. Theirs were a family in a minority group, obscured for inherent religious and cultural beliefs against a backdrop of predominant Catholic denominations. And the island, St. Lucia was a firm British colonial protectorate underscored by African slavery, fragments of Indian indentureship and splashes of French. In its cultural embroidery this island of volcanic, tear-drop landfill is made up in a pastry of African, French and English blend. Walcott’s mother, Alix (Maartin) Walcott was a school teacher/headmistress of a local Methodist school; his father, Warwick Walcott was an inspirational watercolourist, civil servant and poetry writer. He died when Walcott was just a little child. Walcott also had a sister named Pamela. And his grandparents were known to be descendants of African slaves. Grandfathers being white; grandmothers African slaves.

Growing up in Castries, Walcott was quickly immersed in the beauty and glamour of St. Lucia as one of the Windward islands of the Lesser Antilles. He was slated early in life to focus his mind in the arts, with painting as, perhaps, his first choice. He was enthralled by professional artist Harold Simmons who mentored him in the facilitation of the Walcottian dream of plural ambiosity in the arts – painting, poetry and later being a debutante playwright. However, his mother, Alix, in the penchant educator fraternity, embossed in Walcott a spirited love for language. Around the home as opportunities unfold, she would vehemently recite Shakespeare and moisten Walcott’s mind in the flowering classics of English literature. Books in English classic literature were a life-line in his upbringing. In the same breath , Walcott was inwardly marinating thoughts of equality and race and his imbued passion for British poetry. According to Guy Ellis and David McFadden in The Associated Press, dated March 17, 2017, Walcott reflected that,

[“wrestling contradiction of being white in mind and black in body, as if the flesh were coal from which the spirit like tormented smoke writhed to escape.” But he overcame that inner struggle, writing: “Once we have lost our wish to be white, we develop a longing to become black.”]

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/03/17/poet-derek-walcott-a-caribbean-giant-and-nobel-laureate-dies-at-87.html

 

With the refreshing breeze of the Caribbean sea, Walcott as a teenager at age 14, published his first poem of 44 lines in a local newspaper, The Voice of St. Lucia; the year was 1944. The title of the poem was 1944. His poeticity in life had just begun. Unfortunately, a review of this publication was dampened in local circles by an English Catholic priest, who considered the write-up free versification as blasphemous . This did not deter Walcott.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Walcottof

Four years later, in 1948, Walcott manuscript a collection of poems, titled 25 Poems and struggled to attract a publisher. He quickly solicited the assistance of his mother, Alix for a loan of $200 to self-publish the book. Eventually he was able to sell the book himself and repaid his mother. The book was actually dedicated to his mother.

The following year, 1949, Walcott went on to publish his second book, Epitaph for the Young XII Cantos. This was the collected work that set Walcott’s epic ambition writing and shooting an arrow to Walcott’g path, leading to Omeros, which gifted him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.

By the time Walcott was 19 years of age, he had this deep, inner awareness of a determined struggle against the Catholic clergy in the island territory. He wanted out. For him,

“As a young boy, he would often go out to watch the poor people living in shanties; some of whom would later appear in his autobiographical poem, ‘Another Life’. He also found the sea, with its different moods and legends, fishermen and schooners, and sounds of the sea, very fascinating.”

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/derek-walcott-110.php#Qv895Uf6LtBzeQi4.99

After the Epitaph for the Young XII Cantos (1949), Walcott completed a college programme at St. Mary’s College in St. Lucia and was offered a Colonial Development Welfare scholarship to study at the University of the West Indies in 1950. During this university study period, Walcott produced two dramas, Henri Christophe: A Chronicle (1950), and Henri Dernier – a play for radio production (1953). Mixed with numerous poems, essays and journalistic rotisserie.

Upon graduation with a B.A. (1953), and already surfing rising waves in the Caribbean literary oeuvre in poetry, compounded with plays and art crticisms, Walcott drifted to Trinidad. And it is in this Land of the Hummiing Bird that he set himself in an exploding career path to literary fame, that marked his highest achievement as Nobel Laureatte for Literature in 1992.

Chronicling Walcott’s career achievements certainly deserves more than a book-length feature (already many authors out there). It would therefore be reasonably gratifying to allow this writer to mark Walcott’s evolvement, to express a sentiment of David Biespiel, literary critic and published author of the book, A Long High Whistle, as…

an elegant West Indies murmur against history’s colonial narrative of bondage.”

And in the same breath, continues, “His poems expose the discrepancy between blooming flowers and sparkling waters with these island economies built on the history of sugar plantations and slavery and forced labor…”

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/17/511608932/derek-walcott-who-wrote-of-caribbean-beauty-and-bondage-dies-at-87

 

Between 1953-1954, Walcott entrenched himself with confidence and allure in the theatre and art critic world as he settled in Trinidad. Literature was his forte.

By 1958, Walcott caught the eyes of international glimmer, earning him a Rockefeller Foundation Grant for his brilliant play, Drums and Colours. This coveted prize earned him a view of New York City and the ears of off-Broadway Directors. His stay was short-lived. His heart longed for Trinidad. Some inner island spirit.

In 1959 Walcott made his way back to Trinidad. He decided to set up home here and organized the Trinidad Theatre Workshop. His brother and playwright, Roderick Walcott also joined him in the workshop programme. Apart from profuse writing of poems and plays, a stint of teaching was now emerging with his work. Watercolour painting was also on the pallette.

Between 1960-1968, Walcott added a stint of journalism to his work. He was a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian – having his name in the local news. Yet he never swayed from his love of poetry and playwright. He explored island drumbeats of history, of slavery and indentureship, culture curating myths and superstitions in the rhapsody of folk lore.

His early poetry, such as “In a Green Night”, with its references to Andrew Marvell’s “Bermudas”, was influenced by English metaphysical poets and the classics.

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/poetry/2017/03/green-night-derek-walcott-1930-2017.

As a result of a very successful launch of this book, In a Green Night, the famous Boston Brahmin poet, Robert Lowell made a spirited and special trip to meet with Walcott. This meeting led to Walcott being signed up with world class publishers, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

This amabilité between poet and publisher paved the way for a genre of Walcott’s books in the 1970’s and onwards. The list is comprehensive and absolutely impressive to view through this official web site of the Nobel Prize,

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1992/walcott-bibl.html

In Walcott’s continuing international acclaim, Selected Poems (1964), The Castaway (1965) and The Gulf (1969) took centre stage.

The Saint Lucia National Trust acquired Walcott’s childhood home at 17 Chaussée Road, Castries, in November 2015, opening it to the public as Walcott House in January 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Walcott

 

In 2011 Walcott copped the T.S. Eliot Prize for his collection of poems, White Egrets. In the heart of his majestic literary career, Walcott was influenced by the works of Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and classical poets in the name of Renaissant Petrarch and Middle Age Dante Alighieri. The book arrived late when Walcott was in his prime age of 80, but the collection of poems was inked with the rich backdrop of the book, Omeros.

And so now we take a serendipitous view of this book, Morning, Paramin – a collaboration between a collosal Nobel prize-winning laureate of literature, Sir Derek Walcott, and a world class figurative painter, Peter Doig, living in Trinidad since 2002.

Within the immense cosmopolitan literary amphitheatre of Walcott’s musings in poetry, plays, paintings, essays, readings, workshops and book publications to say the least, there is a sculpted bouquet of awards that embosses his life and work. For us to wit, his most important achievement was the Nobel Laureate Prize in literature in 1992 at the age of 62. His itinerary was from birthplace St. Lucia to Jamaica, then Trinidad and out of the islands to Boston in the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, other European countries and back to the Caribbean islands. For him, the world was only a small place in which he engaged in imaginings.

It was in Trinidad in 1953 that Walcott set up part-time residence, after graduating from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. His first initiative was becoming the Founding Director of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959. Most of his earlier stay was at the Hotel Normandy, but cost of living was too expensive, and he badly needed a job. Eventually, he was offered a part-time position at Boston University, and travelled back and forth to Trinidad. Later, in 1981 he received a Mac Arthur Fellowship for his magnificent theatre performances. Then he decided to take up residence in the U.S.A and continued to work at Boston University, but vacationed in Trinidad. His heart was so deeply rooted in the theatre, that he became obsessed about the quality of performers. https://books.google.ca/books?id=EOq6genaAwC&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=Derek+Walcott+living+and+working+in+Trinidad&source=bl&ots=j3bF0MjgX5&sig=VHnV2No-aY78HHaiDKzaIWrzZ9g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwifkej2_7bTAhVB6YMKHRBGApI4ChDoAQgsMAI#v=onepage&q=Derek%20Walcott%20living%20and%20working%20in%20Trinidad&f=false

 

While working with the Trinidad Express as a journaist, , he came into contact with an emerging West Indian and Trinidadian writer, Viadhar S. Naipaul. They both became friends with common interests in the arts and literature. They both captured the Nobel Laureate prize in literature, although this grandiose achievement happened nine years apart – Walcott in 1992, and Naipaul in 2001.

However, Walcott soon became suspect as Naipaul’s nemesis. In an earlier interview with Naipaul in 1961, Walcott mustered Naipaul to be “one of the most mature West Indian writers”. Yet later, in 1964 Walcott’s critical commentary of Naipaul’s Mr. Stone and The Knight’s Companion, refracted a fanning of a thin biographical veil of generation change, an epic acclaim of rootlessness, a sense of shocking failure of people in the Caribbean scalding in colonialism and post-colonialism, and a splurge of disinheritance. The feud never faded, but evolved in name-calling, even accusations of racism bordering on Walcott’s African heritage and Naipaul’s Indian indentureship from India.

http://www.guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2017-03-25/walcott-journalist

 

Walcott had many wives in his long life and career. In 1954 he married Fay Moston, a secretary – divorced her in 1959; one son, Peter Walcott.

In 1962 Walcott married Margaret Maillard. Almoner in a hospital – divorced in 1976; two daughters, Elizabeth and Anna.

In 1976 Walcott married Norline Metivier, actress – divorced in 1993.

 

1993 – 2017 a long time companion in former art gallery owner, Sigrid Nama.

 

Yet we will forever remember Sir Derek Walcott as an astute creative artist, and a magnificent Nobel Laureate in literature, saying to us …

DW Quote 001 PNG

https://www.pinterest.com/loriarmour78/derek-walcott/

 

 

 

Sunny Rain-n-Snow: An Olio of Poetry for Pleasure by U Atreya Sarma – Book Review by Leonard Dabydeen

March 18, 2017

 

BOOK: Sunny Rain-n-Snow, AN OLIO OF POETRY FOR PLEASURE by U Atreya Sarma

BOOK BY U ATREYA SARMA PNG

BOOK REVIEW by Leonard Dabydeen

Publisher: Partridge India, 2016

ISBN-10: 1482868547

ISBN-13: 978-1482868548

Pages 158

Paperback $ 9.99 | Rs 399 | Flipkart Rs 360

Kindle $ 2.54 | Rs 169

EBOOK (Google Play) Rs 118.30

A rich garland of flowers splendiferous with life.

To be able to explode with tremendous joy and felicity at making your first impression is simply a memorable life-experience. This is undoubtedly the magnolia, caviar feeling of U Atreya Sarma on the presentation of his debut olio of poetry book, Sunny Rain -n-Snow – set in a bundle of 139 pages in a melange of 63 poems curated in 12 interlocking sections, spanning delectable tidings from prior social media/anthologies between 2009-2014. In the Foreword helm, popular Mumbai literary academic, Dr. Sunil Sharma elicited that this book, “Sunny Rain-n-Snow is about living and loving life.” And the author, Atreya espouses in the Preface that the ambience of the poems “vary according to the theme – from gravity to levity, from anger to angst, from sympathy to empathy, from ardour to humour.” This, in brief, regales a sumptuous gourmet of the vagaries of living in the richness of poetry. As Leonard Cohen says, “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/leonardcoh107228.html)

Unequivocally, the launch of this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow by author Atreya Sarma on December 18, 2016 at Ravindra Bharati, Hyderabad was a huge success. It was garlanded by a wealth of literary goliaths to wit, Dr. K B Gopalam (Special Guest), Dr. T Mukherjee (Chief Guest), Dr. Kondal Rao (Distinguished Guest), Mr. Chepuru Subbarao (Guest of Honour) and Ms Padmaja lyengar (Guest of Honour). And in his FaceBook page on December 24, 2016, author Atreya infectiously and jubilantly echoed the voice of his distinguished guests, saying that the book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow is, “ A BOOK FOR ALL SEASONS AND FOR ALL REASONS … FOR EVERY AGE GROUP AND FOR EVERY TASTE BUD – BOTH FOR PLEASURE AND FOR GOOD ENGLISH WITH DELECTABLE DICTION”

So let me bring this accolade of Atreya, as a superb master wordsmith, into perspective by visiting randomly some of the categories of the poems in this book, Sunny Rain- n-Snow . In the first category, Femina , it is all about the emancipation of women – pointing in the direction of their freedom with a sense of raison d’être. In poem #1, A housewife’s lib (Mar 14, 2009), the housewife sensuously pleads in the second stanza,

I don’t mind your spend on your cigarettes and drinks,

On your games and parties, on your lavish tips…

But spare me some pin-money, for my simple wants.

Once in two months, take me out for a cinema,

Or to a hotel, or a picnic.

(p 3)

And in line three of the last stanza, the poet endears the soul of women’s freedom,

Nothing more I desire, my dear!

(p 3)

This appeal is so trenchant; so inviting for answer. Which reminds me of Caroline Kennedy’s She Walks in Beauty – A Woman’s Journey Through Poems…”Poetry shapes an endless conversation about the most important things in life.” Just make it simple.

In the second category titled, Facets of Nature, author Atreya delights us with a virtual incandescent glow of nature, almost surreal in poem # 9, Terrace Twilight (July 10, 2011). Take a read in the second stanza,

As doles of doves perch on the roofs holding review conferences;

Blithe boys howl, bowl and bat in their narrow streets.

As the whirrs of vehicles zigzag in every direction beneath the top tranquility;

Psalms from temples and azans from minarets compliment the ambient music.

(p 18)

So ravishingly immense imagery almost flowing in a dream-like stream of evening bliss. Placement of the reader on this ‘Terrace’ is, in the words of T.S. Eliot, From the Pages of the Wasteland and Other Poems …”Like a patient etherised upon a table;” And Atreya captures Nature with cordial comfort.

In the third section, Epiphanies, in poem # 17, Nocturnal bliss (Mar 19, 2009) the poet completes his day’s activities, satiated with the results and headed home in his Wagon R at (first stanza, line two)

…two-fifteen in the night/

(p 36)

And then begins to experience that …

Eerie silence on the road…/

(second stanza, line one)

It is the kind of creepy, uncanny feeling of loneliness that feeds fear in the mind, until (stanza nine),

Alas! My psychedelic happiness

Came to an abrupt reluctant stop

As I reached my home

Sooner than I liked.

(p 37)

And here author Atreya brings his reader to true ‘Nocturnal bliss’. Drama, suspense codified in imagination. Good poetry.

Let us reel to category eight, Reflectively yours, and take a look at poem # 44, Unpaid watchman (Feb 5, 2009),

Throw him a little morsel of food

Just for once, though by chance.

An then shoo him away,

Or stone him to bleed;

Yet he wags his tail in gratitude

And stays a life long shadow –

That free unpaid watchman

The simple dog.

(p 89)

Here Atreya brings to his reader the surreal juxtaposition of life. The dog being man’s best friend, treated with wafted depreciation, yet displays that trusted allegiance – being a ‘free unpaid watchman’. This is the virtue of life and living. The faith of the dog so ensconced.

In the section that follows, Social bristles, in tango with five insightful poems, the author cleverly espouses his brush with nuances of society. He makes a rendezvous to current political riff raff on terrorism, noting in poem #45, A tryst with the terrorist (p 93) being selected as the Editor’s Choice, Muse India, May-June 2009 issue. In the first stanza of The Monologue, Atreya writes,

Does a lion dialogue with his prey?

He just charges and strikes his quarry.

Why should I tarry?

I’d simply finish off whose face I detest.

I should be the master of all I survey.

(p 93)

Such verisimilitude defies negation, considering our present-day war-mongering nations. And Atreya assuages the reader with sagacious satori in The Epilogue of this poem – an acrostic: TERRORISM – in the last three lines,

In terms of eschatology, ‘Hells-where,’ if not on earthly loci.

Symphony of divergent notes, symbiotic existence of all beings,

My dear brothers, is the Divine Design, whatever be our (sch)ism!

(p 94, Jan 10, 2009)

Other categories of earlier poems, to include Facets of Nature, Americana, Musings on poetry, Relations & equations, Romantic peeps, Reflective yours, and further on to include Tongue-in-cheek, Occasional voices and Metrical forays, enticingly concatenate with symbiotic richness to colour the bouquet of this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow. Atreya makes you feel sumptuously gratified, at ease and muse-full with his thoughtful selections. Applauding entertainment read. And the reader is justifiably delighted to suss out on any listing of choice.

In the last category, Metrical forays, and in poem #60 Limericks (pp 131-133), there are nine limericks spanning 2009-2015. Fun to read. The next poem, #61 Swimming snare is a sonnet based on a personal experience by Atreya in the Isle of Gujarat. He says, in the last stanza,

Into waters unknown never venture,

Lest yours be a fatal misadventure.

(p 135)

A bad experience stays in your memory. A good experience is a joy forever.

In the next poem, #62 The Caribbean Coolies: An enduring saga (A ballad), the author takes us into harsh realities of history of Indian indentureship of coolies from India to the Caribbean via ships that sailed through the kala pani of the Atlantic ocean. The imagery intense and horrifying as in the first six lines of the second stanza,

Cut off from families and country

On a voyage risky

Of starvation and seduction

By crew – white or blacky.

The ship of disease, births and deaths

Debarked the tired coolies

(p136)

An emotionally exploding journey reflecting my own heritage from the Caribbean archipelago – from Guyana, South America. The coolies worked in sugar plantations, and (see first four lines in the last stanza of this poem),

They scrimped and saved, to school their kids

Who came to occupy

Positions of social respect

And bring forth by and by

(p137)

Atreya, without hesitation, mentions the names of great Indians in the like of Cheddi Jagan, Naipaul, Ramphal and Chanderpaul. The poem, in conjunction with the last poem in the book, The case of a chronic rake, was awarded third place in the Metverse Muse Fixed Form Poetry Contest 2014 – Category B.

This superb debut collection of poems, Sunny Rain-n-Snow, by author Atreya is unequivocally a connoisseur bundle. It is rich in variegated ambiences of life, sometimes drifting the reader from one city, or country, and yet returning to its fulcrum, the author himself. The poems are intuitively selected by the author for their positive comments and encouraging accolades in forums such as Face Book, PoemHunter.com, Hans India, Muse India and Triveni – India’s renowned literary and cultural quarterly. The back cover of the book emphatically highlights the exuberance of Atreya’s prolific literary workmanship. His diverse and emblematic experiences range from being a poet of par excellence with over 700 published poems, a super-analytic book-reviewer, a fervently enthusiastic editor – Chief Editor Muse India, and a bolstering translator – from Telugu to English. He is also an acclaimed literary freelancer for more than two decades to date, with many Forewords to his belt.

During the exciting framework for the launching of Sunny Rain-n-Snow, many poets have sung their delighted praises to shower enthusiasm  for the launch, namely Ambika Ananth, Bengaluru, Poetry Editor, museindia.com; Avril Meallem, Jerusalem; Dr Charanjeet Kaur, Thane, Chief Editor, museindia.com; Elanaagu ( Dr Surendra Nagaraju), Hyderabad; Gopal Lahiri, Mumbai; Dr Kiriti Sengupta, Kolkata; Sanjeev Sethi, Mumbai; and Ush Kishore, Isle of Man. Also, inclusive in this ravishing literary flagship are many book reviewers, to mention Amazon.com five stars emblem review by Abhigyan and Amazon Customer (https://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Rain-n-Snow-U-Atreya-Sarma/dp/1482868547), Jaydeep Sarangi – Faculty Department of English, Univ.of Calcutta and Betty Oldmeadow – Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England.

In the heart of a wondrous maiden voyage of this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow stands a prudent discovery of the author, U Atreya Sarma. From his wistful years of growing up with his parents, and slipping through the wish-hold of his father to become a medical doctor, to torpedoing with seamless urge to be the best wordsmith with Himalayan power in English literature, is evidently reflective of his academic achievement. Always a voracious reader of English, he careened his way vehemently to the top through colleges and universities from obtaining a BSc (Botany, Zoology and Chemistry) to a BA (English literature, Sanskrit literature and History), to a P.G. in Mass Communications & Telugu Translation Techniques), to a Masters degree in English Literature. He also obtained his CAIIB (Part 1) – with mid-level experience.

Atreya’s literary achievements are too voluminous to script in this review, but undoubtedly underscores the depth of Sir Francis Bacon’s visionary quote: “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.” And his effulgence for literature, particularly poetry, comes with Atreya’s own opus operatum: “Poetry is life in words; life is poetry in action.” In the Setu magazine, under the headline, My World and Words, Atreya takes us through the flowering of his maiden voyage to launch this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow, An Olio of Poetry For Pleasure in stages: Soil, Root, Stem and  Fruit –

http://www.setumag.com/2017/01/sangeeta-sharma-interviews-u-atreya.html

http://www.setumag.com/2017/02/U-A-Sarma-world-and-words.html

On his approach to Selfhood, Atreya takes us through an intuitive experience,

http://episteme.net.in/phocadownloadpap/userupload/March2015/WritersInSpotlight/1-interview%20of%20atreya%20sarma%20updated.pdf

In conversation with Dr. Kiriti Sengupta in Research Scholar, An International Refereed e-Journal of Literary Explorations, Atreya enlightens us with more insight of the authorship of his book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow,

http://www.researchscholar.co.in/downloads/83-dr.-kiriti-sengupta.pdf

REF: http://www.researchscholar.co.in, ISSN 2320-6101, Vol.1, Issue IV, November, 2013.

My own savvy with Atreya as a literary wordsmith was just over a year ago, when I read his poem, A Housewife Supplicates! (p 17) in the Triveni e-Journal Quarterly, Jan-March 2016. Incidentally, this is the first poem in his book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow, under the title, A housewife’s lib. Then again I read his works in the Triveni e-Journal Quarterly, July-Sept 2016, and again I happened on a review of his debut book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow  (p 64) by Jayendra Singha Ray.  This review was alongside my own book review of Nomadic Nights (p 64), by author and poet, Indira Babbellapati. Later, I discovered Atreya in Muse India as Chief Editor while I was making my poetry take root in My Space section.

In view of this literary interaction, Atreya and I became friends on FaceBook, sharing poems and comments to pass time in literary ruminations. When his book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow was launched on December 18, 2016, I prompted a request to Atreya of my wish to do a book review. The book arrived a month later, with my response to Atreya in a little tit for tat poem,

THE ARRIVAL

Middle of day

 Eyes catch the skies

 In their mystical optical

 I open the cold mail-box

 I reach for Sunny Rain-n-Snow

 And the Partridge sighs

 With the arrival of

 U Atreya Sarma….

The end of this review now brings you with only one intrigue and intent: make this book, Sunny Rain-n-Snow your reader’s choice #1. Introduce the book to a friend. Poetry will bring joy in your life. Poetry will change your life. You will certainly appreciate a glimpse of a friend in Atreya Sarma U. Look forward for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In A Graveyard

March 5, 2017

 

 graveyard-halloween-wall-paper-jpeg

 Curse of the Devil

in darkness of a graveyard

tombstones do not lie

ghosts will walk in the night

reading names of friends

and foes alike

in marbled italic inscriptions

how they will guffaw

at the memory

in eulogizing joy

pointing a witch’s wand

at some Mc Coy Donald guy

but cry in rivulet woes

for a child washed ashore

from the Mediterranean sea

and that Syrian mother refugee

that ached for freedom

now set free for eternity

and soldier-boy shot down

in rough terrains in Afghanistan

an old man dressed in khurta and dhoti

aged beyond a century

some ghosts will be silent

like the graves that be

but welcome us all

as the night awaits for you

and for me.