Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: Poetic Connections; Poems From Australia & India. Edited by Tamaso Lonsdale / Publisher: Cyberwit.Net

"Once, poets were magicians. Poets were strong, stronger than warriors or kings- stronger than old hapless gods. And they will be strong once again." 
- Greg Bear

The Poetic Connections, edited by Tamaso Lonsdale has come out as an anthology of poems combining the ideas, emotions and cultures of two different places, Australia and India, in the most strengthening way which proves to be the full stop of long waiting process in the field of poetry. 

Jane Kenyon once said, 
"The poet's job is to put into words those feelings we all have that are so deep, so important, and yet so difficult to name, to tell the truth in such a beautiful way, that people cannot live without it"

The poets in the Poetic Connections are those pillars, providing truth with the excellence of artistry and subtlety through their verses.

The anthology consists aesthetic colours and essence of six various poets from Australia and India. Three poets, Laura Jan Shore, Nathalie Buckland and Rob Harle are from Australia; whereas, three poets Aju Mukhopadhyay, Sunil Sharma and Jaydeep Sarangi are from India. 

Laura Jan Shore was born in England and raised in the U.S.A, later moving to Australia. Shore has tutored in and taught creative writing from 1979 onward. She has been the President of Dangerously Poetic Press. The anthology contains eight illuminated poems by her entitled: Meeting You I Wonder, The Interrupt, Facing The Crack, Stranger In Paradise, Revealed, At Dawn, Silence, Don't Say It. Laura excels in crafting each and every word with great ease and intellect which prove to be the most precious pearls in the ocean of aesthetic beauty. To quote some of her words, full of beauty and conception: 

At Dawn
Lured by the throb and suck
of high tide,                           
I'm immersed        
in purple and gold
clouds that smudge                
a brightening dome.  

Summoned too, by rainbow lorikeets
who screech in code                           
as they savage                                    
the banksias and the winged            
whistle of crested pigeons,               
crunch of dried pods underfoot,       

the whorl of grasses                         
beckoning up and over the dunes.

There a dazzle of jade silk               
unfurls to meet the edge of the sky
and my heart is caught                    
like those sea bream                        
in the glimmer of the wind.             

Nathalie Buckland was born in Wales, United Kingdom during the Second World War. She started writing from the age of eight. Nathalie studied Early Childhood Education and moved to Australia in 1969 with her young family. The poems of Nathalie in this anthology are: Sojourner, Don't Wait, Pelicans, Solstice, River A Sestina, Teenager, Storm and Migrant. Nathalie holds the mastery of gathering inspiration from her local community of Nimbin with all its diversity, her family, and the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside with its native birds and animals. To quote few words of Nathalie:

Bathed in
the prickled sunshine of her smile
I am unfurled with love;
never prepared,
no barriers erected for the barbs
flying, with words for wings.

I am a warrior 
wounded in my quest.
My grail is Woman;
rising into life,
bursting from the ugly chrysalis
of drugs and acne,
stinking sneakers, venomous tongue.

I see her shadow,
she comes,
I will endure.
I am a mother.

Rob Harle is a writer, artist and academic reviewer. His main concern is to explore and document the radical changes technology is bringing about, through his poems. Harle's verses in this anthology are: Game Over, The Colour Of Greed, Lost Cafe,Homage To The Mud-Dauber Man, Requiem For An Old Dart, Whore And Nun, The Dulling and On The Road To Nimbin. He mainly focuses on the trends of Post-Postmodernism. To quote some of his lines, which makes his fresh conceptualizations very clear: 

Requiem for An Old Dart
In days of old the serfs were sold
and England's Kings and Queens were bold,
But now the writing's on the wall
from Sydney Cove to Downing Street and all.

The Republican's flag is biting deep
behind closed doors the lonely royalists weep,
a hope to fly the Jack from yards of old,
that now are paved with gangrenous green and gold.

For God and Commonwealth we bled
now Commonwealth and God are dead,
and where the hell's this wealth so comm'n
in vaults beneath a throne bequeathed by flogg'n.

So... Computer chips spew out the news
from satellites in front row pews,
But still the stallions dragged the carriage
for the 20th century's most celebrated marriage.

But remember when the colony becomes oppressive...

There will always be an England
A land of sickly superiority too vain,
Of pomp and bloody circumstance
And rain and rain and rain.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, a bilingual award winning poet, author and critic, writes fictions and essays as well. An ardent follower of Sri Aurobindo, Aju is inwardly guided by the perennial source of his spiritual and philosophic truth. His poems may be broadly categorized into three groups: On Nature, Poems with Spiritual Overtones and Feelings, and Poems on Social, Political Subjects. He is subjective in his subtle feelings and expressions. His poems in this collection are: Om Sri Aurobindo, The Burning Lamp, The Inner World, At The River Bank, Ant's Hut, Life And Death Hug Each Other, Fundamentalists and The Death Of A Rose. His spiritual connect can be noticed through these lines: 

The Burning Lamp
The lamp was burning golden-brown
In my dark room steadily, alone
No one was there around.
Flowers bloomed of a mystic hue
Radiating my obscure chamber.
When you came to light the lamp
No one knew
No tread, no flash, no sound.

Sunil Sharma is an academic administrator, a bilingual critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. He is a freelance journalist  and blogger as well. His style and technique of writing proves to be the most dominating part of his verses. The way in which he creates a panorama through his words, is delightful. His poems in this anthology are:  The December Wind, Ode To A Railway Halt, Winter Dusk At The Railway Halt: Second Part, A Garbage Dump, A Woman, The Girl On The Threshold, White Noise and The Dog Whisperer. To quote his wordy jewels:

A Woman
Carrying a bundle
On a grizzled head
Three roped donkeys
Walking behind
Driven by a kid,
The belongings
Kept on their backs,
The mobile gypsy family,
Meager possessions,
Mocking the covetous city
Of high-rises and fancy cars.

Jaydeep Sarangi is a bilingual writer, poet, academic editor, translator and the author of a number of significant publications. Sarangi has the expertise of delving deep and presenting the rich literary and cultural tradition of India in the most splendid way. He is a keen observer of life and world, which seems significant in his verses. His poems in this collection are: Native Links, City Of Joy, Missing Link, Peace In No Man's Land, Life Beyond, My Life, History Of Land and My Sap Of WritingSarangi gives a fresh signification to everything. For example:

My Life
I experience what I am going through
Is a brief spell in my life's routine course,
A period of small happenings - 

Things are running back
To his proximate mind,
Aware of each little thing.

I have been calling things 
My native own - 
Steeped with my root nuances
As each small thing has a life.

I'm bound to the sluggish response to my experiences,
Near the banks of Dulong and Subarnorekha.
I am coming round my life's circle
To taste what is my daily own.

Salman Rushdie once said, "A poet's work... to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start argument, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep."

The poets in this anthology, Poetic Connections, have the strength and zeal to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start argument, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep. A must read compilation for all.   

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