Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review: Santanu Halder's Bonsaied Rhapsodies

- By Varsha Singh

According to Edgar Allan Poe, “With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.”

Similar stature is that of Santanu Haldar, for whom poetry has never been a purpose but his all-time passion. In the words of Santanu, “I write/for no reason,/only my love for it/compels me to write always/an  urge from within,/a restless longing/I feel in genes/in my veins/to write/as I do/now.”(p.28)

Santanu defines poetry in the utmost unique and truthful way, “Poetry is like a river/ which runs through my blood/ an outburst of emotion/ which submerges me in a flood/ Poetry is a beautiful picture/ envisaged in words/ an imaginative power/ which encompasses the mind’s yard/ Poetry is a spontaneous flow/ deep rooted in my soul/an obsession,/ an addiction/but immortal on the whole.” (p.24)

Being a teacher by profession and a poet at will, Halder was born and brought up in a town named Bongaon, which is situated near the City of Joy- Kolkata, West Bengal. He has great fondness for his native land, which becomes visible in each of his creative work.

Bonsaied Rhapsodies is Haldar’s debut collection of fifty poems; in which the first eleven poems, categorized as Divine Songs are about childhood days.

In the words of Jane Yolen, “Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood;” Santanu too caught this literary disease in his childhood days.

A New Dawn (pg.11)
Look at my eyes,/ Look at my face,/ Of Sorrow or suffering/ There is no trace./ With innocent tongue,/ I cannot hurt./ Because I am little,/ Pure is my heart./ Keep me in your lap,/ And look at my eyes,/ You will find a dawn,/ A new sunrise.

It is a well-known fact that the days of childhood are the most festive, dreamy and glorious days of life. Santanu has done commendable artistry by bringing forth the festive, dreamy and glorious days of life in the most simple, effective and eloquent manner through his poetry.

Another 39 poems from this anthology are varied and related to the experiences of life, writings, journey towards destination, love, time, as well as existence.

Santanu, by dwelling through his beautiful poems in Bonsaied Rhapsodies has not found his life, but created one, for others to inspire. There is lot to witness from more of his poetic ventures in the coming time. Hope he procures many more insights in future for the aspiring readers. 

About Santanu Halder

A teacher by profession and a poet at will - Santanu Halder was born and brought up in a small town named Bongaon, near Kolkata, West Bengal. He has done M.A in English Literature and teaching university students for 6 years. A scholar, a translator,an interviewer and a bilingual poet writing in both Bengali and English, Santanu Halder has already authored three books, these are - (1) American Literature for WBSU Students, (2) Old English Literature in a Nutshell and (3) a book on translation.

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