Review of SILVER POEMS ON MY LIPS

All About Book Publishing, Vol-I,Issue-I, June-July 2011

Silver Poems on my Lips

(Collection of Poems)

Author: Dr. Nandini Sahu

Associate Professor of English, IGNOU

New Delhi

Publisher: Authorspress: Publishers of Scholarly Books

New Delhi (India)

Here is a poet who seems to be impressed by the genius of Dostovisky, the great Russian novelist, the most famous critic of his age, who said, “Do you yourself know what you have written”. And here is a collection of poems, that captures the essence of human beauty, a poet desperate to discover “a newer world and /rediscover herself/ in the lap of nature,/ full of beauty, magic, on top of /the hill where one can enjoy/amalgamation of music /with the blow of the breeze /and flow of the cloud.” And this beauty of nature she rediscovers, cherishes and enjoys at home, as she discovers on the top of hills, near the seashore, and also among the moving clouds. Nandini Sahu’s poems revolve around the themes like love and death and their various manifestations of fear, joy and pain and she pours out poetry “that oozes from the secret chamber of the heart.”

The poems in this collection explore the personal and poetic identity of the poet where her personae is the protagonist. The collection starts with ‘Poetry-III’ as poetry I and II had been placed in her first two poetry collections. ‘Spring, the Step Child’ is a wonderful poem. ‘My Home’ is another beautiful work. Her home is the place where she was given more than she could ask for, where dancing peacocks, grazing camel, chirping birds give her tired soul a soothing balm. In her poem ‘War’ she calls war an exercise in futility. The war itself is a problem, so it can’t be a solution for the problems of the world.

Some other beautiful poems in the collection are ‘That Foot’ ‘If you Remember, Mrityunjay’ and ‘Can I Start Living Now’. ‘Who says the death is the only truth’ is a very philosophical poem where the poetess promulgates in favour of a life full of action:

Death stands at a distance

all day all night, smiling, unblinking,

like that picture under the staircase.

Are you waiting for the last bus?

Do you know, the sands are slowly

rolling through the gaps of your fingers?

Tighten your fist. You are enlightened to

pick one – the coffin or a life of action.

From one birth to another, augment the civilization.

Does your laugh tear your shrunken lips?

Open your wardrobe, cover the breast of the poor,

apply on your lips the balm of a millennium’s rebellion.

Who says death is the only truth?

See, your body of fog is still seated on the throne.

You still shine in the firmament of stars.

These poems rotate around her idea of eternal life, of human values, of love, nature and beauty. Thus poetry for her becomes therapy to live and sing, in a world beautiful and admirable, yet made ugly by those who do not understand aesthetics and higher values of life. The poems in the collection reveal her quest for a better world. It is one of the most magical books I have read. The ideas of the poems are colossal and kaleidoscopically, mystifyingly breathing

Reviewed by:

Dr. Mohammad Saleem

Associate Professor, Arabic Studies

School of Foreign Languages

IGNOU, New Delhi;

1 comment:

drratanbhattacharjee said...

Nandini Sahu's poems are always an inclusive panorama of the rainbow variety of experiences,mostly motivated by her longing for an identity. It is a mental map that she depicts in words in inky nights.She waits for silky sheets of sunlight clouds.She is relaxed a while in October Puri Beach.She is so engrossed in the beauty of the seashore that she discovers love , and compassions glowing , reflecting and refracting . The sea and the sand invite her. As April in Eliot's poem, October in Nandini's poem has an important place . The poet who in her earlier volume of poems SILENCE, felt that October is a dark night, in this volume she feels that in October : darkness dies, white prevails /amid / Silky sheets of sunlight clouds.
Never before we have seen Nandini being engaged in the soliloquy to speak out her soul. Waiting is a theme in Nandini, the woman and here she differs from Kamala Das who defies all social tenets in vengeful ire and grievance. Nandini is tolerant , suave and sophisticated in her waiting and expresses her sorrows indirectly through the symbol of a tree : The shady tree has always waited. The poignant tone of underlying pathos is deciphered through the picture of shadows : The shadows have only troubled me / playing hide and seek. Are the shadows merely symbols for her shadowy and vague memories of the past ? Sometimes the tone is romantic when she desperately cries out her unbearable pain : Can I ever write a love poem /for you?" The doe-eyed lady reels under an anxiety / born of a loveless life. The climax is reached in a poem If You Remember Mrityunjay where the poet unknowingly comes out of her citadel of restraints : I held you closely /and you smiled evocative. Sometimes the simple use of pronouns can be so effective : I and you , /you and I/ Remember Mrityunjay? The very name is significant because mrityunjay means one who has conquered death, Love conquers death. The poet sings of deathless love. The quest for the oasis of love is infinite like the sandy shores of the Dry Sands Beyond. In all the sixty six poems the poet is equally graceful and her seeming subjectivity gives way to philosophical serenity too often with the passionate getting submerged into the spirituality when she can utter : Time ,waiting moves slowly. The waiting theme recurs again and again reminding us of Milton and Emily Dickinson's poems : They also serve God who stand and wait.In the last poem of the volume there is an urge for a new start : Can I search /For the new pastures now? Nandini wants to gather herself from the destroyed sand shore of life. In this third volume of her poems Nandini is more mature in her use of symbols and images , plethora of which are there scattered like pearls mingled with the broken oysters.Sorrows , loneliness and the stark rapture ending only in a chill awakening of being a human. smiles and sunshine are an occasional episode in the tragic sullenness of the drama of her life.It may seem that Nandini is obsessed with intense pains but, her greatness as a poet lies in her absorption of the subjective and finally the tone reflecting personal anguish and agonies is transcended and Nandini's poems are born in the inky midnights Yes, ground is never forgotten by Nandini even in her wildest dreams . Type of the wise she soars but never roam,True to the kindred points of heaven and home .