Sunday, December 14, 2014
Sunil Sharma in his third poetry collection, ‘Mundane My Muse’, places his readers face to face with the truth of life. Given that so much, his poems feel solidarity with those who have suffered as well as a quiet celebration of the peacetime and the nature that is so easily lost, so quickly taken for granted, so undervalued.
In his Foreword, Rob Harle has rightly pointed out ‘In many of Sunil’s poems there is the dichotomy of the haves and the have not’s” and the elegance and beauty of nature contrasted with the crass, ugliness of high-rise concrete jungles. In this substantial collection of poems, eighty in all, we are treated to a delightful smorgasbord of literary gems.’
Sunil Sharma in his preface has said, ‘Poetry is like the first rains over a smoggy town: It washes away all the grime and revives the dormant seedling sand revitalizes the corroded cores of your inner- life.’ He is a clear eyed poet, never shy of telling the truth and his writings are trustworthy as testimony.
The title of the book ‘Mundane My Muse’ is a gentle understatement of the poet’s creative soul. Remarkably enough, the book seems both local and global. The poet here finds symbols in,
This sleepy afternoon,
In a small fishing village,
Off the beach in SW, Australia,
A breeze slips in,
Blowing a faded rose. (Beach poem)
There is a very thin but discernible kind streak in his poems which is not the same as having a soft heart. Sometimes it has become a recipe for trouble but his observing eye is so restlessly hungry for detail that it can’t confine itself to a single point of view. ‘Finally, poetry is coming face to face with your spiritual truths that refuse to be commodified and reified by a mass culture. It fulfils you and makes you whole,’ the poet remarked once.
Like a few of his poems here, they are so short that your heart asks for more,
On a summer
We are all familiar, if only for a short period, with the unreal seeming world. The tenuousness of the subject is beautifully underlined.
Detritus is scattered around; in fact, the lamp is part of its dreamy calm will give way to a strange image.
The flickering lamp,
A personal statement
Of a believer’s faith,
Emitting a strange luminosity
That beats the electric light! (Flickering Lamp)
And the ultimate luxury is not just enough but a little more timeless emblems of civilization. Some of his poems are brutally elegant. The images refracted through his words are commendably incisive.
Much of the struggles are rooted in its devotion to life; its settings, its long shadows and mirrors and hermetically sealed world. Not that it happens in a bubble, but sometimes lusciously dark yet the poet goes deeper sketching each one’s real self. The poet touches upon a few pressure points which instantly determines the poem’s trajectory with ease and finesse. More impressive is the expertly weighted interplay between words and rhythm.
His words pop into prickly sharp focus and fresh colour and the images go past the reader one after another in a fluid motion- no clichés no exaggeration, each utterly distinct in his own identity, each the potential hero, like the slum boy. The venerable poet has always come out with flying colors when grappling with the reality check.
Varied age groups
Walking down the
Country lane from
The far-off river,
Pots piled up
On each other,
A daily act of gifted
An uproariously interesting, the narrative in some of his poems is self-reflective and the poet embodies the salient part. There is nothing negative or cynical, no sense that it will be betrayed by the surroundings. His poems are not of an unusual kind, simply and movingly encapsulates the concept.
In defense of human pursuits and values, thereby not neutralized, he has never gone over the edge. Poetry is always in his bones. It occurs to me that there are numerous times, the poet notes the ambiguity in life and pays close attention to the word usage for illustration. He is capable of touching as well as loving.
In silky shadows that quiver constantly
With every breath of wind,
Creating, on this golden afternoon,
A rich world of chiaroscuro.
And then this words heighten the emotion and although a little fretful at the start, the poem effects a magical turn at the end.
Reminded of the famous
Japanese scroll paintings
That turn the bare home walls
Vivid works of
Art. (A February Afternoon)
The poem begins with silky shadows but creates a rich world of chiaroscuro. The bare home walls testify to an effective style where certainty is more than is claimed.
Works of nature often sparked his imagination,
The Champa in big clusters,
Blooming on the bald tree;
Nature has covered amply
The tree’s shocking bareness; (Adornment)
The graceful bamboos
Awash in the golden hue,
On this bright morning,
Swaying like amazons,
Along the serpentine
Country lane; (Autumn)
This poetry collection is elevated by the same fluent and freewheeling style that’s made Sunil Sharma, an accomplished poet. He has aptly said ‘Poetry is a surviving link with our heroic past, with our mythological memory, with a unique moment when man and god were not yet cruelly split but were real for the other and having a continual dialogue. Like these two plants, it is endangered and becoming exotic’. The words and rhythm of his poems not only delight the ear but refills the mind and body.
After reading the book, we find a voice at the end that echoes with a surge of inner life within our soul. It illustrates the way we pick up threads and move on in a quiet alleyway scaling heights on the way.
This beautifully designed book is definitely a must buy for the avid poetry lovers and I recommend this book strongly enough.
The publisher Authorspress, New Delhi, deserves to be complimented for this noble effort.
Mundane, My Muse by Sunil Sharma
E-35/103, Jawahar Park
Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-110 092