- The poets give their readers a chance to enjoy an extraordinary collaborative flavor as they are each complete in their own right.
I am writing this as a reader in the first place shelving every other self of existence in this world of kaleidoscopic identity. Reading holds the essence of loving a text, because it is reading that creates the relationship between an author and a reader through the deciphering of meaning and every aspect of that relationship with a text, whether it is a subject of poetry, fiction, or critical writing, is intertwined with the meaning of the interest of the reader. The academically acclaimed truth is that there is no fixed meaning attached to any text, it is the intensity and degree of passion readers attach to their reading that creates the desired meaning of the moment. This relative phenomenon makes poetry a subject of infinite inquiry and binds readers and poets in a nonconventional relationship. My relationship with the poets of this anthology is similar to that beyond the cordial sphere of social relationship.
I have read Sankar Sarkar and Sreya Sarkar’s collaborative work, The Same Sky. The reading has given me an opportunity to have the pleasure of sailing through a harmonious confluence of two equally beautiful flows of distinctive poetic fervor. Interestingly, it seems a coincidence that their writings imbibe great utterances of Matthew Arnold on poetry, as their guiding parameters independently for their discrete course of writing. Arnold’s idea that “Poetry is the criticism of life” reverberates through the poems of Sankar, while Sreya’s poems resound with the “noble and profound application of ideas of life.” And their combined voice campaigns the truth that “poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.”
In the anthology, Sankar and Sreya’s poems appear as complementary in recounting our time. Sankar dips his pen in the flesh and bone and blood of conformity to write the harsh aridness of modernity, Sreya’s, alongside, lines and dots and cuts to discern the undying flow of the stream of that to build her words and expanse. The poets give their readers a chance to enjoy an extraordinary collaborative flavor as they are each complete in their own right. Nevertheless, they contribute complementarily and together draw a picture of phenomenal fullness, maintaining their poetic individuality.
Sankar’s poem voices against the sham equality campaigned in our society. Unabashed he declares in
”We are divided through demarcation by symbol, color, and thought
We are divided into divisions, fraction and contradiction
We were not integral any day
We born divided
and died divided”
In another poem entitled The Viral Tears, he is more vocal about our staunch reality. His lines say, ‘we are growing like tadpoles
And hovering like countless germs to germinate uncountable beings is meaningless’. The meaninglessness he underlines is an alarm bell for race named ‘Human’ surviving and pretending as ruler. In reality
“We are nameless and tribeless unborn
like the sediment of solution
sunk in the abyss of the time!” is the apt answer to the rhetorical question “Who are we?”
There are many such glistering lines that may draw readers’ attention in the course of reading. However, “… the talk never ends!”
The poet seems to tell us about his own creation as well as the bubbling and brooding in our minds as readers.
I am unwaveringly complacent about the tone and tenor of the charismatic philosophy of life and living speckled through the span of Sreya’s debuting poetic itinerary. She ardently believes that one has to embrace the harsh reality and reshape it suitably for living. She recreates the beat of life in her poetic diction with a rare flair of optimism. We can feel that truth and legitimize in the lines when she describes a mundane occurrence in such an allusive way:
“The rigid ground took a sigh and loosened its hold,
Giving way to a single blade of grass.
The brave pioneer raised its green head,
Amidst the still brooding but now dissipating gloom of nature The young blade stretched its body towards the sun, Emboldening its resolve to outshine the glare of the white snow. The rays embraced the Earth, curing its frigid lull,
The heart that beat inside once but, had forgotten to, since, Found back its lost rhythm and pulse,
The single sapling became ten, and then a hundred more.”
They remind me pulse of the famous Eliotic lines in West Land. Her alluring spell turns a usual phenomenon into “a thing of beauty.”
Sreya’s poetic philosophy seems to suggest that the truth is truly simple. So she can effortlessly articulate— “Being alive is absorbing pain, Not always unbearably sharp,
The dull pulsating throb,
Ever present. A friend. A forever companion.”
The world in which we live is ours very own. Changes occurring in it are reflections of our own lifestyle. Denying their play and places is a blunder. A poet never allows that obvious void in the continuity of time. Thus, very expectably, Sreya’s poem includes the newness of her time. In the poem Then and Now, the modern time reflects as:
“The GPS leads the way now. The fragrant car interior with the calm voice taking over all our decisions.
“Continue for two miles, then take an exit to your right”. Everything is set and planned.
There is no space for surprises anymore.”
It substantiates a sense of contemporaneity and validates her place in the time. She lives as a poet with the sagacity of responsibility.
Sreya’s poems frequently call us to walk through the world of truth and staunch reality. Her optimism stands as her strength. Her words tell us about the abode of “calm happiness” in her Drops of Happiness. Don’t we feel immensely inspired when we read:
“You come a few steps, I will come the rest
And we will snatch those drops of happiness”?
Poetry brings tremendous possibility relating to the discovery of truth. At least as a reader, I find a reason to believe so. To substantiate my feelings, I find a discourse by modern English philosopher Roger Scruton handy on Poetry and Truth. According to Roger, as critically pointed out, “poetry does not earn its claim to truth by mirroring an eternal world or by stating discrete, correct, ‘facts’ about it. Poetry is concerned with truth as a kind of revelation, an ‘unconcealing’ of aspects of existence that lie hidden from us in our everyday encounters with the world. Poetry transforms those aspects of reality into presents, bestowing values upon them and infusing them with new forms of meaning.” Two young poets in the anthology in hand genuinely appreciate that truth. I, as an avid reader, felt that very genuineness in the course of my reading. And the truth prevails.
(Dr. Haraprasad Ray’s Foreword to “The Same Sky.”)
Dr. Haraprasad Ray is a poet, educator and editor. After 20 years in Indian Air Force, Ray published two anthologies of Bengali poems, one is from Kolkata and another from Bangladesh. He also co-authored the anthologies of English poems with the poets of Great Britain, America, Philippines, Bangladesh and India.