A poem a day...
A WORK of prose, they say, has its own life span, then peters out. A work of poetry though is timeless, almost always independent of the age in which it was composed. Also impervious to its original subject. Not for nothing do we still talk of some of the best works of say Tennyson or Ghalib while not knowing much about other works of their era. Why? Simple because poetry appeals to the heart, it talks of human emotions which remain universal, timeless. Probably realising as much Romen Basu, once a senior official with the United Nations, decided to put together his thoughts in the form of poetry. "Poetry," he claims is his first love.
In "A Mysterious Wind", Romen Basu explores the complexities of his feelings.
His poems, as pointed out in the book, can be melancholic, but their apparent sadness is mitigated by the sensuous images culled from the natural world, often closely observed and recorded. The work is largely self-reflective but never self-indulgent.
Basu talks of the uncrushable human spirit and the will to outlast adversity. In Sterling Publishers' book, he says: "A single palm tree In stillness of the along Refuses to surrender The devastating Hurricane Fails to twitch The cavalier Palm". At another place, the optimist in him comes to the fore. In `Self Search', he says "Hours of darkness Get a better look at self Now knowing what not to ignore".
This 84-page book, comprising 72 poems may not be top-drawer stuff. But at a time when the market is inundated with lifestyle and coffee-table books, it provides a more cerebral alternative. A poem a day won't be bad way to drive away your blues.
Incidentally, Sterling Publishers had earlier come out with P. Somanath's appraisal of the works of Basu. Titled Romen Basu: His Vision and His Art", this books talks of Basu as belonging to the tradition of social realism and humanism established by Mulk Raj Anand and fostered chiefly by Bhabani Bhattacharya and Kamala Markandya. You may not agree with everything Somanath has to say but it is worth a reading if you want to have a closer look at the novels of Basu.
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