POETRY OUT AND LOUD
SIMPLE POETRY WRITTEN FROM THE HEART
“When I don’t have to lie or pretend,
for every selfish social rule I bend.
Just so you can count me in,
As one of the beautiful ‘ducklings’
That is freedom”
These lines from the first poem Freedom encapsulate the essence of the book Poetry Out and Loud by Sujata Parashar.
I am not a poet. I do not have any literary pretensions. I am a simple down-to-earth engineer who loved to read and now loves to write. The only poetry I ever read were war poems we read in school of which I remember the famous poem Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen ( a poem on the horrors of war which moved me the most) The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson and Casabianca written Felicia Dorothea Hemans which starts off with the unforgettable famous line: “the boy stood on the burning deck”.
Sadly, in my younger days, though I tried to, I did not fall in love, and so did not suffer the heartache, the pangs of infatuation, requited or unrequited, and hence had no need to take recourse to poetry. In fact, when an urge to express my feelings started developing within me I started writing short fiction.
I am a simple man. I write because I want to say something.
And I think ( Sujata, please correct me if I am wrong), yes, I think that Sujata Parashar has written POETRY OUT and LOUD because she wants to say something. She writes from her heart, that’s what I felt, yes, the 40 poems in this collection (including Big and Small penned by her 7 year old son) have been written from the heart.
Sujata Parashar is a simple poet (I mean this as a genuine compliment). In fact, I felt that some of her poems are breathtaking in their simplicity and, maybe, that is why they appealed to a layman like me.
In her poems, the author has explored herself, delved deep inside, and also recorded her astute observations of the world around her and the interesting people she has encountered.
Do the poems reveal the soul of the author? Peel off the veneer, the mask? Tell us more about her inner feelings? Give us an insight into her values, her beliefs, her views? Tennessee Williams once said: “If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it” – and reading her poetry gives me a feeling that Sujata Parashar is indeed an honest writer who writes from the heart.
Masquerade and Who are the Kurds are the poems I really liked. Maybe they give us an insight into the author’s real inner self hidden beneath the façade. That is what creative writing is supposed to do, isn’t it? I particularly liked The Stranger and his Son a very powerfully written poem, different from the rest, a paean to the patriotic spirit of our valiant soldiers who put service before self; and Carpe Diem an apt last poem, a fitting end to Poetry Out and Loud, a poem which leaves an inspiring feel-good aftertaste in the reader.
The poem I liked the most was Big and Small (a “guest” contribution by Lokevidu her 7 year old son). Maybe, that is because the child within me is still alive!
I wish the editing was better, but then that does not matter much since the words say much more than the punctuation.
POETRY OUT and LOUD has been attractively priced at just Rs. 75/- and I recommend you get a copy. Today, even a cup of coffee costs seventy five bucks and I assure you this book will give you much more enduring pleasure than that instant cuppa! It is a small book, just 74 pages, and you can take it along with you, during your travels, and whenever you feel like, can open a random page and enjoy a poem.
Sujata Parashar is the bestselling author of two novels, one of which I have read. I may be wrong, but I feel she has found her metier in poetry. In the contemporary world where commercial and materialistic values prevail, it takes courage to follow one’s heart and I trust Sujata will pursue her gift for poetry concomitant with her pursuit for success as a creative writer in the world of prose.
Title: POETRY OUT AND LOUD
Author: SUJATA PARASHAR
Price: Rs. 75
Book Review by VIKRAM KARVE