This review was published in Avijit Sarkar’s The Mind Creative e-zine. Read it in the below link
This review was published in Avijit Sarkar’s The Mind Creative e-zine. Read it in the below link
This review is from Amazon.in : Allusions to Simplicity/ Koshy A.V (Paperback)
The book is available at Amazon.in and Authorspress
The cover of Dr Koshy’s new book of poems “Allusions to Simplicity” published by Authorspress is disarmingly easy on the eye and matches the book’s title to a T. The ocean and tan colors and clean, simple lines give it a quiet elegance.
The poems, from the viewpoint of a reader who reads poetry for its pure pleasure, are plain-spoken narratives incorporating – and being – complete experiences in themselves, without resorting to dazzling readers with poetic histrionics. Their feel and sentiments endure way past the page and the book, and sear. “After Rilke” opens the innings and remains a firm favorite over time.
The poet succeeds completely in defying the trend of Indian-English poet-aspirants writing a great deal of ‘ephemeral’ poetry which looks beautiful but when you read it aloud kills the poem (and sometimes the reader too) because of its sheer absurdity.
Let me quote a few verses randomly:
“I won’t do what you did, though/Enough for me to fade away, Vincent /like a mist on a morning that gets hotter”(How to Make Myself Vanish)
“Anna” startles because you don’t expect to hear such an honest thought said aloud and for once feel glad that you have no company.
“Between all the usual, worn out phrases/ The writing remains, fragile and tenuous
You give not knowing what you gave/ and take not knowing what you took/ till you are no more/
and something remains if it is meant to/or does not”(from Images Disjunct (2))
One can take such verses and apply them to wherever one is, with regard to writing or to life and they hold good. Many of the poems demonstrate a willingness on the part of the poet to experiment with form, topic, style, and to share emotions and thoughts without reservation thus putting them in a class of their own with their own brand of striking imagery
“The crow picks up the beads of its red eyes/ Its red maw caws once/
The child shudders/and closes her eyes/She vanishes in a puffy haze/
without a trace/from the crow’s eyes”
(A Crow Hops on the Tracks)
And there is no dearth of beauty in poems like When Musanda Thickly Covered My Green Stems, Eyes We Dare not Meet in Dreams and many more
The third and the best part of the book (IMO) is a fascinating romp through heavily allusive thought fields. The rhymes and rhythm are thoroughly unconventional but make music even more readily. I am actually a bit appalled to find that even a veiled threat of violence manages to be so thrilling.
“Destroy you and the whole earth. I swear.
Storm petrel. Awakening.“
(I Will Not Leave Anything Unrazed, My Love)
Aria and Africa are some of the other treats in this collection, unrivaled in their range and gamut of emotions that disturb as much as affirm and cause outrage while they provoke thought.
At the very end of the book is the poem that led to the Pushcart nomination, now retitled as ‘Shayer’ and at ‘Shatarupa’ when I left the book, I realized that there is a deep pleasure in getting access to a vast field that exists in a poet’s eye—and it has been such a joy to loiter there and be totally inspired. Great poetry…sigh!
That brief, staccato dedication is infinitely more poetic than anything I have ever written. To say thanks here to a teacher, friend, salvager and off the ledge-hauler who has taught me most of what I’m now would be grossly inadequate but I hope to do it with a book someday.
Ballad of Bapu -a book for every generation, new, old or in-between- A review in verse 🙂
From the very cover of this a tour de force book
with its superb introduction in prose till the very last verse,
the Ballad sings of a life that passed us by yet has never really left
Bapu re-emerges, his voice stronger, by dint of a wordsmith deft
The Mahatma is well known, his biographers are many
yet here is a voice true, divorced from the realm of cliches
A daunting project but the author too isn’t anyone ordinary
Her language has elegance, power and rhythm to add to its riches
There is nothing like Santosh Bakaya’s poetry to address the intensity of life
The ballad flows, its form dynamic, masterfully rhythmic like a folk lore
The man in it takes the centre stage and when he bows out
I am left bereft, feeling a loss that never was felt before
Strong emotions tear apart jaded cynicism like fresh rain
He walks through the pages and into our lives again
The poet is at her sublimest, her words weaving history
Truth unembellished she sings, we remember our own story
A moving biography in verse, even for those blissful in ignorance’s oblivion
A must-read literary gem and not just for the Mahatma’s billions.
A superb assessment/review by Dr. A. V Koshy . Read on what makes Alan Patrick Traynor’s poetic thunder “Seven days of Ashes” so unique!
My thoughts on the poetry volume –Soul Resuscitation/ by Angel Meredith and Dr Koshy A.V.
“This collection of poetry is brought out in that same spirit of no compromise to the blazing bonfire of good writing” It is always interesting to know what the authors have to say about their own book. Angel Meredith and Dr. Ampat Koshy have brought out a volume of fine poetry, with a contribution of 25 poems each to their book ‘Soul Resuscitation’
Two very different and distinctive styles of writing take the readers of this book to different levels of poetic imagination. Angel Meredith’s poems begin at the beginning, follow a definite logical pattern and end as you think it will. She explores some social and personal issues with an open and often relaxed attitude, laying out almost all the cards on the table, which some readers do find helpful while reading poems. “Consider the nomad” – the book begins with this poem which has some great lines “With a shoe in your hand, shaking out the road traveled” The human condition, its aches and bruises is a recurring theme and Angel introduces the reader to some familiar characters who linger in her poems like a gentle fragrance. Insipid, Spiritswept, waiting for god are some of the ones I enjoyed most. There is an air of resignation or questions that demand answers from the universe at the end of some of the poems -no doubt a reflection of the sensitive soul of this lovable poet but demand little effort from the reader or pose no challenges for those who crave some in the course of reading a poem.
Dr Koshy‘s poems are inimitable as usual, creative and artlessly alluring from the word go. After Rilke is definitely a poem to feast on. The poem titles are intriguing too and there is nothing commonplace about any of these poems. Hope,Birds, Nirbhaya, She held a mirror to his soul, When I consider how my life is spent- are some my personal favourites. Short, experimental,
attempted humour , self deprecating poems and the ones that vanish make up the rest of this collection. Having read many of the Dr. Koshy’s eloquent and searing poems on Fb, it does seem as if some of the finest did not find a place in this collection. All the more reason to look forward to the next book from him.
~~~Why I love this collection~~~The authors of the book 2 phases: 50 poems, published by Brian Wrixon, Dr A. V Koshy and Gorakhnath Gangane say in the afterword “ both of us love poetry purely for its own sake, for the aesthetic pleasure creating it gives us” –a quintessential reason why one must write . They also tell us “ We let our understanding of what poetry means define itself through our writing” Having read these lines first, even though they belong to the afterword, I could barely contain my excitement of getting down to the actual poems. 25 poems later, I come to the conclusion that Dr AV Koshy’s poems are startlingly original, written with an effortless mastery over the language, form and appear as a natural expression of the poet’s experience of the world. There is no attempt to consciously enforce a form or a particular style ; rather an image of a sensitive poet and an extensively well-read man emerges from his poems. The poetic experiments have come off only too well. Exquisite poems such as “ The girl in the moon” “Dusk,” ”when musanda..” and “Words can’t express” charm with their innate beauty and softness. Loss and sadness are recurring themes but expressed with wisdom and devoid of any ‘flowery’ sentimentalism (A wonderful thing to learn for all budding writers), but yet at times giving the impression that the poet has bled on paper. “Suddenly one day just like that” is one of my personal favourites in this collection. The last poem is “I did not find you in mandir or masjid” and I think if one does not find what one seeks from poetry in Dr Koshy’s work, there is little chance of hoping to find it elsewhere. It is with a pleasurable sensation of having participated in a journey that I come to the end of the first 25 poems. Dr A.V Koshy succeeds in putting his poems into the head of readers and making his words stay there as also in inspiring them to better their own work through an understanding of what constitutes fine poetry. I am privileged to have read this collection. Reading Gorakhnath Gangane’s poems jerks you out of your comfort zones but in a good way as he sets out to draw brilliant, raw and ‘honest to the core’ images in most of his poems. The topics of love, sex and the exploration of these themes has been done in an extremely visual and bold way. He can fire up and cool the reader’s emotions with unassuming yet masterly strokes and he proceeds to do just that in poems like “Carnal flow” ,“Foreplay” and “Wild”. There is a sense of urgency and images of yearning and loss ripple throughout the poems. “ Dog in the rain” is a delightful poem that gives the reader an impression of being seated with the poet on a sofa and watching a stray. A matter-of- fact or / resigned tone runs through some of the poems like in “A child is born” and “The soul” . A sense of inevitability hangs over many of the well written poems and even over the romantic ones lending a deeper atmosphere of pathos to them.