A Review of Allusions to Simplicity


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!
©Reena Prasad

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P.S
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.

 

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Chennai is flooding/ Ampat Koshy


 

floating_earth-wide-1
Ampat Koshy
December 4, 2015 · Bangalore, India.
With/to Prodipta PoPo Banerjee and all who ask me to keep writing
Poem dedicated to Reena Prasad

 

Chennai is flooding
In California a couple killed lots of people
I don’t know the why or what for but I know the end result
In Greece girls only seventeen are selling sex to strangers for just a sandwich
due to poverty
Women and girls are openly sold in the market by IS, it seems, as sex slaves
People indulge in self-justification of their own group
saying some in it are good and some bad
but vilify all in other camps
as if there this dual rhetoric does not apply
when even India has changed to ultra careful and totally confused
making students suffer for the sins of adults
Real writers are silenced everywhere by others or by depression
give up writing or are killed or threatened or commit suicide
but people still want me to write

But what do I write about, anymore?
The news weighs me down
daily
atrocity after atrocity
occurs and is reported
as if personal tragedies were not enough to wrestle with
No one can afford, any longer, to bat an eyelid
Spare a second, write a poem
change the channel
care only for yourself
and your family, loved ones and friends
God is silent and does not exist, or allows it for reasons untold
and no one else interferes or cares

The theory of original sin seems to makes sense
finally
The myth of heaven and hell makes even more sense

I want to write happy poems
to improve everyone’s quality of life
but nothing of the sort comes forth from my pen
anymore

Only sad songs

Better to relapse into silence
remain in silence
and pray for the sane ones
especially the children and the weak
to be kept safe
in these turbulent times
and just live out one’s own life
till one dies
the only certainty left to us in this time.
©A. V. Koshy