Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Devotion, longing and kaleidoscopic colours of spring

Call of the Spirit By Venu Sanon
Recherche Books. Pages: 52. Price: Rs. 200/-

Or is it your breath / that we call as the wind
painting this canvas / with the colours of spring?

These lines conjure up a beautiful imagery of the bhakta in dialogue with her bhagwan. The colours of spring become all the more radiant during Holi when she is “drenched with sunshine” even as shades of violet and colours of the Himalayan flowers, fiyuli and primula, tint the landscape. Sanon continues her dialogue, looking upon Him as mother, lover, friend and companion in Realization and Looking Back, among other poems. In fact, the first poem, This Holi, sets the mood for this anthology. The colours of Holi reflect the poet’s longing for the Lord and the joy at the spring’s arrival that symbolizes the Lord’s manifestation. The sensuous gets overwhelmed by the spiritual, as symbolized by these lines from Just You

“Free in all dimensions-/ no boundaries to encase; / you are the breath, the mind, / you are the thoughts that engage… Varied your many forms-/ saints and sages speak for you…”

Sanon revels in the nature’s beauty, which she interprets as a sign of divinity. Some examples:

“When I see the mist rise / to blur housetops and trees; / reach to kiss mountains, / merge with clouds flying free. (Longings)”

“When moonbeams on water waltzing so fine/ like stars that are twinkling on a mirror divine. (Is it you?)”

“Do you paint these skies/ with strokes of your thought? / These vivid oranges and blues / by your moods brought about? (The Artist)”

Harriet Monroe had described poetry as the ‘Cinderella of Arts’. Yet, it has survived and even flourished periodically, thanks to its unique capabilities for creating eternal symbiosis between truth and beauty by utilizing “fancy as sails and imagination as rudder” (John Keats). Something that you notice in this Sanon’s second offering, which has all these and much else because she has the talent for writing about both the known and the unknown. Her rich imagination is tempered with sparse and precise descriptions. Like every poet, Sanon too experiences variegated moods and expresses them imaginatively in her poems. However, the sense of wonder at natural beauty and divine presence form the leitmotif of this volume.

This volume should be an excellent springtime read.

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