WHAT OTHERS SAY OF K. K. SRIVASTAVA’S POETRY / Excerpts from Reviews on K.K.Srivastava’s books (I) An Armless Hand Writes (2008) (Ii) Ineluctable Stillness (2005)


Excerpts from Reviews on K.K.Srivastava’s books (I) An Armless Hand Writes (2008)   (Ii) Ineluctable Stillness (2005)


An Armless Hand Writes





An Armless Hand Writes, the second collection of poems of Mr. KK. Srivastava, like the first collection, Ineluctable Stillness, is an expression of the subconscious. The symbolic sketch of the cover page is one representation of this aspect. The title of the book is another.

Mr. Srivastava writes on such subjects as have not been fully explored, or may be considered nonpoetic.  He presents those subjects in a style that is individual. The matters that concern in his personal life shapes his poetry.    Most topics are unusual and so are the thoughts and style. Take for instance, “Oppresiveness of Nothingness” (8). “Thy Face; Great Anarch” (34), and “Disintegrated Self” (48). This kind of strangeness runs through his poetry as well as the preface.

The poet loves to use adjectives. He also loves to use certain phrases again and again.  This repetition is more obvious in the poem on page 12. The poet uses this device to reinforce his themes. Another purpose to use this device is to create music. There are several ways to create music and this is the one that the poet finds most handy.

The poetry of Mr. KK. Srivastava is a fresh flower in the orchard of Indian English. The flower has strangeness in its soul, appearance and fragrance. This strangeness has sprouted silently with the greenery of Ineluctable Stillness and is maturing further in his second collection An Armless Hand Writes.   The title symbolizes that the poet is ambitious to work diligently to serve his muse.  Author of An Armless Hand Writes cannot be ignored and should not be.”    Dr. Stephen Gill  32,Cornwall  Ont. K6H 5R9, Canada In Contemporary Vibes  

2. “Allusions to literature, philosophy, moral dilemma and western mythology, (though explained in footnotes) explains why his poetry is difficult and places excessive demands on readers intellectual skills. Since there are many allusions in poems some (explained in footnotes), I feel the more his poems are read, the more meanings one will arrive at. Oftentimes it appears his emotions get recollected in tranquillity but through a furious method or vice versa. A sense of something larger and uncertain seems to be hanging all over in his poems. Moments seem to be fleeting leaving indelible impact on readers. For understanding his poetry, apart from patience and intelligence, a good deal of acquaintance with literature and history is mandatory to come to grips with deep nuances contained in his verse. He displays in his preface (prose) the craftsmanship of Joseph Conrad, and in his poems he shares the vision of the likes of Sylvia Plath and treats the demonic doings of history through memory the way Czeslaw Milosz had done.”  P.K.Majumder  In ejournal  http://www.museIndiacom Issue 27, Sept-Oct 2009

3. “An Armless Hand Writes contains a whole host of life impressions offered with deep wisdom and truth and with the look on the essential things— touching and thought provoking. All on a high linguistic level. I think the author wants to carry forward justice, to disseminate truth, to faithfully record history………………………. to expose darkness and corruption to purify society from a new angle and to promote the advancement of human civilization.”
Prof Kurt F. Svatek, Noble prize nominee for literature from Austria     in Poetcrit January 2009 Issue XXII


 4. “Following the remarkable success of his first collection, INELUCTABLE STILLNESS , an intellectually challenging tome, highly rated by international critics and review writers of prominence in the literary world, K.K. Srivastava has adroitly followed up with a poetical work of even further probing depth and linguistic complexity. There can be no doubt that this well-versed poet is a wordsmith of consummate skill and breathtaking creative ability. Eloquence and a masterly voice of realism are the twin keynotes of his introspective manifestations in his characteristic free-verse writings, but the empathetic reader readily, senses here that this impressive bard is at no point inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity. On the contrary, Srivastava’s poetry is endowed with the essence of unabashed sincerity and a scholarly, intuititive onward course of development. Yet the commanding tone of much of this writer’s work draws the reader by the sheer force of the authoritarian insistence thus employed:

AN ARMLESS HAND, a collection of 51 poems, some of longer extended length, deal with the complex interaction of conscious and unconscious aspects and processes of human psyche; and Srivastava, like a virtual Sophoclesian Tiresius of the more modern, decadent world to which he clings (and yet does not entirely belong) comments incisively on the self-centered facades masking the shell of an empty and purposeful society. Again, as in his previous collection, there are distinct echoes of T.S. Eliot. “

Bernard M. Jackson (U.K) in ezine eTIPS Winter Issue Number 12 (December 2009 )

edited by Wendy    Webb, U.K and In Bride- In –Making July   2009 (ISSN 0975-1610)


  5. “Ideas and thoughts are the mainstay of Srivastava’s poetic zeal. Human lives and relationship between men and women, the ultimate achievements of such lives and relatiouships are depicted through logical and analytical process, which constitute the body of his poems. To know man he often delves down the depth of his own being and brings the out the I to the surface for that is the best way to know the subject. Nature and landscape, sky, earth and water, Sun and Moon do not bother him much. Environment and ecology or divine dispensation does not matter to him to any considerable extent. He deals with modern man’s psychology referring to Freud and others. All the poems in the book are prose poems.

“   Here the pains of life becomes the verve for creation, the convictions of truth as he experiences, turns to poetic fervour, his poetry though brings sadness, is convincing, rhythmic and artistic. It inevitably turns us towards him. To enjoy his poems we have to read them with an understanding. Strength as he has, he has doubts too. At each step he is not sure what you will say so he gives his theory of poetry and reasons of writing them. Look at his preface first-

‘I have tried my best not to leave any scope for unexplained ejaculations that make the meaning of what I have stated’, he says and goes on to describe the inner mental and psychological processes, which a poet has, per force, to undergo. Among them idea, logic, thought and reasoning acquire greater value as a result of his deliberations. He adds towards the end, ‘This is, in brief, my understanding of poetry. I may be totally wrong but as of now, I go by what I have written above as I believe; futility of an opinion does not alienate opinion from opinion-holders.’

In the process of defining what is and how is poetry he sometimes utters such hopeful and valuable words as ‘Best literature would have died long back, had poets not sought departure from these mundane issues and voyaged in the direction of exploring things, unique and unpoetic.’

Hopelessness, pain, sterility, death- all we encounter through K K Srivastava’s poems. Yet there is something in them which keeps us spell bound. We remember Shelley’s

‘Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts.’ “

Aju Mukhopadhyay in  ejournal www.Authorsden.com Dated12/11/2008 

and Indian Journal of Post Colonial Literatures  Vol 9No 1 (ISSN 0974-7330)

6. “An Armless Hand Writes is comparable to the West Land.” Pioneer  A Leading Daily

7. “Emotions and emotional distortions are Srivastava’s main concern. Poetry for him is mainly a tool for introspection and the external world serves the lofty purpose of being the catalyst that inspires his thoughts and his perspectives…..There is no doubt many of the poems do have real merit, a depth of insight and reflection that illuminates memory and human conditions.”Indian Literature,  March- April 2009

 8.  “There is erudition imbibed from western mythology and philosophy, there is credence too but the volume is more cold philosophy.”  

                                                                               The Tribune on Sunday  A Leading Daily

 9.  “Most of the 51 poems express the angst of contemporary man within the context of interaction between conscious and unconscious aspects of humanity….The visionary quality in these poems can seem astonishing in it’s range, it’s depth and it’s complexity… In this collection we see much of the modesty, but perhaps also something of the steel, reflected in this poet’s verse.”

Patricia Prime, New Zealand    In Re-Markings Vul 7 No 2 September 2008 Ineluctable Stillness

1. “Srivastava’s book is intellectually challenging well-ordered free verse poetry, unique in style, rhythmical in cadence and so delightfully alliterative in word play……..Some of his longer poems have distinct echoes of T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land with perhaps an added flavouring of the plarwright Samuel Beckett…” Bernard M Jackson  In Bridge-In-Making

2.“A rare courage suffuses his poems, the courage to challenge commonplace notions…He is not a genteel poet, he is a disturbing poet, intent on unraveling the human mind of it’s false preconceptions, of it’s delusive hypocrisy masked as genuine emotions.”   Hindustan Tmes A Leading Daily

  3.“Human emotions with their varied outbursts, of course intellectually and poetically conceived by the poet are to be understood in serene atmosphere with [patience. The deep sense of humanity at higher level of cosmopolitan conscience is wedded in the lines of the verses.”

  Contemporary Vibes

4.“’Srivastava is at his best in his longer poems ……which possess a striking sweep of force and poetic fire……bringing his talent bear upon his lines skillfully just as ingeniously he develops his theme.”  Indian Literature

5. “Very splendid, very thoughtful book.”    Dr Carla Kraus, Vienna

6. “This is poetry drawing us to a new look at new forms which attract us to read, continue reading until devoured. The depths of his work enlighten us, draw us to want to read his future endeavours with pleasure.”    Rosemary C Wilkinson,  U.S.A

7.“In this collection , Srivastava insists on the unstated, the implicit and the fragmentary….One of the most striking aspects of the poems is Srivastava’s delight in the musical dimensions of poetry. He uses poetry to create a free self-positive, humane, fully exposed to life. He has made some of life’s most important and most challenging topics accessible even to those readers without a strong background in philosophy or moral dilemma.”   Patricia Prime, New Zealand   In Poetry International

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