Savage Wind by Asoke Kumar Mitra : Is it really that savage or…?
There is a sleeping poet inside all of us. Some allows to reveal, some keeps it secret while some never discovers the poet within. On that count, the retired journalist Asoke Kumar Mitra (AKM) is a poet in his own right. Poetry was never my cup of tea, but when a dear colleague and friend at office requested for a few words in the shape of a review – it was irritating.
First of all it was a booklet with an index consisting of some thirty poems, and second my knowledge to judge any form of poetry is fairly limited. So this reviewer reluctantly picked up the thin brochure – like book and pierced through it.
To my utter surprise it was not irritating the least, titled as the Savage Wind, the bilingual edition of AKM’s poetry has been published in two languages – English and Mexican.
All the poems are printed against the backdrop of toned-down coloured photos of flower, nature, and greenery and also gloomy darkness. But the milieu of photos strikingly echoes a silent message of each poem. The complimentary photos are not merely there to give a bright inner look to the poems, but more.
Nevertheless, coming back to the main topic or poems – Asoke is not certainly a genius poet. His lines, stanza, emotions or rhythm – including other basic elements of poetry are that of an ordinary poet – but not without curious blend of nostalgia, imagination and abstract meanings.
For instance, the poem “Daydreams” surely smacks of an old flame in poet’s life, but the next in line, “Graffiti” seemed somewhat an enigma. Poem to follow, “we”, has an interesting ending with the lines “We remain tight roped between insanity and truth…”
True to some extent actually, perhaps the poet attempted to draw a critical line between limitations of humans, austere facts and loneliness. However, one clear metaphysical aspect becomes evident in most of his poems: the presence of feminine charm, attraction, a lost love, and of course romance.
AKM rarely ponders over current complex issues, on the contrary, he reflects deeper in his surroundings, thoughts, emotions and nostalgia. From the poems “will you?” “Lovelorn”, “At dusk” and “Stain of love” the poet appears as quite a romance-starved teenager.
Asoke Kumar Mitra
Last of all, what this reviewer discovered from the poems is that the poet AKM’s life is unfulfilled and full of regrets, at least romantically. When his feelings and nostalgia are penned in the form of poetic expressions – they are honest and intangible – though not always easily understandable.
I am not easy going with recommendations, but AKM’s Savage Wind, in some way has shaken the sleeping poet in me. This reviewer’s poetic expressions of his respective feelings will surely be a lot different to AKM, but then again they are poems , no matter how widely read , famous or intricate. That said – I have a strictly personal comment on AKM’s poetic expressions – they are socialist, rebellious and defiant in nature. Very much in the likes of a failed communist, he clings to hope, anguish and dream, though the formal system collapsed globally nearly three decades ago.
In today’s world, – my personal understanding, if it’s correct – most poets do not compose poems to reach the heights of Shakespeare, Byron or Blake – they pen to ventilate their overdue and painfully nurtured emotions.
It would have felt revealing, had the poet composed a poem specifying and detailing his lost love.
This neophyte reviewer admired AKM’s simplistic and personal elucidation of thoughts, emotions and reality. His naming of titles is too basic and personal, but he must remain to what he is than what he aims to be as a poet. The title Savage Wind perhaps only echoes the poet’s tormented agonies, and nothing more.
The reviewer is in-charge of the editorial section, The Daily Observer.
By Shahriar Feroze