Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart: A Healing Balm to a Bruised Heart
Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar’s “Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart” is one of the memorable and wonderful love centric anthologies of contemporary times. Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar is a well-known trilingual poet (Maithili, Hindi and English), short story writer, critic and reviewer. Regularly published in various national and international magazines, both printed and online he has to his credit two collections of poems in English: Soothing Serenades: Straight From the Heart (2018) and Two Indias and Other Poems (2019). One of his poems on Nelson Mandela is included in the academic syllabus prescribed for the school students of Philippines.
As for Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart , I find this entire experience of reviewing this literary work very overwhelming. At the same time extremely honored as it opened a vista for me to this beautiful and novel Bhaskarland. I read the foreword and the first one by Sir Amarnath Jha really got me hooked and as I started reading the poems I could relate word by word with his review. The poems by Bhaskar sir are verbal treats. He is a man of word so to speak.
What I especially like about the collection of poems is it considers the readers and it is a step by step guide to unravel the greatest myth and mystery that is love. The first poem is invocation of goddess of love moving on to love presented as an emotion as perceived by the commoners and then a critical interpretation of love which shows a perfect balance of twisted beliefs about love effortlessly brought into focus by soft reminder of its ethos. He invokes:
“O Opulent Love!
Muse of hearts
As divine as Christ
Come and heal the global wound
Of violence, lusts and all ailments of hearts
With comforting and curing touch of divinity
And replete the world with your resplendent grandeur!”
How remarkable is the transition from an intellectual discourse on love to making it a mouthpiece of a loon of a lover swooning to charms of love becoming a prison to his dreams yet thriving in the mirage of a Vernal Breeze :
“Like a vernal wind
You gently caress me
My verse begins to sing
And my heart
Soars up high and higher
On the wings of joy
For I feel you
All around me
With a bounty of love
Coming all the way
With the fresh gentle breeze..! (Vernal Breeze)”
Heart wrenching is personification of the elusive love which still spreads its Waft of Fragrance for all and sundry. As a reader I feel elevated upon reading the pining of a mortal for showers of love flowing smoothly from the pen of the creator as flawless as a piece of music.
“The invisible footprints
Of silent love
Visibly etched out in heart
Are quite indelible
For the time
To obliterate them
As the beautiful humming vibes
Between the obstinate thoughts
And undying feeling
For my ‘her’
With unflinching faith
In eternity of LOVE I have.” (Waft of Fragrance)
Priceless in this collection of staggering 62 poesy is a sub group of poems where heart muses and throbs in love with the idea of love. What I find most intriguing in this collection is the poet’s mastery over words. Not a single case of exaggeration but a perfect amalgamation of emotions and expressions. What is amazing is myriad reflections as if from a broken glass of different thoughts on the chosen theme .It has freshness of youthful passion and at the same time worldly wisdom. Definitely these are poems for the common man leaving an aftertaste of something intangible brought alive to your senses by skillful imagery.
Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar
In the Foreword, Dr Amarnath Jha rightly encapsulates:
“The poems are rich in the use of figurative language. The figures, such as simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, paradox, apostrophe, metonymy, allusion etc. have been frequently used. The linguistic devices of polysemy (e.g. ‘The flood of tears tears the heart’ in “Sometimes I Feel” (No.43)) and functional shifts have also been applied very significantly. One poem is entitled “Semantic Fiasco” (No. 41). The cohesive devices used in the individual poems make them stitched together in the overall framework of the volume for the sake of coherence.”
To sum up. Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart is a healing balm to a bruised heart. The book is available in amazon.com. I wish this book should be in your must-grab-now list. Just go and grab it at the earliest.
– Paayol Lalwani
Paayol Lalwani is a teacher, poet and reviewer, noted for her passion for poetry .