Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book Review: Poetry Manifesto

Author: Vihang A Naik

Format: Paperback

Language: English


 Rs.135. US$ : 3.75


ISBN Number: 81 - 8443 - 033 - 7; 9788184430332

About the Book:

Poetry becomes a form of art and gains the consent of abstract bewilderment once you are able to call up on your inner senses, pull up your environmental awareness and finally squeeze out just the adequate amount of aromatic essence out of it to the awe of the general audience. Poetry Manifesto (new & selected poems) by Vihang A. Naik is filled with such tendencies.
I made a couple of young men and women read his collection out of whim and I am eager to share one such overwhelming feedback. Apart from using the common terminologies associated with the age group, the young man said, “This speaks more than it seems, this is so like us, talking in monosyllables at parts, as if speaking of machines, as if we are the living machines. Are we going to be “this” mechanised; when I grow older, to say about a decade later?”
My favourite section in the book is “A poet”. Like Polaroid instant snapshots the poet Vihang A. Naik is able to capture moments as seen in poems like “In Rains”-
“A girl folds her
Newspaper into a boat
And makes it flow
Over flooded waters.
A poem sails
above road level
with yesterday’s flood report.”
The ever lingering thought about “what made some of us select verse as our personal medium of literary expression?” is well dealt with in the poem “Making of a Poet”. Few lines like the following seems to have the intensity to engage in a debating affair- that would perhaps go on- like a man sitting in conversation with Dead- just to buy some more time for himself.
“did you instruct your hand to move
or make a poem?
Then you may even wonder how poetry
Makes a poet?”
I felt like being lost in an old snow clad town with wax idols of men and women scattered around. As if I was the only moving object with the only beating heart within and a colourful dress that determined my appearance- running about hunting for more colours. Here perhaps colours come in unison with the imageries associated with a butterfly. Here again the name is just as common- “A poet”
“in metropolis
A poet
A butterfly
Ends up
With a pen
A blotted
A poem”
If I am not speaking about “self portrait” then I am seriously undermining the developing idea of getting an image personified into the lines/words. The poem talks about the recognition of the “I” that finally “wake up” and makes the dominant effort “to see” the inner power hidden in “my-Self”. The discovery is kept hidden in between the lines so much so that you end up ignoring the blank in between the two pages. The last line marks the foot of the second page and ends without any punctuation- “discovered beyond thought”.
Poetry Manifesto (new & selected poems) by Vihang A. Naik is experimental arousing several untapped dimensions in the readers’ mind, giving them the perfect excuse to invade those lands that lay beyond the regular mesh of monotony.

About the author:

Vihang Ashokkumar Naik (born 1969), is an Indian poet writing in English and translates poetry from Gujarati into English.
Vihang A Naik was born in Surat, South Gujarat on September 2, 1969. He did his BA in English and Philosophy in the year 1993 and did an MA in English Literature and Indian Literature in translation in the year 1995, all from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He received his primary education during 1983 from Navrachana School , Vadodara. Gujarat. India.
He is India’s contemporary poet writing in English. His poems have appeared in such literary journals as The Indian P.E.N, Indian Literature : A Sahitya Akademi Bi-Monthly Journal, Kavya Bharati, POESIS: A Journal of Poetry Circle, Mumbai, The Journal of The Poetry Society (India), The Journal of Indian Writing In English, The Journal of Literature and Aesthetics, The Poetry Chain among other significant journals.
Four collections of his poetry have been published: Poetry Manifesto: New & Selected Poems (2010), Making A Poem (2004), City Times and Other Poems (1993). His Gujarati collection of poems include Jeevangeet (Gujarati Poems) published by Navbharat Sahitya Mandir (Ahmedabad) in 2001, dedicated to the cause of victims of Gujarat Earthquake of January 26, 2001. He also translates poetry written in the Gujarati language into English, including his own Gujarati language poems.
After teaching at Smt. M.C. Desai Arts and Commerce College , Prantij during 1996-97 while commuting from Ahmedabad , he is now an Associate Professor of English at Shree Ambaji Arts College ( Ambaji ) affiliated to Hemchandrachariya North Gujarat University , Patan., since 1797.
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