Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book review: Lotuses of evil

AUTHOR:  Azsacra  Zarathustra
TRANSLATOR:  AidarIsmagilov
PRICE: Rs.160/-
ISBN: 978-81-8253-092-8
PAPERBACK.   124 pages

 About The Book:

It is not accidental that the title of the book reminds one of Baudelaire’s  “Les Fleurs du Mal”.  The author has allegedly supplemented the nihilistic “Les Fleurs du Mal”.

 The jerkiness of the poetic rhythms may be due to the rather laboured efforts of the translator. Literary offerings often lose their impact through translation. The introduction to the author at the beginning of the book strikes one as incoherent and over-enthusiastic. The dramatic comments should have been less, leaving the reader to judge for himself the intrinsic worth of the 124 pages.

Some biographical detail about the author might have helped the reader to make some sense of the eccentricity exhibited in the writings. We learn only that  the poet lives in Russia and has founded  a help centre for injured  predatory animals  and birds called MAYASTRA. We are told that Azsacra is seriously into the subject of secret and esoteric religious cultures. This firmly establishes the poet as a romantic and, perhaps, a mystic.

Azsacra has also written ‘MYSTERIUM: Twenty Four Rings’ and ‘ DENIALS: Joining of the Western Wolf of the Nihilism and the Eastern Dragon of the Absence’. He writes poetry in a new style called ‘SacralWordcinema’. Obviously he deals with the sacral themes of Good and Evil, the addition of the word ‘cinema’ is difficult to appreciate—it may refer to kinesis or movement.
The poet has a penchant for the Japanese form of poetry called ‘haiku’. Such poetry with its compressed imagery presents a challenge to all who have poetic aspirations. While Azsacra may have adopted and adapted the haiku to suit his themes, he appears to have omitted the beauty of haiku images. He has a vein of dark romanticism running through his poems.

Phrases are obscure: ‘the tiger sneaks/ on its own/ hair’, ‘ howling of / the wolf guards/ the swallow’, ‘the wind through/ the roses…quailed the eagle:/ the execution by the petals’.     It could be that the incoherence is intentional. The poems lack sequence and logic, but the numbered stanzas do make sense. His poems seem  to shift in a surreal world. There are several images taken from the world of Nature. We find references to the bumble bee, the tiger, the wolf, the rose, the eagle, the grasshopper, the snail, the praying mantis, and several other creatures – not all predatory. There is a thread of melancholy that runs through the words and the images are mostly destructive.

In Azsacra we find the confluence of East and West mysticism, as for instance in ‘Terror of the Rose ‘and ’Satori of Shooting of Samadhi’.

Reading Azsacra is not an easy exercise and interpreting his poetry has been rendered difficult because the volume is a translation. What does come across is the deep sadness that seems to pervade almost all Great Russian writers.

About the author: 

Azsacra Zarathustra is a well known Indo-Aryan philosopher and poet-mystic. He is Editorial Advisor for the international journal of poetry and art "Harvests of New Millennium" (India). He is published in India, Tibet, Japan, Germany, Norway, England, USA.
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