Books Reviews

A review of ‘The Four Colors’, a poetry collection

‘The Four Colors’ by Ankur is the latest poetry collection that presents the different colours of life in four sections. Published by Kolkata-based Hawakal Publishers, the poetry collection goes deeper to explore the meaning of life through four colours. The poet himself reveals the secret of four colours in his introduction and mentions that Green represents birth, Yellow disillusion, Purple rebirth and Red self-realisation. Through the fifty-odd poems in the four sections, the poet has endeavoured to take readers through the journey of human lifecycle and brought out the human emotions through the verse.

In the Green section that denotes birth or childhood, the poems such as ‘Pray For Me, Or Not’, ‘Sun In the Life’ and ‘In The Botanical Garden’ represent different tastes of childhood. And the beauty of verse seethes right through every line the poet has crafted, for instance:

I went from park to bench,
and I found no fruit hanging,
no person standing,
I saw around the misty enclosure,
there were stabs of rain,
and a whiplashed tumble of kids
on the soft lawn

–In The Botanical Garden, page 19

The Yellow section implying disillusionment brings the reader one-to-one with life’s unsavoury realities and the imbued harshness. The dreamy world of childhood is over. But while the disillusionment is apparently embedded in each poem, the noise and the clatter that is an integral part of youthfulness does clearly emerge through the poetic lines. The poems such as ‘The Sinking Bob of Cork’, ‘Untitled’ and ‘A Village Shall Arrive’ are beautiful pieces.  The Purple section that represents rebirth shifts the focus back on life. The first poem of the section ‘The Return of Life’ sets the tone for the section from the very beginning. But the poem that captures me tight is ‘Queues & Braid’ that points at the return of the innocence:

I ask a cloud,
where is his tail?
He says, they don’t have tails,
I refuse, I deny, to believe,
and I go further ahead, go ahead
and I meet a hillock with a lonely tree,
I ask the hillock,
where is his tail?
The hillock laughs, did he never hear a human voice
before? He says, he never had tail,
I refuse, I deny, to believe

–Queues & Braid, page 51

The collection is an interesting read that keeps the reader intact till the last page. I finished it in a single sitting but still have the urge to revisit several of the poems in it. In my opinion, Ankur has done a commendable job in his debut work. This book speaks of the imagination and inventiveness of his thought. ‘The Four Colors’ is a highly recommended collection, which readers can buy in India from Hawakal’s website and globally from Amazon. Though the price of the book is a bit higher, it is available for a discount on the publisher’s website.

Categories: Books Reviews, Poetry

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