In the acknowledgement note of his latest poetry collection ‘Water has Many Colors’, Kiriti Sengupta rues the absence of schools that can teach poetry in India. In my opinion, there is a reason behind this. And that is, you can be taught to write a piece of verse and not poetry. A piece of verse, as per my understanding, has to traverse through a mountain range of challenges where it has to fuse together with music, emotion, imagination, and meaning (abstract and apparent).
Those who can drive through this difficult path can only write poetry. Kiriti’s ‘Water has Many Colors’ is hence an accomplished poetry collection that reminds us of the multifarious nature of life in its opening poem ‘Spectrum’ where he refers to “many colors…/along its path”. His nudge to our conscience is a timely reminder when he refers to the historic massacre of Jallianwala Bagh and urges, without saying much, that these are not mere events or places for sight-seeing.
In ‘Home’, Kiriti with his elliptical use of language brings to the fore the ardent desire of people who are away from home due to work. Later, with weighed, balanced words, the collection draws attention to critical environmental issues such as global warming. In ‘Hibiscus’ he wishes “the flower could turn/into a coral basking in sunshine.” In ‘Coterie’ he invokes our conscience when he says “Wood is abolished to expand highways.”
Kiriti’s poems are multi-layered that require readers to set out on a journey of self-discovery. Each time you read the poems, you discover a different dimension of the known meaning. Adding to the flavor are illustrations in the collection that provide readers with an extra layer of visual enjoyment. Yet this visual treat is a beautiful task of delving deeper and understanding the meaning behind the meaning.
Published by Hawakal, ‘Water has Many Colors’ comes with a price tag of INR 1250 on Amazon but is available at a discounted rate on Hawakal’s own website.
Categories: Books Reviews, Poetry
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