Soothing Serenades, A Collection of Love Poems, Bhaskaranand Jha, Authorspress, New Delhi, 2018, Pages 114, Price Rs. 250/- $12
Myriad hued, multidimensional, many faceted, sweet smelling and many times titillating, ever mysterious, pleasant heart throb not far away from bangs, love is a feeling, a passion and a delight. This work reminded me of Chaucer’s ‘lover and lusty bachelor’ and Robert Burn’s My love is like a red red rose that’s newly sprung in June. Love poetry has always been in great supply and everlasting demand. Age does not wither nor custom stale amorous verse. This budding poet’s debut is what the love bird called ‘soothing serenades’ straight from the heart. The choice and promise of the title, to begin with, is captivating, and this wine needs no bush.
Young Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar has entered the realm of umpteen amorous poets. This book under review flooded with twenty-eight endorsements. The blurb on the cover portrays a promising, faithful and adulatory picture. The poet has .catchy lines, expressions and images In his sixty-two poems in the slender volume the poet has fathomed different facets of amour illustrating amor vincit omnia. He calls these soothing serenades. Soothe, tells us the dictionary, is to make a person’s nerves and passions quiet or calm. Serenades is in the realm of music, strictly speaking to be sung, or played outdoors in the nights.
All this said by way of an intro, one must hasten performing the duty of a reviewer – considering or examining going over again in the mind. A believer and a lover of beauty, the poet speaks of love as a goddess pristine. All religions, all faith is the worship of the divine. This collection begins with an offering to the Goddess of Love. This is enthusing and enthralling for the youthful. The poet is pious and faith loving. It is only the goddess who has the radiance of grandeur:
O Goddess of Love!
Glowing on spiritual throne
Rimming with splendid elegance
Dispel the darkness of hatred
From heart and mind of the ignorant people
And burn all weeds of their impure and lurid desires … (The Goddess of Love, p.29)
The poet speaks of eternal love, the basis of all life and joyous living. Poetic sensibility, for the faith loving, is the awareness of the most sublime.
I am a man of heart
With my head nosed into love
Life is a beautiful art,
Love leads me unto Him above. (I Am, p.31)
In various ways and many words love is adored: “Love is a fantasy: Love is a willing drug: Love is a invisible relation: Love is an enigma.” (Love, .32) Faith, Godliness and devotion are all deity centred and Love the deity.
Love can be defined, explained and adored in many a way. It is poetry and bliss for the worshipper.
Love is neither a flower to lie withered
Nor chocolates to be devoured
Nor a teddy to be played with
And dumped in a garbage of oblivion
Love is life, philosophy, art and religion
A discipline with transformative power (Definition of Love, p.33)
There could be and there are tales of love down the ages. The goddess of love is ever sweet, ever soothing and ever ennobling.
Hot crusts of earthy bosom lie soothed
So do the hearts of love birds fluttering together
Some cuddled down, and some up in bower
Lost in themselves … exchanging wooing words
Inherent meanings in silence they alone know … (A Romantic Eve, p37)
All nature, trees, flowers, the waves in the ocean and the stars in the galaxy, are gifts of the goddess of love. The poet avers so:
Between the obstinate thoughts
And undying feeling
For my ‘her’
With unflinching faith
In eternity LOVE I have. (Waft of Her Fragrance, p.40)
It is a strong conviction that true love tests:
Love meets and ignites
Two sweet hearts
And unite them.
After they ‘re united together
Through and through
The body, mind and soul,
It sneaks out
Their loyalty to each other
To be declared
A real winner or loser
In the final hours of eventful life. (True Love Tests, p.56)
The poet’s tropes, images, descriptions, moods are evocativd. His mind set has peaks and no sloughs of despondence but many layers of imaginative exuberance. His command over vocabulary is captivating.
Memories of her melodies
faded to the bone
lurk in me
only a few maladies
yet they make me mug up
into the vagaries of life
to soar aloft
with glazy nuggets
of the truth and wisdom. (Memories of Melodies, p.59)
There are poems which are intimate personal feelings, a memory down the memory lane and obviously the poet must have read with a passionate love of English literature Oliver Goldsmith’s Deserted Village 1770. Villages are the backbone of a nation. The Her in the first line is mother, the village. “Ill fares the land and prey to the hastening ills…” The Love Poems cannot afford to forget the mother.
Her mute gestures
Still call me back for a glance
At beauty of the lush courtyards
A natural landscape of serenity
Of the motherly village
Deserted long time back for livelihood … (Down Memory Lane, p.62)
Love involves two becoming one, unification to put it another expression. Vision and thoughts merging in togetherness in life and living is that ambrosial state. The thought of the vivid essence is L O V E. This is real consummation.
If we really love,
Let’s sign the pledge
Taking a vow: (Vision and Thoughts, p.67)
Time and again the poet talks of unification, feeling and writing about the multitudinous facets of living in togetherness – now an anchor and a new vortex. The disgusting thing would be sucking virgin honey and dumping the honey comb, an image poetically exasperating.
Love must anchor
In the death of intimacy
With soulful mates
In a sweet harbour of peaceful living
Of peaceful living
With bonds of loyalty (Anchor of Love, p.69)
The poet’s choice of words echoing intense thoughts is impeccable. Henna smearing is totally native while brunette does not indicate here the usual white foreign race.
O, You Sweet Swarthy Brunette!
Your palms henna-smeared
Beautify your glow
Not sow but fast (Pattern of Beauty, p.91)
The poet’s love of nature is ubiquitous. Trees, clouds, waves and all such are soothing and healing. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, brings in its use the poet’s imaginative ardour.
Ocean of your love
So deep and vast
All my crude surging urges
Are submerged (Ocean of Love, p.94)
There is imaginative agility in the thought of enjoying the elixir of love to the brim. Meeting in the next life is far away yet after losing the romantic times. It is despondence in the valley of Time that makes the lover think of Platonic love, which may be construed wrongly as a volte-face. This work is about LOVE here and now, in this life.
Lost in in vain of romantic times,
Our heart, desperate and impatient
Will be madly missing each other forever
The far-stretched pinnacle of the Platonic love fetched
And enjoy to the brim the infinite elixir of life… (Elixir of Love, p.95)
I don’t believe
In objective fractions of what we see.
Can you believe me?
Life just floats on … (Life Just Floats On, p.101)
This last of the sixty- two poems, is a grand finale before the dropping of the curtain. The emotional mind and the deep-thinking heart continue no matter the odds. Life floats on not merely goes on. The flights in poetic fancy, not merely fantasy, is ever going polychromatic phantasmagoria.