Chandran Preeta and Saxena Pankaj Kumar, The Painted Verse-Poems and Paintings, Pramilla &Co, New Delhi, New York, 2013, pages 114, ISBN 978-93-82337-08- 9. Price Rs 800/-
Fifty poems and fifty paintings in various genres ranging from Oil on Canvas, Watercolor on paper, Acrylic, Pastel & Watercolor on paper, Mix Media, and Watercolor & Pastels on paper, along with poems, the poet and the painter partaking of the imaginative and expressive overtures, the book is a brave and brilliant beginning of a new era of combined, cumulative art. The pictures have a scintillating schema with sensitive peeping into the poet’s creative mind. The poems on the right and the corresponding pictures on the left page taking us into the mundane to the magnificent are delectable handwork with pulsating artistic imagination and poetic output.
The impassioned work is all in one: an artist’s vision, a poet’s delight in creative imagination, a connoisseur’s despair and a finally a reviewer’s discomfiture. Book Reviewers are not art critics. They are not even knowledgeable art assessors.
The poet and the painter Preeta and Pankaj Kumar vied with each other to scale the high peaks of achievement bringing the best before the appreciative eyes of the viewer and reader.
The first poem ‘Alma’, is about the kind and bounteous Mother. There is the dancer, the painted verse, in all her splendour is on the left. On the right is the poem itself:
From my brush to my canvas
My pen to my verses I created You,
In my likeness.
… … …
The life of my painting
The soul of my verses,
You are love,
You are bliss,
One with the universe. (Alma, p.15)
The Whorled abyss, drawing and swallowing people, stands behind the young man and young woman.
… … …
The poet, the painter,
Laid to rest,
In the abysses,
Of the heart. (Deep in Our Hearts, p.17)
… …. …
The mother arrives,
Gathers her bundle of joy
Into her arms.
Unable to fathom
Why he doesn’t,
Snuggle up to her bosom,
Till she sees wonderstruck eyes,
Gazing at the Butterfly,
Perched on the daffodil,
Poised for flight. (The Butterfly, p. 19)
The daintiness of feeling is delectable both in the mother and the child.
The Pine flashes a feeling on the onlooker looking at it through the arched window.
Lone, solitary, tall, majestic,
The Pine stands, looking so proud,
The sky above, the hills beyond,
And caressed gently by a cloud.
…… ……….. ……..
I spread out my arms and look up at the sky,
The sun now smiles warmly at me,
A song fills my heart, a light, my soul,
I dance with the universe, to the eternal; melody. (The Pine, p.21)
Another picture shows the young and jubilant heart seeing her lover transported to celestial regions and this is amour:
As you take me in your arms,
And twirl me;
I look up,
At the cloudy dusk sky,
And with you, I see
A whole new world. (With You … A Whole New World, p.23)
Life is charming. The moon and the stars above, the sweetheart in his embrace there is heaven and bliss everlasting.
Life is like a colourful brocade,
An intricate weaving of hope and despair,
Here and there, a darker shade,
And a touch of brightness elsewhere.
…….. …….. ……..
So gear up, scale yet another mountain high,
If courage fails, look up, you’ll know,
That even the glorious evening sky,
Has a cloud on the azure glow. (Life is Beautiful, p.25)
Life is like lovers buxom, blithe and debonair as another poet put it elsewhere. The painting and the poem are always hand in hand. The painting is not an illustration, it is an intuition. The poem is an inspiration. The two are startups to each other to move into the faery lands of bliss.
……. ……….. ……
When you take me in your arms
And look into my eyes
Do you see in them a hope
That you’ll never let me go,
Nor ever walk away,
Because … I love you so. (Because … I Love You So, p.27)
What the beloved one desires is the sight, touch, squeeze or even a little bite of the sweetheart. Even shedding tears may be a provocation or joy.
All I want, is a smile,
To play on your lips,
Not when I am around,
But even when I am not.
… … …
And even through tears,
Finding its way to your lips,
Is a tiny little … smile. (All I Want, p.31)
When the feelings of love, admiration, or oneness are raised the night’s very darkness is something regarded precious. What is sought after, hoped for or desired is that flair, the selective instinct for what is stimulating, excellent etc.
Beautiful is the dark night,
Black, as black, as ravens,
Bathing by the twinkling light,
Spreading over the heavens.
… … ..
Beautiful is life, a gift of God,
He can appreciate it, who has flair,
To admire a delicate petal of rose
On the cascade of a maiden’s hair. (Beauty, p.41)
Pain in pining and its sweet cheek reddening lover’s pinch are felt valued by the beautiful one.
They ask me why do I,
Hold on to the pain,
Why I am forever lingering,
In that corner of memory lane
… … …
And yet, I know, the memories,
I’m eternally grateful for,
Though today, your love is mine no more,
I’m glad it ever was,
… … … ..
I’ll hold on to it for ever,
Because, the pain is you. (Hell but Heaven, p.51)
Admiration and appreciation lead one to the other raising the beloved to heavenly heights. This is the offspring of the eyes from casting a sidewise glance. Cry or smile is possible in fascination leading to enchantment.
Your are worth,
Every tear in my eye,
Every smile on my lips
… … …
Don’t say, ever again,
That I shouldn’t cry, for you,
Because I will,
Just like I smile – for you,
Just like I live … for you. (You are Worth, p.55)
Mother’s pristine femininity is highest quality of the woman which wins her accolades.
I could trust you,
With my victories,
And my deepest secrets;
I could trust you,
To watch over me,
While I slept;
I could trust you,
With life itself …
… … …
In this beautiful world of trust,
Mother, my Angel,
Let me touch your feet. (An Angel, p. 69)
Aspiration is the passion to grow, rise, to be among the very best or at the highest peak and it is different from a mere ambition. That is the destination sought be reached but Destiny is something pre-ordained. The word makes one wonder whether the destination, the last and highest pinnacle can be reached rising aloft from destination!
…. … …
I look around, for a place for myself,
Wanting to stand out,
Hoping to reach the stars,
Fearing I might end up with,
A handful of earth instead,
And yet the stars can only be,
A part of the journey,
And one day I will,
Be part of the earth
The Destination … the Destiny. (The Destination, p.93)
Sometimes, in spite of the kind will, things remain undone, unaccomplished, unseen and unfelt. A conscientious person feels bad for not having been able to do something.
For living their lives,
When mine was,
Fervently, and full of hope;
… … …
For embracing tears,
When a smile,
Was waiting round the corner
With open arms;
I am sorry. (I am sorry, p.101)
This poem about the fields with yellow flowers reminds us of Wordsworth. Poetry is the faculty to experience and express the beauty seen and felt around. The Mustard Fields are seen beauties of the myriad beauties.
Sunshine yellow flowers,
As far as the eye can see,
Care free kids,
Breeze ruffling the hair,
Romance in the air,
Endless chasing games,
And sunshine yellow flowers. (The Mustard Fields, p.105)
Preeta has a fascination for the silver oak too for its regal and sublime mien.
…… …… …… …
Playful by dancing,
On dew drops,
Cradled by the grass,
Pageants of butterflies,
On scaffolds of flowers,
And adorning the fresco,
Like a masterstroke,
Its virgin buds raring,
To burst into blossom,
Is the regal, sublime Silver Oak. (The Silver Oak, p.111)
With slow and careful reading, appreciating the niceties and glamour of the expression as well as the painting, the book satiates readers who have a subtle taste for delicacy. Preeta’s poems relate to nature, beauty, pleasure and joy with the body, the mind and subtly the soul too, all being the base of her imagination.