Book Reviews

Solitude - An Internal Voyage

Solitude is an eloquent collection of poems that reveals the very deeply sensitive and incisive mind of the author, Rajender Krishan. Thought-provoking, astute and delightful, the poems have the potential to deepen a reader’s experience and make the soul blossom. His colorful scales of words reflect thoughts that are a delicate balance of emotion and intellect as he delves with integrity into the depth of his being.

It is a treasure chest of splendorous jewels – riveting, masterful and charismatic. Rich in metaphor, the poems give us glimpses of wisdom often hidden below the surface. There is movement in stillness and stillness in movement; balancing the two, the poet dances to the music of his insights, while his simple, unassuming words work their alchemy on our awareness.

He celebrates the ordinariness of everyday life by taking it to the realm of inspiration. His first poem titled ‘Core of the Onion” meanders from the relatively humdrum to the philosophical. Millions peel onions daily, how many go from its core to the core of their being? He goes to the crux and nub of life in the mundane, endowing it with a spiritual light all its own.

All layers strewn
the bulb obliterated
core unsheathed
one grasps a tangible nothing
realizes an intangible something

In easy yet potent language the poet takes us, poem by poem, on an inward journey to examine our own consciousness. He hears sermons in his solitary moments in the interior world and dives into the living ocean of truth to come up with gems of awareness. He searches for Freedom

I am trapped in non-acceptance
in trying to become
what I am not

In “What I Am?” a bewildered poet probes his identity. Am I defined by epithets and relationships, he wonders. He senses ‘a naked Self’ that he wants to reach by detaching from it the masks of duality.

The labyrinths of his mind open up new avenues in the reader’s thoughts, holding up a mirror that takes him deeper into self-reflection.

for an individual like me,
The “Festival of Lights”
is to know the flame within
that glows eternally
So that “I” too may attain
victory over Ravana
The symbol of evil -
that also dwells within
like a shadow
and manifests in the form of
Anger, Carnality, Attachment, Greed and Enmity. (Illumination)

If he agonizes over injustices, ironies, dilemmas and debauchery of present day society, (Physics and Social Chemistry, Struggling Workers, Irony, A Monkey’s Fall), he raises the bar of relationships, love, passion, eroticism in his poems – Relationship, Deluge, Nirvana, Immersion...With lucidity, absolute sincerity, he attires passion, sex and eroticism in language that is exuberant, liberating, refined, almost ‘sacred’, transcending carnality to move into the territory of inviolable purity.

Khalil Gibran’s words come alive in the essence of Solitude and Other Poems -

Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
and let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes. And since you are a breath in God's sphere, and a leaf in God's forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.

Solitude and other poems by Rajender Krishan. 164 Pages ISBN-13: 978-81-8253-414-8
Available on Amazon | | Flipkart |

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More by :  Shernaz Wadia

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Views: 3705      Comments: 6

Comment Jitoo, Your response is very interesting with the two beautiful poems of Wordsworth you have brought to mind. They have remained my favorites too from the time I learnt them. Loved the quotes by Albert Einstein and Henry Thoreau. Sure, solitude is a greatly stimulative companion to have.

22-Jul-2013 12:48 PM

Comment Padmaja, You won't regret buying this book. It will be a very thought-provoking and rewarding experience for you. Thanks for reading and commenting.

22-Jul-2013 12:42 PM

Comment Reading Shernaz Wadia’s review titled “Solitude –An internal Voyage” mesmerized me with its imagery and deep content. Basically, I too love my own company more. Novel ideas and thoughts come out easily from the inner labyrinths of my mind when I am alone. I tried to understand and define what exactly solitude is. Well, solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people. It may stem from bad relationships, loss of loved ones, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, neurological disorders or circumstances of employment or situation. Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one may work, think or rest without being disturbed. It may be desired for the sake of privacy. A distinction is often made between solitude and loneliness. In a sense, these two words refer, respectively, to the joy and the pain of being alone.
Reading the review of Rajender Krishan’s collection of various poems somehow reminded me of a poem I had read and enjoyed in my school days i.e. “The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth. Perhaps the compositions may linger on in the readers’ minds long after reading the collection, just as Wordsworth’s concluding verse implies:
Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending;--
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
Another enchanting poem, again by Wordsworth, comes to my mind, when I finish reading the review. It is very clear that the poetry of Rajender Krishan has the capacity and capability to touch our hearts through sharing or enjoying the pleasures (or pains) he portrays in his creations. Yes, I refer to the last stanza of another favorite poem of mine : ”Daffodils” which goes as under :
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
In conclusion, I tend to agree with the following quotes of two eminent thinkers:
“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind “.... Albert Einstein
“I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude”...Henry David Thoreau

Retired Chief Manager
Bank of India
and Visiting Faculty
New Delhi

22-Jul-2013 11:31 AM

Comment Very well analysed and well written review. The glimpses of the poems offered in the review, have so tempted me to read all the poems that I've just placed an order for this book. Being an accomplished poet yourself, you have been able to add a new dimension to the review.. Kudos to Rajenderji for coming up with 'Solitude - An Internal Voyage'. Thanks for this great, enticing review Shernaz.

Padmaja Iyengar
22-Jul-2013 06:07 AM

Comment Thank you, Vinita

18-Jul-2013 12:58 PM

Comment Thank you Shernaz for this wonderful review. It's always a delight to read reviews of poetry books. Coming from you, the pleasure is double!

Vinita Agrawal
17-Jul-2013 21:19 PM

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