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Reflecting Prism of Love, Life and Nature
|by Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar|
The Best of the Big D (Poetry), Poet: D. Everett Newell
The Best of the Big D is quintessence of the poetic sensibility and the encompassing experience of D Everett Newell, one of the greatest English poets of the modern world. He has to his credit stupendous achievements of seven books of poetry, excluding the present one which contains the best poems carefully selected from all his poetry books. In this collection, hundred and one poems have been singled out from his previous works such as Memories and Reflections, Captured Moments, Conduits To Heart and Soul, Dinosaurs Live Among Us, Bob’s Gettysburg Saga and Poetry, I Dream of Clyde Monro, and The Bobble Heads of My Life. All the poems selected, are ‘impressive outpouring of spontaneous passion’; they are succinctly suffused with ‘eclectic spirit’ and ‘eclectic thoughts’, with depth of reflection on life and the world.
Nature is the most significant and oft recurrent theme in the poetry of D Everett Newell. His interest in and fascination with nature and its innate beauty and charm is quite remarkable in his poems. Like a true romantics, he eulogizes nature in more than a number of ways through symbolical uses of objects of nature such as river, mist flowers, mountains, and hills etc that evoke mixed feelings in readers. The poet seems to be immensely fascinated by the beauty of nature. He is simultaneously aware of its healing power. That’s why he often takes resort to countryside landscape and natural surroundings of flora and fauna. Through the metaphor of ‘river’ representing nature, he brings home the point-
‘The River’ is an appealing poem that displays his poetic attitude to the conservation of water for prosperity and survival of mankind.
The poet is of the view that on this land beautified by nature, all the people are supposed to live in harmony and this sense of co-existence amply gets reflected in the lines taken from the poem “ Icy Morning Embrace”-
Love to Teddy Bear, Memories, My old Pa Home,, Dreams are other poems which show his love for nature. He perceives in nature a divine element that refines and refreshes comforts and delights us. In a captivating poem “My Old PA Home“, he exclaims out with ecstasy :
His poetry presents a beautiful rapport between nature and human life. Life always flourishes in the serene lap of nature. He walks around the yard of nature and captures some beautiful moments of life. In the poem ‘Beginning of a Spring Poem’, he arrests our attention:
D Everett Newell’s poetry is a rainbow of reflections on and about life and family, love, marriage and relationships. It is an extension of human experience. Most of the poems deal with his serious brooding over some familial aspects of life with formative influence on him. Dreams, memories, being the new creative materials for him, along with social and family values find a prominent place and exquisite treatment in his poetry. Love keeps humility and humanity humid with its warmth. He believes in complete enjoyment of life to the fullest with true emotions and pure feelings. He looks down upon the mechanical love or robotic human beings. In ‘Own Yourself’, he exhorts us-
He calls upon all to ‘take time to be human’ in ‘this technological world’ where human beings are being turned into robotics and mechanical.
Love and humanity is the crux of poetry of D Everett who puts stress on the global peace, harmony and prosperity. Humanistic ethos has been given top priority in his poems calling upon for global harmony. His love for the poor strata of society, particularly the downtrodden is highly reflective of his poetic heart. He believes in ‘heartfelt humility’ and ‘taking notice of the downtrodden’. He arrests our attention to the following lines of the poem ‘Magic’:
The poet is saddened to see the present plight of the world which is grappled with the global problem of terrorism. In every nook and corner, terroristic acts are being committed in the name of religion, castes and creeds. Humanity is being slain for no faults. Freedom of expression seems to have taken wrong turns. Dedicated to all the firemen, police, civilians that died in The Twin Towers and Pentagon attacks on 9/11/01, “Owed To Bin laden” holds up the mirror to this scaring phenomena-
He is very much suggestive when he reveals that “We need to be more tolerant, we need to show more compassion. “(Cold). He takes pride in the fact that ‘We all are stronger,/Because of this shared history’.
The poet opines that that life is a comprehensive term with wide range of connotations, simplicities and complexities. Life is work, endurance, hardship, consistency, loss, beautiful, question. In short, it is subject to dualities of life. To him life is ‘so many hills, so many bumps’. He sums up what “Life Is”-
He believes in living the present moments of life. Due emphasis on the present life does occur in his poetry. His exhortation and suggestiveness are their best. In “This Day”, he underlines his stand on his philosophy of life-
The theme of utilizing the present moments of life to translate all the dreams and aspiration into reality is carried forward in his next poem “My Dreams” which is impregnated with unflinching realism-
He further presents a fantastic elaboration, his broad perspective and the kaleidoscopic view of life in the poem ‘Stepping Stone of Life’-
He regards life as a rare gift of God who has created us so that we can contribute to the growth of mankind while completing our journey in this world. As “life is short”, we must make it full and leave behind indelible impact on the coming generations by virtue of our good deeds in order that our memories must be etched in one’s mind. In his metaphorical poem “Beautiful Flower“, he writes-
Life is not a bed of roses. It is full of thorns. It is replete with opposites, tensions, contrasts, binaries, conflicts, clashes etc. However, we don’t have to be bogged down in the quagmire of life. We have to keep tiding over the trials and tribulations. He, in his poetry “I Get Up” motivates and inspires us to meet all the challenges.
His poem is suffused with suggestiveness and didacticism. He always motivates and inspires his reader to believe in positive side of life. In this sense his poetry is steeped in deep sense of optimism and hope for the best. In the poem “U” he gives suitable tips to live our life in the world-
Being human and humane is a divine quality of man. No other traits can stand against it. It is common knowledge that no man is perfect. All are the bundles of virtues and vices. However, one has to be humane and supportive of humanity. He rightly states-
His is poetry of tributes, homage and dedications. The poems as showcased in this collection are the poems of tributes and homage, dedicated to several family members and also to his near and dear ones, close to their family. There are some poems of condolences as well. Such poems are ‘Dear Alice’, ‘John Burns’, ‘Valentine’s Day’, ’Sorry Closed’ ,’One Less Hug’, ‘We Are Geckos’, ‘I Miss You Janis’, ‘I Found Gold’, ’Dreaming I asked’, ‘Reunion’, ‘Afraid of Dying’, ‘Blue Eyed Girl’,, ‘I wonder, a which Stop does the Love Live?, ’In a Touch’, ‘ Our Little White Church on a Hill’,, Our Vet, My Dad’,’ Imprints on my Heart’,’ She Keeps on Keeping On etc.
Expression of love, affection, dedication and respect for the family and family members is another beautiful aspect of his poetry. Time spent with the family is well etched in the memory of the poet. As a matter of fact, hobnobbing with them has successfully shaped up his ideas and thoughts. He vows to love his family unto the last drop of his blood. He is feeling indebted when he says in the poem “Spirit And Memory” :
Friendship is a special and important theme with the poet. He wishes to live ‘a life with trusted Friends’. He believes in cemented bonds of friendships, love and respect. Friends are pillar of strength for him. In some of his poems he has expressed his gratitude to them. In the poem “Friends”, he himself accepts-
Hence, he always prefers a life ‘with trusted friends’. He is thankful to all- his friends and family members- for supporting him in all times- good or bad. Truly, a good friendship and true companionship relieve one of the troubles of life by cutting them down. He freely voices his views in “Thanks And Giving”:
In his poetry, Newell has also expressed his nationalistic zeal and fervor. He is a poet imbued with sense of patriotism. He has immense love and honor for his nation and the flag, so ‘honored’ and ‘revered’. He is all bent on holding the mast of his country’s prosperity and progress. “American Flag” freely unfurls this zeal of his-
Newell is a poet of unflinching faith in God. His poetry displays a spiritual manifestation of his ideas about God. All have their own perspectives when it comes to the conception and perception of God. We experience Him in different ways. He rightly reiterates it in the poem “ We are Geckos”:
Next to beauty of nature, divine beauty appeals to him much more. There is a precedence of faith and emotion over his reason and intellect. Religion side of his life amply gets reflected in his poetry. In a beautiful poem “I Ran I did not walk”, he dedicates his eulogy to the divine forces of the world-
As a matter of fact, Newell’s poetry is his ‘relief valve’ that lets his inner feelings and passion escape from his mind’s inner dungeon and makes him feel peace of mind and warmth of heart. As a result of assimilations and experiences of life, he has come up with his best recollections in this quintessential collection of exquisite poems, ‘most convincing and admirable’. Existential experience he had while living with different kind of people is all that finds a wonderful flow in his writings.
(Modied version of the review was published in the International Journal, Harvests of New Millennium, VOLUME 9 NUMBER 1 2016)
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