Sep 28, 2023
Sep 28, 2023
by P C K Prem
Occasionally is another collection of lyrics, Suparna Ghosh (a Canada based Indian poet), presents after a gap of many years. It fascinates and takes the reader to the inner world. She looks at nature and the objects amazingly with a different eye and makes certain lyrically valuable observations, which are experiential and impressionistic.
In Sandalwood Thoughts 2004, she offers lyrical drawings where the images interpret the understated with a strain of thoughtful views on life and further, cautious reflection and portrayal of complexities of the inner world comfort the sensibilities created so vividly. In Occasionally, another collection of verses (A Battered Silicon Dispatch Box Publication, Canada 2016) Suparna Ghosh once more makes a reflective and philosophical journey to the inner world of man with a slightly different perspective and therefore, it is a journey of a lonely individual of artistic proclivities to fathom the intensity of soul-experience.
To understand the poetry of Ghosh, one ought to know the range of feelings and emotions and the interconnection these have with the thought progression. Emotional region appears imperfect and indistinct but rewarding, and at the same time, defies logical definition. An effort to classify the borders of emotions with its unbroken revolution may look easy but it is inconvenient and irritating. Her poetry measures not only the intensity of emotions but also tries to characterize its potential parameters and here, lies the interpretative meaning she wishes to convey.
Life is an undefined entity a person often tries to understand. He looks penetrative and derives meanings. It is something beyond the earthly realities and the ruggedness it offers. In lonely moments, when the mind is serene, it reflects on a mystery, and makes genuine efforts to comprehend as to what happens when one perilously balances ‘the self’ and realizes an overhanging situation. To the perceptive intellect, a life further than the material world appears a possibility (Crossover 63). She is calm and relaxed even when a compendious and teasing situation arises and then, a tortuous stress disturbs.
When I am alone
I see my body as a precipice
in the distance
flanked by an infinite sky
catechisms climbing in unison
in the valley
Mind and heart of man wander at various levels of emotions and little tiny insightful upsurges. A person of insightful and vigilant eyes and intensity of deep feelings like Ghose looks on even nonchalantly and it gives birth to a plethora of images, and through the sharp and stunning incisive cerebral prowess, ventures into areas that provide feast of elevated feelings and lofty thoughts. At this moment, she carries the man to another world of privacy and shares unrivaled and captivating experiences of universality. Ghose is a fine master of organizing feelings and thoughtful reflections where she not only traverses the world of nature but also goes beyond the internal world of man and caresses sensitively the spiritualistic inclinations of man and thus, charms with the forceful use of words that suddenly turn musical.
‘Journey’ in life is not simple as it appears but it turns philosophic if one just deliberates, ‘flying/ with my feet on the ground /I saw vignettes /of a thousand suns /and my beloved moons…imparting light/ and darkness/ in harmony.’ 11 The lines depict the depth of inner symphony of lasting import. The pictorial melody enchants in ‘An Autumn Letter’, ‘Today began with the chatter of crows /astride the clothesline. /You hear their incessant babble, tittle-tattle...While I tug at your memory, /tell me all about fall /wherever you are.’ 17. Intensity of feelings and sensibilities amazes, and a man feels the taste of another world. It is sensory, it is in images and it talks of life that enjoys nature. An earnest desire it is to hold firmly feelings and notions and merge with the development that fulfils the objective of the creator (Beyond 68)
for decades you remained
suspended between sea and land of my body
mapping lakes and rivers
lodged in a moment of arrival and departure …
I infused you space with rain
and disappeared in the sea.
Yes, she tries to capture the entire region of emotions and sensitivity a man nurtures without consciousness, but somewhere, limitations of understanding a wide array of emotional thrust and thoughts and inadequacy of apt expression obstruct but still she tells what she wants. It is quite apparent in lyrics where she abruptly concludes and asks someone else to understand. The lines simply mesmerize and provoke you to go beyond what is obvious (March of the Marionettes 44)
I look to the sky for some clarity
to seek liberty from the tangled strings
but some days like today
even the sky wears a mask
as it watches the march
of the marionettes
Ghose’s poetry is not poetry of too many thoughts but it is an emotion-packed festival, and through the lyrics, she entertains and enthralls. One has to go deep into each word to reach the right essence. ‘on the coast of a song /a mason sculpts random emotions /with infinite affinity /and crumbling clay…’ and then she adds, ‘thought of returning thoughts of staying/evoke the same restlessness /all connections become transparent /like light and emptiness’ 35 The fusion of intensity of feelings and genuine thoughts beautify the lines. Thoughts connected to feelings and the chords of heart defy easy illumination, and perhaps, the poet knows but cannot help. The play of emotions overwhelms and to understand the poetry one ought to sensitize the inner self to the idiom she uses.
I peeled every layer of your being and your breath
But despaired to remove the husk of your thought
In sadness in madness in soaring in falling
I dispelled you presence and musk of your thought. 84
The beauty and melodic flow of a poignant song bewitches. You simply feel the inner joy and forget what it says and that is the strength of this ghazal. A mystic refrain with magical images permeates most of the lyrics. To understand lyrics means to feel, to absorb the melody and to flow with a sense of inner joy. Interestingly, she without making it complex and hard talks of the world beyond and speaks of the contemporary mindset and of a subtle struggle to salvage life from the ruins and decay that frequently disturb. Here, she goes to seek help from the legends and the imperceptible forces -
When the trinity of rivers
gold and blue and invisible
fictional and mythic
flowing under the earth
in three hands
blended somehow and emerged
among ruin and decay
and hybrid humanity converged
in their desire to glimpse the confluence
of three rivers but once
for redemption from life cycles. 72
Many allusions and suggestions in the lyrics not only speak of the Indian consciousness but also hint at its eternal relevance to human life as a whole. Mysticism, chaste aura of emotions and phrase, softness in philosophic flow add strength to the lyrics. One ought to reach the sensitivity of the poet to comprehend the depth of experiences. It is awesome to give words to experiences.
If poetry teaches, it overwhelms emotions and you turn serious but if poetry elevates without apparent moralizing, it pacifies and appeals to the heart. One can try, reach near the feelings but cannot dive deep. Ghosh’s depth of experience amazes but she is equally strong in transmitting the delicacy with perspicacity just right. One recognizes a marvelous quietness in the paintings she paints in words and observes an affirmative restraint in the choice of expressions as if these were insignia for a painting even as wide-ranging images of natural world and men in multiple tints and emotional outbursts materialize. The rhythm, the musical flow and a warm relationship the poet establishes with nature speaks of the spiritual experience not often portrayed elsewhere and it makes her poetry unique, sublime and serene.
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