Book Reviews

Painted the Sky

A poem that painted the sky, Indira Babbellapati,, Allahabad, 2017, 60 pages, PB, Rs 200/- $15/-

Painting Sky
A poem from nowhere
springs up and shines
line star on
a dark vacant sky.
O, poet
let it not fade!
Absorb its light
to spread it across
my dark sky.
Catch it in a glimpse
to show me and others
a new pat,
a new direction.
(A poem that radiates)
Between two breaths
Lurks an exclusive dream
that I dream of you, for you.
This evening
The dream morphedinto a bird.
The coloured wings
In multitudes
flapped to flight
to paint the sky.
(A poem that painted the sky)

Indira Babbellapati, a Professor of English, is already renowned as a notable poet after being included in Femininity – Poetic Endeavour, published in the year 2015. As the blurb tells us she has made her presence felt in international poets’ conferences which also included literary translators and festivals like SAARC Literature Festival. She has been acclaimed an acclaimed and very fine literary translator. She tells us that she has written this poem when she was twelve. Some kids ask us questions that shock or bewilder us but he is twelve-year -old who came out with astounding faculty of thinking:

nobody tells us
where they go to
nobody tells s
where they come from
in darkness
we live
in darkness(?)
we die.
(Between birth and death)

This is a slender volume carrying just sixty poems most of them in less than fifteen or twenty lines. Their brevity gives the reader plenty of time to ponder the efficacy of imagination and skilled expression. The poet did the first thing first- thanking he companion young woman who provided an inspiring cover design and never pretending illustrations which are apt. Only on drawing which is there should have been fitting for the poem ‘A poem sliding down the glass-pane’.
Womanliness is the basic tenet of femininity. The mien of the fair sex is dignity, decorum, forbearance and gentility. Love is in a woman’s heart, her most sensitive feeling that surprises and takes the man to great heights of joy and great fulfilment. Compassion makes the woman motherly, with her heart filled toe milk of goodness.

If only you’re searching for
kindness in tis gruesome world,
ask this lump in my throat
It always stays put
it always obstructs
my air-ways
at every loving word or an act of kindness,
at each act of violence
as equally
at watching children at play,
or an infant smile;
at helpless old man
at a dignified old woman
at a child of restraint
…at every ripple
In the ocean of creation…
(A poem called a lump in my throat)

There is a poem A wholesome mother (p. 40 ) about a female who was forced into the flesh trade who surprised the poet asking “Ashamed? Why should I? and walked away in sheer confidence. This can be is easily adjudged the best of the poems in this collection proving the dignity of being a woman and a mother.
There are many musings in the poems here.

That which allows one
to stay put amidst chaos
That’s peace.
That which makes one stand
and walk straight in pain—
That’s strength
Where there’s peace
There lies strength!
(Of peace and strength)
Middle class dreams
can only assume wings
to fly across a fancy-sky.
(Of many dreams)

There is a three - part poem As the evening faded I, II, III which concludes thus:

Don’t we all live
In the same glass house?
Don’t’ we all dance
on the same fragile stage?
Don’t we,
Don’t we…?

There are many poems on the ubiquitous passion, L O V E. But there are things which describe uniqueness. They are presented here for they explain themselves. At least there is one which is erotic:

Throb. Throb. Throb!
Desire hung;
a sack pf honey
(On a late afternoon)
Come, sit with me
for a while on this rock:
we refresh ourselves
in each other’s breath.
(A love poem of sorts)
The world now is –
the monsoon -sea,
the moonlight,
and you.
(On a monsoon afternoon)

She dreams,
her ruminations
offering her nakedness
to you to write on
(A poem called she)

Our foot prints
on the dark damp sands
of last evening
red upon my heart
once again …
It rained this morning too
Somehow the monsoon rain
didn’t erase the foot prints;
instead it bathed them fresh.
(Monsoon magic!)
This embryonic desire
to surrender myself
at the altar of your passion,
No longer can I
Resist this call of desire…!
(Call of desire)  

Faith and devotion are the strengths of femininity. Before the idol in the sanctum sanctorum the act of prayer comes from the innards of the heart:

I get turned
into a clean slate…
as a silent spate of tears
rave to flow to bathe
me and “me”
Allow this vibrant yet
fleeting wink of time
spent in your presence
to be my light,
my rhythm,
and my melody
tuned by you,
my Master!
(To the Master)

There is maturation and crystallization in the poet and this is consummation devoutly to be prayed for. Brevity is the hall mark of both. The depth of feeling and imagination hasten and soften expression.


More by :  Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.

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