Book Reviews

Foreword to Nandita Samanta’s Scattered Moments

Scattered Moments (A Collection of Poems)
Poet: Nandita Samanta,
Pages: 152, Year: 2017
Rs.: 299/-
Publisher: Vishwabharti Research Centre

Human life is a matrix. It is the matrix of various ideologies, standpoints, feelings and emotions, hope and despair. Nothing but art and the artistic forms can accommodate all of them, organise and reorder them, shape and reshape them for the generations to follow, grasp and realise the true essence of life. Poetry, being the best form of expression, is a suitable means of manifestation of the glitters of life in its myriad forms. Nandita Samanta’s poetry not only appeals to the imagination but also sharpens our sense of appreciation of Nature and its enchanting beauty. Common and ordinary experiences of life find extraordinary expression in her poems.

As a poet of love and nature, she adroitly brings out the best aspect of nature and its opulence beauty on her poetic canvass and sings the saga of hope in the background of despair and disappointments. Objects of nature help them express her feelings and emotions in a majestic way. “Come Zephyr” is a beautiful nature poem which bears the impression of PB Shelley in content and intent. The poem highlights the elevating, uplifting and healing power of nature. Her love for the past keeps recurring on and on. It evokes innermost emotions in our heart to traverse back to find out the best moments of life to cheer it up in the days to come. The poetess feels the heat of the worldly existence and wishes to spread the showers of comforts and serenity everywhere in the world. She appeals to the breeze to soothe everything under the sun. She reveals-

..............., the world is waiting
for a fresh shower of spring;
I'm waiting to be taken to your world.

She also wants ‘cuckoo’ and ‘heron’ to ‘croon’ and ‘Guide Aphrodite to the sea of Paphos’ so that the saga of love remains glorified for ever. Her mythopoeic vision ushers in a utopian realm of love, peace and joy.
The style and treatment is singular and superlative and it makes her poetry worth reading. The brilliant use of myths adds charming beauty to her poetry.

There is a perfect and vivid description of mesmerising beauty of nature in her poetry. She is gifted with a power to observe each and every movement of natural phenomena. Her writings wonderfully portray the cosmic beauty of nature with a realistic approach that , in turn, beautifies her poetic ideas and creativity which echoes the sonorous melody of silence in her poem “Neon Night”-

In the stillness of night, silence does impose a repose
Yet chirping crickets and croaking toads’ harmonies compose;
Nature and night jive in a sensuous ballet
Gusty wind plays symphony across the valley
In the lap of nature, forgetting all duress
Enthralled, I stand under the blanket of darkness
Watching the cosmic beauty and nature coalesce.

In the jocund company of nature’s beauty and bounty the poet, like Wordsworth, feels blessed and wonderstruck-

I stand transfixed beneath the sky,
Watch the tapestry with reverent eyes;
A mysterious weave of charismatic light
The moon beams on roofs settling for the night.

While doing so she seems to be making an attempt to find out a ‘silhouette in infinity, in clouds and moon beams beauty’ that hums to her the ‘song of love in serenity.’ (Never too Late)

Another beautiful poem dealing with the theme of nature is her
Your Nightingale”. It bears personal undertones. It is suffused with robust optimism. As a singer of love, she recalls unrequited love and feels relieved for she knows that “A day dies,/a new day is born.” The poetess seems to be referring to Keats’s  Nightingale to echo her unfulfilled love. She herself points out-

It carries me
in its bosom; drops me
on the east horizon as a new sun,
to bear and adorn a brighter morn.

She prefers pangs of love and separation to relishing of the consummation. She wants to remain lovelorn in her life. However, she reveals out-

This me-who is me, but not me,
likes to be left behind
in grit and charcoal,
for once you had said, you loved
a nightingale sing ;
I wait with my chest against a thorn
to you to sing, my last love song.

Your Hand in Mine is a love poem that celebrates feeling of togetherness. The beautiful landscape of nature provides an amiable ground and milieu to cherish these lovely moments.  Thinking of and waiting for love is a solace to heart in times of solitude. She writes-

On the bed beneath the skylight,
I'll wait for you under a brilliant zodiac.

Nevertheless, the poet is apprehensive of the past yet she walks into the romantic zone of thoughts with him. She declares-

Yet I want to stand holding your hand,
Rewinding those times not very long ago
Our passion smiles had broken into a colourful rainbow.

She further says-

No matter you remember me not much,
I'll wait until the sky shines in
One last ceaseless shimmer—


I'm willing to hold the hand
Of someone as lost as you.

Memories and nostalgia are also an underlying theme of her poetry. Some of her poems present a very touching picture of the lived moments of the past. Sometimes, she treads into the past to fetch out some lovely moments of romantic experiences to feel ecstatic at present. She remarks- ‘Memories that I seek to forget/flicker like embers in a grate;’. Though the poet is not able to hide her pain, yet she takes keen delight in the times gone by. “Memories” is a testament to this hard fact. She candidly accepts that she doesn’t want to keep in oblivion those romantic moments of life-

Long doused, yet in my heart a fire burns
Of bleak emotions in obsessive clamour
Time and again, those memories return
Freshly blossom in my mind’s bower.

Melancholy and despair fall flat with no adverse impact on her mental and emotional being. Her positive stand and affirmative zeal help her to cope with agony and anguish. Her optimistic attitude is well reflected in the following lines from the poem “Memories”-

My fond heart in darkness yonder
comes sweeping, a moment of surrender
I embrace the its darkest corner
Hoping there's light beyond the tenebrour. (from tenebrous)

Stylistically speaking, the poem is also quite remarkable for the fantastic use of irony and paradox. The use of oxymoron is quite apt here-

The night's sparkles go behind the sunlight's shade.
dropping my tears on grass blades,
tomorrow ensues uncertainty in brighter hues
memories gnaw in impetuous rue
biting each drop of frozen dew.

Intense feeling of love is always enthralling and refreshing to her. With romantic philosophy of life, she persuades her pining heart to come to terms with the stern reality with a view to consoling and comforting herself. “Substitution” is one such a nostalgic poem dealing with the theme of love and love for the past. She has a strong, positive and optimistic conviction in the past love that still titillates her soul at present-

I don't wait for another dawn,
for it holds no interest
Face in the shadow pretends to be you
My empty inside substitutes, in hopes I may rest. 

Dreams, fancies and fantasies are important aspects of romantic poetry. As a romantic poet, Nandita Samanta also makes a frequent use of these themes to bring her point home. “Dream” is one of the most beautifully worded poems by her. She artistically paints the Moon and Zephyr on the tapestry of her poetry to create a dreamy atmosphere for her heart to hatch up innermost feelings and romantic thoughts. Tears have no room to stagnate as they are at the earliest followed by glitters of smiles. Her romantic vision coupled with aesthetic and semantic grandeur is at its best here-

Voice unvoiced thoughts...
break prolonged silence...
vouch veracity...cognizance...resilience.
An apparition, a mystery...
in beatific intimacy
in a realm of scarlet insulation
help sparkle in undiscovered potential.

Traverse few miles
in blessed communion
drifting to a utopian destination
...swelling passion in a lunar sile,
sweep us to an AMORE isle.
Recollection brings a cherishing smile.

Another most striking expression can be seen in the poem “Unreasonal” which expresses dualities of existence and power of paradoxes. There is a contrast between faith and scepticism, extant and extinct, something and nothing, feelings and thoughts, though unified wonderfully. The poem is very suggestive and symbolical and shows her ability to reconcile with everything adverse and destined-

Winter desires grow in fathoms
like red roses in blossom
to wither petal by petal
fall upon the malleable soil
in the time's hemline,
knowing not whether
this is the right weather
to wither
consciously coming to terms
with... "The Mortal Coil".

Nandita Samanta’s poetry is marked with a quest for identity and perfection in love. Longings and yearnings are wrapped in the romantic velvet of her thoughts, with a fanciful escapism and imagism. Her heart harbours her love despite the pain of separation.  “Long and Belong” is a heart touching poem with romantic strains. With romantic musings she takes pleasure in pain-

Acute longing, never substantial enough
Consumed in thy love, I’m entirely engulfed,
In depth I search, my other half to be complete
If not, thee I’d be unmoored, adrift!

All indifference causes me no pain,
Kindled heart burns like incense in the Fane;
I splash in a pleasure, joyfully insane
Slowly I’m consumed, long thy essence remain.

Human predicament, fate and destiny also characterise her poetry to a considerable extent. She is well aware that the way of the world is always mysterious and troublesome. Disgusted at insensitive flocks of humanity she realises that the world is on ‘dark edge’, torn by malaise and evils such as ‘doubts, greed, apathy, religious bedevilment’. “Egregious Time” is a hard hitting documentation of deteriorating state of the world. The global scenario is so epidemic that ‘Neither the power of God/Nor of fate can change the moment!’ The poet is shocked at the disillusionment and predicament, always affected by the power of time. Hence, her poetry is a sympathetic balm for the suffering lot. Her humanitarian outlook is well exhibited in this poem-

Humanity waits for a flicker of life,
Says a tremble in the lips...“here I'm don't trample!”
Stale air crosses the orbs,
Time has turned sweet; repugnant,
Every heart still flutters in hope, if it's true time changes,
Might it change now as well.

In denial how long can you human smile?
The day passes by; sunlight reflects a broken mile,
Restore it today, before time blows away,
The remains of collapsed human dwellings,
Forever is lost, humble human feelings.

Apart from the poems analysed, all other poems are also equally riveting refreshing, deep and profound and deserve our attention. Thematically and stylistically, they are superb and worth reading.

To sum up, Nandita Samanta’s poetry is an outstanding expression of her impressive vitality and creativity, and romantic imagination and vision with enduring fascination with nature, and love. In her poems, she celebrates the feeling of love and romance. Beauty of nature is well personified. She draws most of her symbols and imagery from the world of nature. She has a strong command over poetic diction and craftsmanship. The great romantics seem to left their expressionistic impression on her poetic creativity. Her observation of life and the natural surroundings is superlative. In short, she has done her best to collect the scattered moments of life and successfully created an enchanting rainbow with vivid hues of eclectic emotions and varied feelings.

I wish her all the best for treading the path of poetry!

(Written as Foreword to Nandita Samanta's debut anthology Scattered Moments)


More by :  Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar

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