Literary Shelf

Baldev Mirza: Across the Falling Snow

We do not know him as a stalwart, but Baldev Mirza is a name to be reckoned with and he can rub shoulders with many and if he is not a poet, where will poetry be found?  We wonder why was he not included into the anthologies, why could we not know him? Why did we not include him in the modern section of poetry? Why did the surveyors leave him behind? Why could we not read into the texts of classes? Why did the editors not prescribe them into the courses of studies? 

Baldev Mirza (1932--), born in Malerkotla, Punjab, edited Skylark, brought out anthologies from time to time from Aligarh, is a poet of finer poetic sensibility and artistic mindset who wrote, Shall I speak about, Words on Fire, Buddha My Love, Across the Falling Snow, When The Stars Ache and  attended many overseas literary meets, delivered lectures as a writer invited for, a cultural visitor.

Across The Falling Snow by Baldev Mirza which was brought out in 1989 is ‘Dedicated to the Singing Birds’. Poems are but a study in stylistic manner and can be cited as an example of artistic poetry. We do not know how we could ignore him and his beautiful poetry!

I follow
words
down the steps
of snow
leading
nowhere (Across the Falling Snow, p4)

Shall I send you
a moon drawn
on one corner
of the sheet

and some stars
on the other 
with my words
left in between
to seek your sky
(Ibid, p.5)

The poems are untitled and keep floating on as a free flow of thoughts and ideas. The poems are a study in stylistic and manneristic poetry.

A peacock scribbled something
on your feet
and now is
fanning you 
with colourful
feathers
nothing stirs
but the impression
of your foot
on a scrap
of paper
in my hand
(Ibid, p.6)

The way he has composed verses is really admirable to be put into words. His love for music and painting is reflected herein.

I gather your image
from the flowerbed
and frame it
with my longings
Fairies step out
of your thoughts
and wrap me
in their fragrance
The landscape craves
for your words
when colours form
your face
The moon slips out
of my hands
when you walk
in my dreams
Your words are
as beautiful as you
they turn into butterflies
when I remember you
(Ibid, p.7)

The unsaid stories are never ending, and they keep continuing unto the last. Which is of whose and what relates to whom, how to say it? There is a Robert Frostian beauty to be marked in the lines and his style of penetration is splendid and remarkable.

Whiteness figures frequently
in all that you say
in all that you write
Sometimes I am a bell
covered with snow
unable to toll
waiting for the last word
then  ring, ring endlessly
for all the whiteness
I do not see
(Ibid, p.8)

The pine trees and their presence against the backdrop of sunshine and shower, light and darkness, misty haze and bleak hope have been penetrated. How do they look in sunshine and hazy gloom? How do the scenes keep changing? A passer-by passing and the tree seeming to approach are the points of deliberation which a few have excelled, revelled in.

Two pine trees
played merrily
with their shades
bathed in the sunshine
capered with the winds
lay down on the green grass
and sometimes
they extended their arms
to  touch the feet
of some passerby
and sometimes
recalled
silken touch
stared at each other
and wept bitterly
(Ibid, p.9)

There must be someone to appreciate and admire the poetic beauty, someone to praise it. How does he keep clutching along the opposites?  It is but a beauty to see and mark.

I rave in your silence
you wallow in mine
I point out the birds
encircling a dark  cloud
you gather the feathers
scattered about
I collect dry leaves
draw a line on the sand
you draw another
parallel to it
I gaze at the
rising moon
you shed a tear
(Ibid, p.10)
 

Reference
Across The Falling Snow, SL Publications, Kothi Zamirabad, Raghubirpuri, Aligarh—U.P., 1989)

23-Mar-2024

More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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