Review of "The Soul Charmer" by Richa Saxena

The Soul CharmerThe Soul Charmer by Richa Saxena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four stars to “The soul Charmer” a collection of poetry by Richa Saxena published by HBB.

These poems talk of utopian love, longing, silences, loneliness, pain, tribulations of an unquiet mind and the journey within. Some poems are of erotic love and to quote a part of “A Sinful Night” below:

And the melody of their bodies croon-
They bask in this love Amidst the gleam of the moon,
Oh! A deep plunge A round of passion And the bodies curl up,
Like the lost pieces, Of the puzzle,
They smooch and snuggle
And lay in each other's arms
All bare- And complete

The caged bird talk about the stifled ambitions and aspiration of freedom of any Indian girl. She feels suffocated by the atmosphere and it reminds me of Nirbhaya and Bangalore molestation.

“I am Alright” reminded me of one of my favorite poems on pain is ‘Aansoo (teardrop)’ by Prasad:

जो घनीभूत पीड़ा थी
मस्तक में स्मृति-सी छायी
दुर्दिन में आँसू बनकर
जो आज बरसने आयी।
----प्रसाद जी की ‘आँसू’

“The Final Goodbye” beautifully captures the feeling of depression and angst with the world. Sometimes we feel all dejected, tired and depressed and we all want to end it and walk into oblivion.

“Love me Tonight” talks about a love which is at cusp of sensuous and platonic. “And We Became Us” describes the coital act beautifully.

The book ends in a poem aptly titled “In Hope Of A Better Tomorrow”. It is a poem of hope, of tomorrow of aspirations and future. Life may be hard today but it is not the end. There is always hope for tomorrow.

The poems are penned beautifully. In fact the origin of poems as told by Shelly and Pant is (quoted below):

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
---Percy Bysshe Shelley (Husband of Mary Shelly of Frankenstein fame)

वियोगी होगा पहला कवि, आह से निकला होगा गान।

उमड़ कर आंखों से चुपचाप, बही होगी कविता अजान॥
 सुमित्रानंदन पंत

Poem is like tear drop which comes out of your heart and not mind. That’s why it is so different form prose and very difficult to fully understand for others unless the poetess herself explains it. And you need equally intelligent and sensitive audience to be able to understand it, otherwise you will just get cool, awesome, beautiful, poignant, god bless etc type reactions.

To quote from “Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda” "The Love which cannot contribute to social progress and individual development, is not love"...... the poetess made that point in one of your poem also.

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