Mushtaque B Barq

‘Silent Steps’

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Poetry makes the most of quintessence from what is being translated to the poet through symbols and dictated through images.  The eye of the poet can hear the echoes of pathos and his ears can see what otherwise is imperceptible.  The spirit of the poet knows the art to disclose privacy of the psalms, intricacies of songs and above all the compassion that incubate raw observations to the extent that something  vibrant violates the limitations of the materialistic checkpoints. What emerges out of the well of composition is well heard and witnessed either through the medium of music or through the print.  Perseverance equipped with sensitivities brings at fore oratory part of it to rule the pulse of the art lovers. For most of the poets, the voice that fills their wells of the muse is like a roar that in reciprocity turns him ardent and yet at times these voices are silent like steps of a baby on the wool to be labelled as ‘ Silent Steps’

GopalLahiri writes both in English and Bengali and is an earth scientist. His collection of seventy-nine poems entitled ‘Silent Steps’ is a garland with countless floral blessings, real and natural without any middle age protuberances. Rich in imagery, highly decked up with an apt diction and as simple as simplicity itself. Last Stair, the first poem of the collection has opened a gleaming discourse between human needs and anticipations that to one and all are the threads rather fragile threads never to be reeled on the tin box.

Before I reach you

Give me some more time

From your heart

Similar unrest continues in Dusty Notes, a poem that speaks volumes in the language befitting an innocent. The introspection and yearning both have been blended to create antithesis if not in strict sense of understanding but the impact definitely urge a reader to feel the latent current of the thought.

Old furniture, nameless letters

You love to keep them.

We stayed together long ago

Still your heart bleeding. 

In Round and Round, cycle of life has been described not only to serve the title but also to evoke the sense of originality. The image of circular subsistence that has set this world in motion has once again put the poet on the driving seat to lead his readers into a vast city of reality where everything is following a circular path to obey the law of permanence.

I wake up everyday

Take the market bag; go out

The tap water running low.

The cycle of life

Moves in circular orbit

Come and go, round and round.

The urgency of the poet must be felt and every poet leaves a clue or so to pick him up. Clues in modern poetry have helped a lot of readers to at least come to close proximity with the poet’s state of mind. Before being judgmental as has been a cult in the modern era, one must use the guideline drawn by the poet to know him better. Warmth in Rainhas such a powerful clue that motivates a reader and a responsive mind to build a rapport with what has been expressed by the poet. There are so many such bright spots where one can feel the verve of the poet like:

In search of a shelter

In the gloomy afternoon

It’s raining all over

Now the time has come.

This anticipation has further motivated the poet to add more such clues in the next poem: Now the time has come to meet you. A wonderful poem that has a lot of greenery around. The images have been drawn from the Infinite Green like the bards of the Romantic era who used to explain the state of mind by connecting the external world with that of the interior. The lush green ambiance has always been a treat to watch especially for the one with a lot of hope and aspirations growing in the garden of his own heart. The similarities amidst dissonances at times are enough rich in texture to tackle cacophonies of the mundane life. The visual imagery in the poem has been powerfully drawn from the surrounding that has enriched this poem with romance.

No field is greener than your dress

You waft in your little glass room

Feel my presence at a distance……

In Rebirth, the metaphor of life is running down the spine of the entire poem, making it more artistic and affluent in delicacy. Rapid Fire is again carrying a symbol of rapture well described in terms of greenery. The poet seems flooded with symbols dropped at his door by the landscape governed by the floral deity. In Feeling Inside, the poet has further delved into the depths of his ‘being’ to narrate the needs of a yearning heart.

The little grain of love

Grows in inner light

Blossom and spill over.

You Own seems a projection of the above mentioned poem for at least it shoulders the searching kit of the poet who is moving in the realms of consciousness. The exploration has enabled the curious mind to find the pearl in the depths of his own self.

You own the earth tune to the life and death

Embrace the chill of love in sigh and breath.

The agony of the poet is all over in the collection. The carpet of pain with the passage of time has unfolded its reels. The pathos that has filled this world can never be ignored. There are so many patches of suffering lying on the carpet that conveys every visitor in the language of silence the unaddressed hiss of forlorn heart. GopalLahiri has moved along with his readers who have been deprived of merriments and fancies. Thus his voice has certainly turned to be the voice of the masses. The saddest thought has so many takers, thus GopalLahiri has picked a right cord to sing for the suffering class.

Now the bare branches dig deep in my heart

Of its beauty and essence drained in silence

Inflate gaping wounds( Wither My Green)

The Poem entitled Music of the Sky has apt music coupled with trademark imagery drawn from the surroundings. The poem has four stanzas with aa bb cc dd and so one rhyme scheme. As an artist, GopalLahiri has employed most of the forms in this collection. May it be closed poetic form like above- mentioned poem or open poetic form in most of his poems. Care has been taken to compose the poems in terms of themes, line breaks, enjambments, flow of thought and above all the use of metaphors and setting.

The poetry in this collection is subtle and serene. One may not be able to peep down the lanes of the poet but one may certainly find solace and sweetness as a bystander at the bay where the bard has set his tent of imaginations.

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