The Literary Flight! Journal of English Literature
BOOK REVIEWS FOR JULY 2015 ISSUE
Title: “Children of Lost gods”
Poet: Tribhawan Kaul-India
Reviewer: Shahzia Batool Naqvi-Lahore, Pakistan
The scents of blossoms, the flowing brooks, and the exotic scenes of the elysian Kashmir gave birth and brought up to the potent poetic voice of Tribhawan Kaul, a poet who is the carrier of values, the inheritor of traditions, whose poems evidence the flow of norms in his sensitive veins. His poems speak of beauty in all those poetic forms which are directly but unnoticingly taught to him by the Mother Nature. He is the one who spent his childhood watching the mauve plants and colored stones seen under the flowing clear waters of the lovely lakes, and the one whose nights meant to him a moonlit reality which unfolded itself beam by beam like the slowly blown zephyrs without interrupting the silent conversations of the moon and the stars, studded on the sky above; and when this soul that was nurtured on the beauty and bounty of the native soil of Kashmir, started getting attached to the literary genius of Shakespeare and the sensuous souls of the great Romantics, he started writing his poems in English too, as an addition to the poems of Hindi. So the fun and frolic in the company of nature developed into the sittings in the poetry meetings of the renowned poets made him a poet himself.
The volume “Children of the Lost God “keeps the magazine touch of the poems of multiple themes concerning human life—the poems of senses, of tenderness, of love and beauty, and especially of humanitarian impulse. The volume is studded with a variety of touches like the strong pulse of society with its evils affecting the precious lives of individuals, the romance as an essential bonding of the souls, and the dominating political effects as well. Instead of occupying a single label, Mr. Kaul is simultaneously the poet of society, of nature, and the poet of sense and sensibility. This is almost the fact that lends him a touch of a modern poet whose soul directly takes upon it all the effects that affect, stir and strengthen him and his pen pours out all what his soul receives.
In his celebrated book,”Muqadma Sher-o-Shairi Per”Moulana Altaf Hussain Hali divides poetry into two kinds: aamad i.e intuitive poetry, and aaward i.e. the made poetry by the tools of learnt poetic trade. In the light of this classic division, Tribhawan Kaul stands different as a blend of both while asserting his own individuality, as he exclaims that he is not a poet left with poetic legacy, honed in workshops, dissected in Seminars but he says fervently:
“I write poems, as I feel like expressing
My emotions and my feelings
Rhythmical or Free, I worry not
To the poesy tenets, I stick not my fault,
Being sensitive to ongoing happenings,
Forth comes creativity in my writings.”
In this book, the poet expresses his feelings while exhibiting an unrivalled command on various topics ranging from God to devotee, social ills, , romantic themes, all passions including love. He sees love as the main-spring of all virtuous passions. It is a passion that has always been, and will always be the focal point of all poetic thought encompassing the real essence of human bonding; to this treasury, the contribution of Tribhawan Kaul adds a substance. His poem “Love, Love, Love” talks about the vastness of this universal passion, so vast, so refined, as he says:
“Love knows no frontiers
Love knows no religion
Love has no caste
Love has no religion.”
The poem is so complete in encompassing every shade of love that renders a remarkable touch to the work for its content and structural completeness. Such is the experience of poetry that truly deepens and fortifies itself with a general endorsement.
When the innate goodness and the skill in the art of versification gets blended together we see, then, the social issues panic him, and he bursts out in an apostrophe to God, claiming a right on Him, he prays to him:
“Oh God, Oh Ishwar, Oh Allah!
Spare all human beings
From untold miseries
From pain, anguish and agonies”.
The way God is addressed in this poem reminds the celebrated passage in James Joyce:
“But, though there were different names for God in all the different languages in the world and God understood what all the people who prayed said in their different languages, still God remained always the same God and God’s real name was God.”
The title poem, “Children of the Lost God” records the complaints of one speaks for all in revolt with all grievances and restraints in this contemporary world of anguish and anxiety. The poem portrays the condition of man in these lines:
“Extended poems, seeking alms
Sunken eyes, skeleton arms
Jaundiced skin, frail frames…”
Though the term “lost” sounds alien & harsh to the ears attached to The Omnipresent Almighty, here the speaker’s state of mind is not unlike Angel Clare’s thinking in Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Hardy, when he says in anguish:
“God is not in His heavens
All is wrong with the world.”
The same picture of the unsettled mind is found in what Hume says:
“The whole world presents nothing but the idea of a blind nature pouring forth from her lap without discernment of parental care her maimed and abortive children.”The objective interpretation of the state of mind of the devotee suggests the bleakness and barrenness of the faith lost in such circumstances in the world of bondage and struggle. This state of grievance is a looking glass for the masters of the society to keep a check on the social state of individuals so that faiths can be restored and saved, and instead of falling prey to the hands of despair, the faith should be kept awakened as for sure God is always there. The mind presented here is not of an angel but a sufferer who thinks accordingly; and the poet knows it very well that’s why he says :
“Hope, don’t raise expectations
Set backs, I can’t endure.”
The volume comprises the poems advocating woman as an active character of the society having equal rights of a respectable life. The plight of women affects his sensitive soul. He shuns the unwelcoming general attitude at the birth of a baby-girl. “Trauma” is a sad case about the suffering of a woman in a male-dominated society. This poem mirrors the day-to-day affair of woman abuse, of she is hunted and molested before the crowds, and raped in the moving cars. This is the picture of the trauma felt by such victims. Many other poems are included in the book which advocate woman as a treasured being.
The nature poem, “A Morning in an Indian Village” gives a pleasant and pleasurable touch of an idyll with its photographic vision of the sun rising, birds chirping in symphony and the tillers working in the fields. In the end he concludes as:
“Temple, Mosque, Gurduwara and a Church
Inviting everyone with open arms
So many faiths
Truthful and straight
Mornings in a village has its own charm.”
Talking about the versification, there’s a variety as the poet has used according to the demand and nature of the theme he handles in the poems, sometimes we have Nanno poetry with the quality of compression with completeness as the substantial contribution of Mr. Kaul and sometimes we see the exhaustive long poems. He makes use of both the bound and the free verse, in couplets and stanza form both. This gives him a space to say what he wants to say.
The volume is a rich experience of emotions as it comprises the poems of variety of nature and themes giving him a touch of an insightful poet, though interpretations depend on the perception of the reader as the rainfall is always pure, now it depends on the nature of the soil if it is of marshy nature it doubles the mud, if it is of fertile nature increases the bounteous vegetation, but the rainfall stays the same rainfall, blessed and pure. Happy reading the good poems of life by Tribhawan Kaul.
Book Title : Children of Lost Gods (Paperback edition)
Publisher : Cyberwit.net www.cyberwit.net
Year of publication : 2013