October 19, 2017

Book review: The Wind Knocks at My Door

The Wind Knocks At My Door

The Wind Knocks at My Door & Other Poems: A Synthesis of Romance and Mysticism by Rupesh Singh

(Authorspress: New Delhi, ISBN: 978-93-5207-120-3, 195, 2015.)

A reiew by Dr. Shamenaz Bano, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Sciences & Humanities, AIET, Allahabad.

The Wind Knocks at My Door is the maiden poetry collection by Rupesh Singh who is a budding poet, a PhD scholar of English Literature at University of Allahabad. Writing poetry is his passion and he has been writing since he was 16. He writes in English and his poems have been published in many literary journals and anthologies across India. He is greatly inspired by nature, which is reflected in his poems. In his quest for deeper truths, he is inclined towards reading religious texts not only from Hinduism, but also Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other religions of the world.

Rupesh has dedicated the poetry collection to his mother with a lot of respect and dignity. His collection is divided into two parts. The first part is titled ‘For Love,’ and comprises of 18 love poems, whereas the second part is ‘For God’ and consists of 22 spiritual poems dedicated to God.

Book-MarkThe first poem of the section, ‘For Love’ is She Walks in Beauty, and as the name suggests, it shows intense love, eagerness, and passion of a lover to meet his beloved. The lines below exemplify the sentiment:

                            Where have you gone? O Lovely Oleander!

                            I am searching for you in this vacuum and vast sky

                            Where are you? O’ life giving sun!

                            My heart has been thirsty for long ages

                            Would you not come? Like the flowing river!

The poem, although sensuous in nature, also depicts a heart longing to meet his beloved. This love, longing, passion, and eagerness is further carried in other poems of the section such as With Palpitating Breaths, Search of Beauty, Beneath the Blue Carpet, Without You, At My Open Casements, The Evening Flower, Separation, I Miss You, The Consecrated Love, and many others have the same theme running parallel in all the poems.

In his love poems, he has used various natural symbols to address his beloved and convey his love for her. Some examples include: ‘comely rose,’ ‘daffodil,’ ‘sublime moon,’ ‘gentle-breeze,’ ‘nimble air,’ ‘azure wind,’ ‘oleander,’ ‘sun,’ ‘flowing river,’ ‘nocturnal flower,’ ‘tree,’ ‘hill,’ ‘flapping leaves,’ ‘ocean,’ ‘stars,’ ‘cuckoo,’ ‘lark,’ ‘piercing rain,’ ‘red rose,’ ‘immeasurable sea,’ ‘fish for water,’ ‘flower,’ ‘tulip,’ ‘lotus eyed,’ ‘mellow breeze,’ ‘fountain,’ ‘dove,’ ‘mountains and rocks,’ ‘pole star,’ ‘marigold,’ and ‘foggy darkness.’

It seems that the poet is greatly inspired by romantic poets like John Keats and has handled the theme of love in his poems very artistically by pouring his spontaneous emotions in each verse. His poems reflect life and broad humanity with a definite appeal, all while being simple in style. He concentrates on romance and nature as his main themes and his verses reflect his inclination towards Georgian poetry.

Book-MarkIn the next section ‘For God,’ each poem has been crafted beautifully with a philosophical blend of the mind telling us about the spirituality and divinity of life with a simple and mystical tone. This shows the philosophical attitude of the poet towards life. As the lines of the poem, ‘Invocation’ depict:

                                   I do need not other pleasure or weal

                                  All I need is your love and Bhakti

                                  Which is perennial and eternal

                                  And the utmost truths till the burial.

The poem is highly philosophical in tone and reflects the Indian spiritual tradition of writing poetry. It seems that he is greatly influenced by Vaishnava Cult of Bhakti movement, as many of his poems seem to be based on this philosophy. The other poems of this section like ‘Invocation’, ‘O Light! O God!’, ‘Divine Relume’, ‘Let Me Confess’, ‘Rekindle’, ‘O God!’, ‘My Annihilator’, ‘My Cuckoo’, ‘My God’ and some other verses reflect his divine love for God and he is pursuing the almighty as a seer and a devotee.

Book-MarkIn some poems, his divine love for his mother and his country is reflected, as in Mother he misses his mother and is full of gratitude to her and expresses his love and devotion towards her.  He expresses his ethereal love for her in the following lines:

                                   O Sweet Mother!

                                   You gave me light and life

                                   And I saw the unseen world

                                   Through your humid eyes.

In this poem, he seems to be melancholic and nostalgic about the days he has spent with his mother. In his next poem, India, he has exhibited his love for his motherland, India. In all his verses, he has used nature either as symbol or as addressing note to express his love and devotion.

The Poet has a deep love for composing poems, something which is visible as his poems are rich with passion and emotions. He seems to believe in emotions rather than intellect. Almost all the poems in the collection are written in free verse. In every poem, there is longing and pining either to meet his beloved or to meet God. Reading love poems from The Wind Knocks at My Door is like watching a medieval romance; while reading the spiritual poems from this collection is like going on a mystical journey. All the poems in this collection highlight the poet’s imagination, feelings and mystical attitude towards life. As a maiden poetry collection, it is a commendable start.

About the reviewer

ShamenazDr. Shamenaz teaches English literature & language at the University of Allahabad. With teaching experience of over 12 years, she was formerly Associate Professor at AIET, Allahabad. She reviews books, articles, and poems, and has been published in a variety of journals, magazines, and anthologies. She regularly participates in national and international seminars and conferences in India.

 

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