How many times do we read poems these days? Seldom. Rarely. Not so often. There might be many phrases to define our callousness towards this beautiful genre of literature because we do not have too much time to invest in curves when we can easily get the thrill of reading and the pleasures of fiction in a comparatively straight form called novel. Authors like Chetan Bhagat know how to stand up to the expectations of the modern readers and that’s why even the amazing (and rather less time-consuming) collections of poems like the one present, 13 Untitled and Weird Poems, miss our attention. A bestseller in the poetry genre on Amazon India right now, Alok Mishra’s debut poetry collection (written after very long time since he last wrote something) offers only 13 poems and the 13th is really short – just one word!
Have you read the collection yet?
The readers who have read this book have mostly awful responses because the collection of poems, as the title suggests, is weird without a doubt. It offers confusions, chaos, ambiguity and not very clear stream of thoughts. Perhaps, this is what the poet would have thought us to think!
13 Untitled and Weird Poems is a collection that suggests one thing – readership of poetry has changed or has been overshadowed by the readership of other genres. So, either the poet has to change or cater to the needs. At the same time, if a poet wants to do something ‘real’ and genuine, he or she has to explore what needs to be done or what hasn’t been done so far.
On the aesthetic side, the poems included in the collection offer the readers no certain rhyme and no defined pattern. The stage is all free to be acted and Alok Mishra has enjoyed the freedom to the maximum possible length and breadth of it. Poems, other than being weird and untitled, are mostly short. As a reader, I have found it very inspiring that the poems, despite taking no more than 5 minutes to read them all, stick to the memories for a long time and compel to think… think a lot!
“When I came down,
moon and sun, ah,
were not the same!
My leap or their fall,
what should I blame?”
Philosophical and mystical, the poems are often cryptic in nature and the readers might have to exercise their wits to find one common thread in their interpretation to get an idea of the lines. As a poet, Alok Mishra has always been into such kind of poetic excursions where he meets his words freely… without caring so much for the readers who might find it difficult to get a sense of the sensible sense coming out as a conclusion of the poems being read. The poems might inspire the readers to study deeply and a crash course might be the next inspiration with a title like how to study poetry?
At times, the lines connect immediately and we just find out what they are trying to convey; that might be because we all have that corner in our thoughts. Take a look:
“Truth is the common stranger
we see every day
on the road, in the room,
on the roof, in the café,
on the way, in the way.”
On a whole, to conclude, 13 Untitled and Weird Poems has been fun, deep, and somewhat perplexing and it only seems going well with the hard-core poetry readers who are willing to invest their minds in poetry for a few minutes. The collection will not take more than 10 minutes to be finished, even if you read it rather slowly and casually. Are you ready to take the challenge of reading really weird poems? Go on… the book is for you only!
Get a copy on Kindle by following the link below (Amazon India):
Review by Santosh for Indian Book Critics
13 Untitled and Weird Poems
- Overall IBC Rating
A must read collection for the hardcore readers of poetry… complex level of writing!