Poetry collections are my biggest weakness. Any day, give me a few novels and two poetry collections and I will pick the latter without any second thoughts. My interest in poetry is not only because I love poems but also for the fact that poets have a habit of talking much in their limited options. They can convey a lot about life and various aspects of it without being prosaic and lengthy and thus sparing many hours of our indulgence. Well, by none of the above, I mean no disrespect to any of the novelists. I love novels too. I love poetry more. 🙂 This book review is an attempt to understand the recently read poetry collection by Ramachandran Rajasekharan, Dewdrops and Banyan Tree.
Dewdrop and Banyan Tree is a collection of 50 poems written by an elderly poet who started writing in his 60s, too late but not too little. Ramachandran Rajasekharan has also included the English translations done by him of the poems written in Malayalam by his parents. You will love those as well. Poems are of varying lengths and not any certain rhyme scheme. The poet makes it clear by this style that he is focused more on the substance of poetry rather than the lyrical exhibition of words. I liked this idea as well.
The poems may be categorised into two different categories or sections whatever you may call them – too short ones and short ones. There are no lengthy poems in this collection and this idea also gives an impetus to the new readers of poetry who want to understand contemporary Indian English poetry by getting through the works of modern poets. Ramachandran Rajasekharan has given all his experience and intellect to composing these poems (as it seems after reading his poems). Take a look at this poem:
“We live with self-centric ideas
of the good or bad
and vice versa
looking back after a long time
if found that what we thought as
good or bad at one point in time,
was not so in reality
what will be the reaction
will we shed a drop from the eyes
or hide a smile sprouting in the face”
While I totally love the idea behind this poem, I do like the way the poet has presented probable scenarios after the ‘big’ realisation in life. Such is the collection. You will find that the poems are neatly knitted and present various situations and scenarios that anyone may face in life, now, then or anytime in the near future or distant years.
Many poems are about life. Many are about nature too. Some are about Gods and Goddesses and some are about perspectives of humanity in the present day. Original poetry by Ramachandran Rajasekharan is beautiful and even the translations are equally matching the poet’s original creations.
The drawbacks that I could find in the poetry collection are very few. One is the poet’s confusion or maybe the known dilemma. He has done away with punctuation marks at times (like in the extracted poem from the collection above) and sometimes stuck to using the marks with complete alacrity. I can understand the poet’s urge of flowing with the tide of poetry. However, I am still a traditional reader and I would love to see the basic necessities of the language is maintained. The second might be the increasing singularity of the poems one after another. The poet’s placement of his poems may have been better. In this form, a serious or a regular reader of poetry might find it repetitious in terms of themes and thoughts. It’s not a drawback per se; it’s just my personal opinion.
To conclude, Ramachandran Rajasekharan has done well… he should be applauded and he will get it! Dewdrops and Banyan Tree introduce the readers to the vivid rainbow colours of contemporary Indian English poetry. Though the poet started late, he has been very quick in catching the terrain of thoughts and helping his ideas reach home. I recommend this poetry collection to new and old poetry readers. DO READ IT!
You can get a copy of Dewdrop and Banyan Tree from Amazon India. Click the link below:
Review by Ashish for Indian Book Critics
Dewdrop and Banyan Tree by Ramachandran Rajasekharan – Book Review
- IBC Rating
Dewdrop and Banyan Tree by Ramachandran Rajasekharan is a philosophical poetry collection that mulls life, aspects of life and perspectives that we often ignore… a wonderful poetry collection for new and serious poetry readers.