Poetry is nobody’s personal property – this is something that must be clear to everyone and anyone whosoever reads or writes poetry. It may be x for me and y for her. Recently, I read a very short collection of poems authored by promising and emerging poet, Sanjana Saksena. An English literature student when she was in the college, her title very much resembles the effects of that – Sisyphus is Happy and Selected Poems. And the very first poem is dedicated to the man of concern, the forever cursed Sisyphus. However, Sanjana’s poem gives Sisyphus a reason to be happy and by doing so, she is, in fact, conveying a message that there should be certain reasons for happiness. Happiness is finding reason in everything – not looking for things that would be the reasons.
“For if one day the rock stood still
And didn’t roll back down the hill
What then would his life’s purpose be
He would become like you and me “
Second poem in the collection beautifully summarises the benefits of reading a book; though the poem is very much subjective, one can relate to it very easily. The third poem questions our history – in the books and in reality. Draupadi and Helen are made the subjects – A Tale of Two Women. Once again, the mimicry of A Tale of Two Cities in the title gives us a clear indication of the background of the poetess – English Literature Education. In this poem, Sanjana raises questions over ‘a coveted prize’ that Helen was for men and that Draupadi did not choose to ‘be shared by five men’. Though she has all the right to raise questions and I am not judging her line of arguments, the poem is prosaic in the third stanza and the conclusion’s strength has been marred by that.
Crossing the Society Tree, I read about the Ladybug and her ‘source of joy’ that the poetess, Sanjana Saksena, has beautifully described in verse that would be simple to read (in terms of lyrical effects) but pleasant to enjoy. Her next poem on Terror is remarkable. It conveys a very emphatic message that the hearts which have been burning in the pyre of hate cannot be purged by the downpour of love – how much and howsoever you try. She writes:
“They have nothing to lose
No fear of death or punishment”
Prisoners, the next poem in the collection, raises a serious concern of digital imprisonment that we have succumbed to in our daily lives. Words like, ‘glued to brightened screens,’ and ‘earphones in their ears’ are remarkable and noteworthy and also contemporary. Sanjana’s poetry comes from her very subjective but careful observations that can resonate with anyone’s thinkings. The Hero celebrates the valour of Draupadi while emphasising that ‘brothers’ who fought were with certain flaws. Heartbreak and Passport Stamp are personal experiences turned into a stock of words and subsequently into poems.
A very short collection of poems by Sanjana Saksena has been successful in evoking many different thoughts in my mind. For those who read poetry regularly, this book might not be that impactful but certainly, a colourful canvas filled with the colours of imagination, observation and opinions. Sanjana’s style is simple and fluid; the verse, though, is not decorated with brave similes and extraordinary imagery but it successfully strikes the chords of thoughts in the mind.
I would suggest this poetry collection, Sisyphus is Happy and Selected Poems, for those readers who are not very new to poetry and the ones who are too new to poetry reading. The classical readers and the readers of Victorian and Wordsworthian poetry may also enjoy their half an hour with this poetry collection. You can buy a copy of this collection from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
review by Amit for Indian Book Critics
Sisyphus is Happy and Selected Poems
- Issues & Themes of Poems
- Narrative & Imagery
- Reading Ease
- Overall IBC Impression
A very short collection of poems with only 10 poems by Sanjana Saksena, an emerging Indian poet. The poems are simple to read and deep in the message at times.