About the author:
Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar is a trilingual poet (Maithili, Hindi and English), short story writer, critic and reviewer, based in Kolkata. He is regularly published in various national and international magazines, both printed and online.
His poetry springs straight from heart and mind as unification of sensibility. He uses catchy lines, expressions and images. In his poetry, social issues, romance and love are tackled with equal passion.
Resonant with profound spirituality and intricate mysticism his poems are stunning and enlightening, buoyant sometimes and intense at other times and always have a deep meaning beautiful enough to touch hearts of avid readers.
One of his poems on Nelson Mandela is included in the academic syllabus prescribed for the school students of Philippines.
Soothing Serenades: Straight From the Heart is his first volume of poems and another one is in the pipeline.
He is also a contributor to journals like The Criterion: An International Journal in English, IJML (International Journal On Multicultural Literature), The Anvil (Forum of Literature & Academic Research in English) and Harvests of New Millennium, The Interiors, Taj Mahal Review, IJES (The Indian Journal of English Studies).
He is also a part of several anthologies like ‘Epitaphs’, ‘Purple Hues”, “Whispering Winds”, “Just For You, My Love”, “Heavenly Hymns”, ‘I Am a Woman”, “The Significant Anthology”, “Umbilical Cords”, “A- Divine-Madness” (Five Volumes), “She the Shakti”, “Whispering Heart”etc.
He is the Review Editor of Asian Signature, a literary e-journal, managed from Kolkata.
The Book Review:
Love is a divine emotion and has a spiritual connect. It gets us closer to the meaning of our existence. While some have made it the reason of their existence. These feelings gradually start touching us in myriad forms through Bhaskar Jha’s poems all written for love and with love. All poems have the same theme running through the book i.e. love. Its true that a life that hasn’t been touched by love is like a desert; barren.
Lines from the first poem, ‘To Goddess of Love’ reflect these above thoughts.
Jha so firmly and deeply believes in the power of love, that he calls upon love to heal people from violence with its touch of divinity.
In the second poem, ‘Oh, Eternal Love!’, he says that love can keep him away from the dreary times of life. This might sound like escapism but, its not, it just the power and energy that love possess, which can lift you up from a low point to ecstasy.
Bhaskar Jha believes that love heals and presents this feeling in the poem, ‘Healing Power of Love’ where he says,
“Love consoles the unheard sobs
Healing the deep wounds of life.”
All the poems are written in simple but, lyrical form thus, grabbing the attention of the reader and sustaining interest.
Jha’s poems are particularly appealing due to its simplicity, yet endearing quality. To write 62 poems on the same theme isn’t simple but, what’s even tougher is to hold the attention of the reader who while reading these poems unknowingly starts connecting with the author himself.
I agree when in his poem ‘Definition of Love’ Jha says,
“Love is life, philosophy,
art and religion
A discipline with transformative power”.
In this poem he attacks the people who equate love with lust and ends with this encompassing profound thought that love possess transformative power and is a spiritual experience. The spiritual aspect of love again reflects at the end of the poem,
“That ennobles us and elevates our souls;
Love is poetry: the abstract of bliss
Underlying between and beyond the lines,
A facilitating means to an end for soul
That ultimately melts into the eternal ocean
Of peace, bliss and the union divine.”
In this endearing book the most picturesque and narrative poem is ‘A romantic eve’. It’s the union of lovers amidst the abundance of nature. The first 5 lines speak about the soothing nature and rain that calms the earth. And the next 5 lines speak about how lovers meet in the beauty of the rain droplets smothered with love.
As you read further, poems get more conversational, picturesque, lyrical and romantic like a song. Aptly titled, ‘Splashes of love in the summer of life’ the poem expresses how love can fill a meaningless life with a trance.
“Oh, my Sweetheart!
Lead me there on the wings
of pleasant breezes
the ethereal luscious trance!
Following this pattern comes the poem ‘Serenade of solitude’ which ends in a rather peculiar manner:
Sullen, I brood within soul
In contemplative solitude;”
I say peculiar because, it reminds me of William Wordsworth’s poem, ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’, where he says,
“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;”
As we move ahead this love treat transforms to love tests in the poem ‘True love tests’ where Jha talks about practicalities of life that can challenge love.
“After they’re united together
Through and through
The body, mind and soul,
It sneaks out
From their usual hobnobs.”
I particularly loved the poem where the end is impactful with the mention of death. The poem is ‘Rose for you’ and the ending lines are:
“Some cuddle me
on the hard earthy crust
while you cajole me
to climb up, up there
from my heart
to your soul to rest
and repose in the cosy embrace of Love
to relish the bliss of life
before Death silently plants
the ultimate Kiss
on my puckered lips!”
Rarely do love poems end by mentioning death but, here it is so beautifully woven in the crux of the poem i.e. ‘love’.
We cannot live without love, we rather perish than live without this ecstatic emotion and this feeling is so beautifully expressed in the last lines of the poem, ‘Bonhomie’.
“As in absence of oxygen,
in smother of utter isolation
‘My Valentine’ is truly an ode to the poet’s lover in the most sensuous way yet, so endearing and filled with tenderness. While we set into this mood of romance and love galore, Jha takes us on a different level with ‘Love birds on the branch of poetree’, which signifies what being a poet means to him. Infact, while you navigate slowly from one poem to another and relish each poem, you suddenly realize even though all poems are based on the theme, ‘love’, each poem brings new feeling and is distinct. Each poem brings a new facet of love; a new angle of love.
While you ponder over this thought and move ahead a brilliant poem ‘Voice is heard more in silence’, comes your way. I could easily claim that this is my favourite poem in the book as it dwells over the aspect of the power of silence to convey your emotions.
Lastly, I would want to mention the poem, ‘Trust if you want to be trusted’, which presents the crux of every relation i.e. trust. Both the feeling of trusting others and being trusted is expressed aptly in this poem.
All poems are full of hope and positivity thus, elating your mood and wanting you to fall in love. I have enjoyed this book to the core. I particularly loved the fact that inspite of being short, these poems touch you in its myriad forms.
Poems in the book, ‘Soothing Serenades’ are wonderful because, they express deeper feelings in simple words. Each line connects with the reader. It creates a lasting impact and even as you finish reading each poem, you would want to read it again.
Short poems have so much to say in fewer words. They end just at the right moment and then you want to go back and read them again and again.
© Copyright 2018 Rashmi S. Malapur All rights reserved