Book: The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems
Genre: Poetry Collection
Author: Abhishek Goswami
Publisher: Notion Press
Reviewed by: Amit Mishra
I have been reading poetry seriously since the days I used to be a student of the graduate programme in economics. It came to me as a pleasant practice because of my brother who was pursuing his masters in English literature in those days and thus, we both enjoyed reading and holding discussions on poets and their poetry. The present book, a poetry collection by Abhishek Goswami, The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems is a collection of 35 poems and except one being a connected longer poem, all others are randomly written on different subjects and having distinct qualities.
It starts with a sorrow-tale of the lonely drummer who finds his art being ignored in the ‘humdrum’ of the modern lifestyle and he sings in agony! The poem might be construed with various angles and it is a beautiful example of a limerick as the poet Abhishek Goswami hints at the very beginning. Going ahead, we come across different poems and some of them are usual poetry while some of them offer us the depth – play of meanings and various ideas emerge at the same time. The poem “Why Me?” begins with despair and ends with a brave note of hope:
Still I believe, life is full of hope,
In a fresh green leaf or a mountain slope.
A close friend’s smile gives me joy,
Like a child getting a new toy.
Let’s make a beginning, fresh and new,
And not worry about what is due.”
The poem, though simple in nature, offers us a great lesson for the life – we have the opportunities of ‘smile’ and ‘joy’ but we rather tend to subdue them and choose to lament on our losses! Moving ahead, we also come across some of the humorous poems in the collection which offer instant pleasure. Poem entitled The Tenth One offers us a spiritual insight into the Hindu Dharma’s philosophy which believes that the tenth avatar of Lord Vishnu will come to end the sin and injustice in the world. A New Start beats the same beats on the drum and reminds us of letting go and beginning our life with joy and happiness.
“True happiness is not found outside,
Or sought by artificial means.
It’s already there deep within you,
If you realise what it means.”
Messages like the above one are delivered in fragments every here and there in the collection and sometimes, it gets repeated which will directly counter the impression you might make when you get the book – The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems seems more like a melancholia by the title but it turns out to be a jolly affair! Seeking happiness and finding inner peace and remaining calm in life seem to become the major motive of the poet and he chooses the medium of poetry for this and why not! Can there be anything better than poetry when we move on this path of happiness?
Talking about the literary aspects and digging deep into the poetry of Abhishek Goswami, the book is valid when we look into it with the modern standards. In times when rarely newcomers venture into this direction of poetry, he is attempting and he has done a good job being a debutant with his poetry collection! Yes, the poems are sometimes just casual with rhymes mostly and a very thin layer of meaning which floats on the surface itself but who has got the time to look inside and find the deeper sense? Abhishek seems to have discovered the reason for his plain writing in the very first poem of the collection when he tells us that the drummer has become lonely because people have no time for art!
You can enjoy the collection of poems by Abhishek and hope for yourself some moments of pleasure and literary satisfaction reading the collection by him. You can get the book on the Amazon India link below: