Poetry collections in India have either stopped appearing on regular intervals or there are not many serious poets around who would decide to reach the traditional readers around with their poems rather than publishing their poetry on digital mediums for in vain or for very little traction. Sanjana Saksena is one such poet who has decided to approach the readers of poetry with her maiden collection of poems Sisyphus is Happy and Selected Poems and such is her conviction that she has only 10 poems to offer – not consuming much time of her readers. I had a quick read, a serious read and a detailed read of the same and I am offering my opinions here.
There are only 10 poems in the collection and all of them seem to have originated directly in the thoughts of the poetess. She takes the readers to her chief subject of the poetry collection, Sisyphus, at the very beginning. She ascribes to Sisyphus a purpose to ‘be happy’ and then she brings the readers back to “local” and “cultural” issues along with some contemporary themes. However, once again, when a reader moves ahead, the poetess has tried to draw a parallel between Helen of Troy and Draupadi of the Mahabharata. The poem prisoners had most of my attention because it takes a very serious issue of the modern civilisation – the time that technology snatches from our day. All other poems (9 to be precise) are very simply written and effectively communicated to the readers minus the need for punctuation. It may be the case because many modern poets do not think capitalisation and punctuation are very important to the art of writing poetry and they focus on their content. I respect that opinion.
Sanjana’s poetry, in this collection, mostly begins with an emotional outburst and ends with a moral outcome. It serves the very well-put definition by legendary poet Robert Frost – a poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom! Moreover, it is very pleasant to see a poet from India frankly writing about the issues that concerns with the readers of the day rather than writing for a certain elite section of readers for the futility of acceptance and recognition. Sanjana has the courage to extend her art to the readers en masse!
I will appreciate the language which is lucid. Though it may not be the best if I scrutinise it in terms of rhythmic flow in the lines, the language is more than enough to let the readers feel that they are reading poetry. Coming to the diction, once again, it agrees to the choice of language. There is not very much of decoration and it may hamper the imagery at times. And therefore, the poems are straightforward in nature, most of the times. The traditional style of saying something else and meaning entirely different is largely absent and it may very well agree to the demands of modern poetry readers.
To conclude the review, I will say that this is a very worthy collection of poems by modern poet Sanjana Saksena. Sisyphus should be happy reading the poem about him if he could! Sisyphus is Happy and Selected Poems is a collection that will take not more than 15 minutes of the readers’ important time and I think those who are interested in reading poems by Indian poets should read it. You can get a copy of the book from Amazon by clicking the link below:
Review by Ravi for Literature News
Sisyphus is Happy and Selected Poems
- Expression, Imagery, and Narrative
- Language & Diction
- Themes and Subjects
- Overall Poetic Rating
A collection of poems that will inspire you to think in a flash and then give you the destination to ponder too. A quick-read art that you can enjoy by taking 30 minutes out of your life…