A review of Agnivesh Mahapatra’s Midnight Musings
Midnight is the time for getting lost in the maze of random thoughts. All the day’s experiences which have kept mum till then, start conversing with our subconscious. Our bodies keep scouring for an ambience and comfortable positions to doze off. However, poet Agnivesh Mahapatra calls it the time when “the love tip-toes into heart…” And this slim volume of musings revolves just around that – the themes of love, romance, emotion, passion and desires.
But his short poems have a surprising quirk of their own by kicking the reader’s thoughts into newer terrains without their realization of the same. Taking one by surprise, by bending one’s perception, these Triones take one far away in a split second. Simultaneously, leaving you fumbling for a way back home.
The poems shock you, melt you or even decimate your horizons-paving way for newer beginnings. All of this, in a very nuanced and pleasant way.
The poet has come up with a new style called TRIONES and contrary to their first impression they contain not three but four lines. The genius lies in the fact that, in this form the first three lines are interconnected and setting up a clear image in the mind of the reader. And the last line stands alone like a chronicler, giving direction to the first three as well as being an independent and complete statement in itself.
For a fellow who hasn’t crossed the barrier of thirty, Indian English poetry has stumbled upon a rare exponent of brevity. The young poet of Midnight Musings is an appealing find. It will be enjoyed by cerebral readers as well as ones who value the visceral. It keeps chiming in notes of youth as well as experience providing a rich spread of emotions. The older readers will surely reminiscence about their love/s while the young will start exploring afresh.
Lines like these –“Love’s readings remain unread”, “Time flew but longings remain”, “ Love matters more than Matter” will hook you up and linger like an aftertaste of good scotch.
Read between the lines, and the poet’s wily pen shows a sharp portrayal of the psyche unseen. Many will merely savor the kick from the poem yet a few will have food for thought and may raise questions regarding the very nature of human emotions, ruminating for hours over these topics.
The poet has weaved dreams but all of those dreams are entrenched in utter reality. In all circumstances, one can find the poem rooted to earthy whispers that each of us hears all round the day yet fear to acknowledge. Nothing about the Eros is blunt, rather smoothened and given its natural place in a relationship. Nor are the platonic vibes dampened!
In certain pieces, the poet has chosen not to solve the ambiguity and each time these pieces are read, a markedly different poem emerges – without choosing to exceed his simple yet deft style- he ropes in readers to fill in the well delineated gaps with their own experience of life. This style brings back a mild feel of the Latin American poetry movement. For example – “Three words are spoken/ two hearts integrated/one feeling emerged-/ a bond was launched”. Not only does this intensity hold well for courtship but also for animosity- or -for the matter of fact any relationship.
The poems are replete with allusions to Nature, seasons and music (She is the seventh symphony of Love), making them common accomplices in rendering a point oblivious otherwise, to the reader. Most of the poems bring out natural flaws of humans (“He doesn’t hear a single word-just her voice!”) yet infuses them with an element of mysticism. Here, love surely becomes an intense celebration.
Another vital aspect of Agnivesh’s poetry is that, he draws from his own experience as a speaker, knowing when and where to hit the reader. Hence, the language and style is communicative and spontaneous.
Anything that surrounds us in our day to day living finds its philosophical voice in his poetry. He chooses love as the medium to impart glimpses of philosophy, leaving the reader to decide the best for himself.
“ Forging words in the furnace of emotions/ to inscribe them in the pages of eternity/ which love will recite out loud to lovers/- The poet sings Midnight Musings”
Like a Hephaestus, he moulds poems from everyday words. This pert little poem summarizes the whole book and yet leaves one craving for more. A perfect company for one’s midnight meanderings into the world poetic!