“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities” – JRR Tolkien.
So we dream. We dream about things that are abstract, or sometimes that are clear and possible. We sometimes chase them with all our heart, and sometimes give up on them because they seem too far to reach. Yeah, when reality hits and pushes the dreams seemingly out of reach, we sometimes accept, feel the dreams were but sour grapes and give up on the path to try and make those dreams into reality. I think most poets have the ability to express that temporary acceptance well. As a poet, I do write often on dreams too, and how reality sometimes makes the dream seem too far. When I came across a book of poems with the parts titled Dreams, Reality and The Path, I felt I could relate to it well.
The Crossover – Open Heart Verses is Sunil Sandeep’s book of poems. How to review poems? Each poet has his or her own way to express their thoughts, their feelings. Can you tell them the way they wrote it was wrong and it would have been better to write it in another way? A fiction story may be better read if written in a particular way, which might make the story more appealing, or make more sense. But a poem is different. Sometimes, only the poet can make sense of it. Let me try to take you into the poet’s words (or some of them), and help you see what I did, what I feel he wanted me to see. I’m not going to give the exact words. If you relate, and it makes you pick up the book, maybe you can find the poem that made me think this way.
Do you remember when you were a child, you had a dream? You wanted to be a pilot, or an astronaut or something that you were so impressed by. But as you grew up, being comfortable in life became a bit more important than making those dreams come true. Now sometimes, looking back, I’m sure you would have thought of those dreams, those priceless gems that are still buried deep in your memories. And it might make you want to try and see if those dreams are still reachable. Nostalgia can be a powerful thing, right?
That was a dream. How about reality? One of my friends says that comparing is something very human. But we do it so often that we lose happiness. We look at others, how wonderful their clothes are, or how rich they are. When people try to measure our happiness, we give them an impression that we are happy, even though deep down, because of comparison with others, we aren’t really happy at all. In comparing what we adorn ourselves with on the outside, we forget that we are in essence the same, and in doing so, even things that matter, like a smile, become just ornamental.
And the path in life we take. I must say this part felt more philosophical than the other two. It speaks of courage needed to accept things before conquering them, like accepting we’re trapped before trying to break free, or accepting we are helpless in the present because of the path we took to get there. It encourages us to ask questions, and even question reality. For, as the poet so rightly puts it, it is our birthright.
Do I understand or relate with every poem in the book? No. Of course not. But I do understand the concept, and I like the way it is presented. If Sunil Sandeep’s verses are thought-provoking, Betty Bileterka’s images alongside them give it a bit more punch. I think combining them with those images make the book much different than I imagined it would be.
As a reader, I feel the cover and the blurb are most important to help choose a book. The cover of this book was quite simple and beautiful, but I didn’t find a blurb at the back, rather it was an encouraging note to the author from someone I hadn’t heard of. It did tell a bit about the book, but I feel having that inside the book, and on the back cover, a note about what the book might offer to a reader and about the poet himself, would have been better.
Poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel some poems can be enjoyed by all. This book has some poems like that as well. I definitely found it enjoyable to read, and it certainly made me think about it.
Why should you read it?
Poems that are written in a simple manner, that still have depth in meaning, and manage to make you think; pictures that make you think on the poem as well.
What you may not like…
Not everyone likes poetry, and not every poem is understandable to even those who do like. So sometimes you may feel it’s not that good.
About the Author:
Sunil Sandeep is an Indian author and poet. He is the author of the book The Crossover, a book of poems that have been inspired by his efforts to get past a tough period that he had to endure in his life, and find peace.
Title: The Crossover – Open Heart Verses
Author: Sunil Sandeep
Illustrator: Betty Bileterka
Publisher: Partridge Publishing (AuthorSolutions)
Price: INR. 350
(15th May 2014)