Book Review: Green Poems, by Gulzar

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“On the branches of these wild plants
Some words occasionally sprout
But never a full poem . . .”
 

It’s not that hard to imagine a poem sprouting on the branch of a plant actually. Nature has been, is and will continue to be inspiration for poetry; the connection that a poet feels with it is at times indescribable. I’ve been a fan of the brilliant Gulzar and his poetry for quite a while now, and the way he looks at things is quite different, quite profound. With this collection, Green Poems, he puts that different viewpoint of his on nature. His original verse in Hindi is accompanied by Pavan K Varma’s translations.

Nature is such a profound influence that its presence lingers long after we’ve left its side to return to the concrete forest we live in. Very recently, I was conversing with a friend and his thoughts too pointed in that direction. As I read the poem, “When I Return from the Mountains”, I could feel a sense of déjà vu.

When I have to part from the mountains
It takes me many days to descend
I remain hung in the space
My feet are unable to touch the ground

It’s as if our soul holds on to a piece of that nature. The poem brought a smile.

The poem titled Belgian Crystal is amazing. It makes me look at rain in a way I’d never thought of before, and I might always in the future.

What Gulzar’s poetry does is that it brings almost a humane quality to nature; through it we contemplate about us, our life, our thoughts, and the world around us. It is simplicity and philosophy blended in perfect proportion. It takes a while to sink in, and once it does, it refuses to leave.


A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book Details:
Title: Green Poems
Author: Gulzar
Translator: Pavan K Varma
Genre: Poetry
ISBN/ASIN: 9780143422822
Publisher: Penguin Books
Price: INR 250

I own a copy of the book. The views expressed here are my own, frank and uninfluenced.


(28th December 2014)

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