City Times And Other Poems – A Review
Vihang A Naik’s City Times And Other Poems is a mixed bag of unique, out of the ordinary verses, served on a platter for the reader to enjoy, ponder, introspect and re-read. The poems have been intelligently categorized under five different heads-namely- Love Song Of A Journey Man, Mirrored Men, The Path Of Wisdom, Self-Portrait, At The Shore and City Times. Each category has a distinct flavor of its own that stays with the reader for a while, and makes the reader want to savor the verses again and again.
The poems bunched into Love Song Of A Journey Man are inherently romantic. Every poet is essentially a wanderer, and this is what is reflected in the verses under this category. The poems evoke a strange mixture of nostalgia, heartache and profoundness.
of your letters.
become a touch,
letters of words;
a perfumed card
a changed city.”
-haunt the reader over and over again. The poems carry a rich romantic essence.
The category christened Mirrored Men, on the other hand, deals with darker themes. The poems under this category makes the reader ponder and ask questions. The verses are grave, and philosophical in nature. Sometimes harsh as well.
“Truth is a mirror
he has lost
in the dark
beyond the edge.
He has come
at the age
to look at himself.”
Poignant and merciless words, make the reader sit up and drown in a sea of self-introspection.
The third category, aptly named, The Path Of Wisdom, contains verses that are simple yet profound. Weaving simple words, the author has created lines that are deeply thought-provoking. A poet’s duty is to look beyond the chimera , weave verses that transcend the limits of time and space. Naik’s verses have achieved just that. The following verse, for example, has beautifully captured the essence of the continuity of life
“The path of wisdom,
on the contrary,
out of reach,
in beginning is the end;
in end, the beginning.”
The category Self-Portrait carries a single verse that encompasses the realizations of the soul or the atman . It is very apt that this verse was not clubbed with one of the other categories, for it is unique in its own right.
At The Shore is again a series of poems that are in some way connected to the ocean or the marine world. Seashores have always been a favorite for most poets, as the seashore evokes a whirlwind of emotions. One poem from this series, is especially fascinating.
in clouded sky
of a city
The poem creates vivid images in the reader’s mind-it is as though a picture forms and fades away slowly leaving behind a strange mixture of sadness and detachment.
The final category the author leaves us with is City Times. As the name suggests, the verses here, are inherently urbane. Yet they have a nostalgic charm that almost hypnotizes the reader. The author seamlessly combines the mundane with the extraordinary. The events are mundane but the experiences are extraordinary. The poet , through his verses, gently guides the readers to look at life in a novel way.
For instance, “fold all old calendars and smoke the time away” is a line that will stay on for a long time.
Vihang A Naik’s City Times And Other Poems is an enriching journey for any poetry lover. The varied range of verses ensures that there are no clichés , the reader is never allowed to fall into complacence.
Kudos to the author!