Chaitali Sengupta Reviews A Poet’s Nook by Koyel Mitra
Chaitali Sengupta is a published writer, poet, translator, reviewer, and journalist based in the Netherlands. Cross Stitched words, her debut collection of prose-poems, has been recently published in the USA. Her two translated works are Quiet whispers of our heart & A thousand words of heart. She has contributed largely to the esteemed international anthologies and online/print journals. You may connect with her at: https://crossstitchedwords.wordpress.com/about-me/
REVIEW: A Poet’s Nook:
Book Name: A Poet’s Nook
Author: Koyel Mitra
Koyel Mitra’s second poetry collection, A Poet’s Nook comprises eighty-one beautifully penned verses. And these are excellent, warm, and often elegiac in tone. The poet in this collection dissects a wide range of life’s various issues, from everyday activities to love and attachment, from tragedy and loss to milestones and memories. She explores grief and expresses universal themes of connection in a voice that is both celebratory and incisive.
Although the book has eighty-one poems, but is does not feel exhaustive or overstuffed. One reason being the simple language Ms. Mitra uses throughout this collection. The beauty of it enhances the poetic impact of her verses. She refrains from using grandiose words and nuances, yet the effect achieved is just the same. In the book’s opening, the poet confidently says: “The words of these poems will surely resonate with you. These will immerse you in a variety of emotions.” She is right, for as you move from one page to the next, you carry along the morsels of feeling, which nudge your heart and settle there for long. “I sway in the turbulent sea of emotions/ Sometimes with happiness, at times with sorrow.” (Legacy of Dreams, Page 2) This describes the kind of response her poems trigger in her readers.
Her verses give you the reason to hope. In the poem Anticipation she says with full faith: “Time will arrive again, unfair/ events will vanish, and good days will come/ You will forget your scary canvas where/ Dark pictures of your battered soul cause/ misgiving...” (Page 11) And this hope is infectious, arising out of her belief in Nature. Nature, with her calming presence, sees off dark despair “As dawn arrives” and provides her with the comfort or solace she needs. She feels it to be truly awe-inspiring. “I become transfixed as I gaze at the wonders/ of the world, only to be mesmerized again and again.” (Marvels of God, Page 4) Nature appears to be pristine, as velvety rain drops: “A bliss, puerile- that no one can destroy/ The bedaubed flora of extreme beauty.” (Rain Bash, Page 10) or, a sublime dawn, as she explains in the poem with the same title Dawn: “The sun rises ushering in a new/day, to mark in the daily calendar/ of my life, a start; to begin afresh.” (Page 17) There are a few more nature poems in her collection, as she can’t stop talking about Nature in her varied form- cumulonimbus clouds, deep pink bougainvillea, spattering rain, red apples in silver bough, dawn, butterfly, of redbreasts and larks. I found the Nature poems quite reassuring.
There are a few poems in this book that touches upon the theme of philosophy and spirituality. These poems come from a place of wisdom and show the poet’s engagement with the sublime. One such poem is ‘Salvation’ where she wishes to “...grovel at your/Holy feet and pour all my sins, / For you to wash away with your/ umpteen tears of divine compassion.” (Page 19) She further says: “I am groping for a speck of / light, a ray of hope in this / pit of abysmal darkness that / seems to drown me with its grisly beck.” In another reflective poem ‘Supplication’ she records the spiritual struggle and growth as a believer: I suddenly feel joyous and smile as I feel/ For His Holy raft that sails me smoothly/ By this turbulent ocean of agony to utter bliss.” (Page 26) Grace or the attainment of it remain a central motif in these poems. “I find my answer in Your grace/ And blessings, showered from above. / You are the brightest star that glows/ And illuminates my dark world.” (A star to Guide me, Page 38). These bunch of poems are one of the best ones in this collection, and shall stick with readers like the flicker of a light within the darkness.
The poems in this collection are predictable at times, but as the book progresses, Ms. Mitra’s expressions become stronger. The book is published by Evincepub and has a simple but attractive cover. These poems are wonderful poems that offer perspectives on the vagaries of our life in an honest, engaging, and descriptive voice.