PONDER AWHILE by Mohit .K.  Misra

PONDER AWHILE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of poems that offers a spiritual slant on the challenges of everyday life.

In a preface, Misra explains that when he was a navigating officer in the Merchant Navy in his mid-20s, he considered himself an atheist. However, he valued meditation, and while on a journey from South Africa to South America, he says, he “entered into a state of Samadhi or gained enlightenment” while meditating. Later, similar experiences convinced him, he says, of the reality of the divine. Spirituality is a common thread in his debut poetry collection, although he doesn’t endorse a particular faith in any of them. Instead, in “Religions,” he affirms the existence of one God with many names and opines that all faiths have the same aim and thus are equally worthwhile. Misra also writes about dreams, feeling alone, the changing of the seasons, a mother’s love, the enormity of the sea, and, in one piece, telepathic communication with his twin sister. He offers elegies for departed friends and bemoans the fact that people ignore miracles and persist in living in ignorance of God. Some poems’ messages are clichéd, if relatable: true friends are rare; time flies; one must fight for what is right. “The Now” encourages mindfulness; other poems counter possessiveness and the fear of death. One standout, “Mother Earth,” laments the state of the planet and how human greed has degraded it. The pieces about female beauty and romantic uncertainty are the weakest, and they seem out of place in the mostly philosophical volume. Most poems use rhyming couplets, and the insistence on end rhymes can lead to awkward phrasing, such as “A tiny insect on her I am, / Feeding me with her assorted jam.” Other sentences’ meanings are unclear, such as “How sad it is to be flocked.” For the most part, the ideas are more potent than the writing. However, some particular lines are memorable, such as “Only by letting go you stand tall” and “Detach, detach, detach,” a line that echoes T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.

Sincere but sometimes-clumsy verse.

Pub Date: July 14th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4196-4672-0
Page count: 68pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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