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Silent Moments of Melancholy – Swallowing Somberness

Marquez once described his own novel ‘Autumn of the Patriarch’ (1975) as ‘Poem on the Solitude of Power’.

Here, among us a poet is born. He offers a silent promise of solitude unto death if melancholy is its coparcener.

I received the copy of collection of 66 poems ‘Silent Moments of Melancholy’ (SMoM) on the very eve when the protest procession of the totally devastated mill workers of Mumbai against the state government, astonishingly both being destitute have nothing left into their coffers as far as money and morals respectively are concerned.

I was a little astonished initially about the young poet Amol Redij. While journeying through the realm of agony of the IT generation why this boy might have started his maiden poetry collection with a poem on the mill workers at the outset? The poem ‘The Mill Man’s Magic’ looked quite out of place on the first number. He had written it in the memory of Narayan Surve, a famous Marathi poet in a web magazine, I remembered. And suddenly I realized he may be, might be, is or was a nipper affected by the mill worker strike that ran through 30 years and still going on.

This sudden realization must be immortal and erupts time and again shattering your bourgeois thinking. Any creative writer must hammer and wound the thinking process of the generations through centuries.

The entire collection is fraught with melancholy leaving you no relief whatsoever. Collecting the moments as he predicates through the title of his collection of poems, Amol has built a time period of a generation with verbiages par excellence.

Where can melancholy be found? As has been implied, it is found in pleasure, in delight. Melancholy is obscure because it is hidden from us during pleasure, which is generally what we are aware of and are absorbed in. However there are those who see melancholy-in-delight.

On the Lilia Melani home page while commenting on ‘Ode on Melancholy’ by John Keats who lived a life of only 25 years it’s mentioned - Ours is a world of change, of flux; the "pure wine / Of happiness" (Keats's phrase) does not exist. Melancholy has its shrine in the temple of delight precisely because melancholy and delight are not separable. The more intensely we feel happiness, the more subject we are to melancholy. Unless we immerse ourselves in process our sensitivity to life and our ability to experience life fully will be deadened.

The inner currents flowing through the nerves of the poet of “Silent Moments of Melancholy” (SMoM) subsequently flow through the pages. One must take the pains to understand them. It is nothing compared with the pangs the poet and his generation are going through.

On casual note though, it’s not difficult to understand the agony skipping the uncommon words. But if you’re a British or have love for literature like a British man has, no go. Go through the difficult but precise and thoughtful expressions fraught with meaning. The gloom possesses you, may you be a young man or woman of the portico of a globalized village or his/her parents brought up through a real old village of 12 balutedars (self employed professionals expert in their technical skills).

The poems have a strange progression, from birth to the break-up before another birth in the life, imminent. The grey shadow, the thoughts of death, the selfishness, hallucinations, past haunting, self-denials, confessions; mostly everything walks hand into hand defying the common understanding that the present generation is all happy and unaware of the sorrows of their earlier generation.

Amol puts his finger on the fact that the sorrows and causes are different, totally.
The somberness swallowing.
Separation from the united family, parents and now the life partners is the invisible path ahead.

His poetry has the British charm of three centuries ago, though. It’s a miracle to have been written such poems right into your time, the 21stcentury.

A comparatively easy on words poem is ‘DELUSION’ (p.7)
The poet narrates:
                The silver sky was
                Slowly turning blue
                And birds with merry,
                Up there, carelessly flew
                I could feel around
                A heaven up above….

Takes a turn at the end, saying:
                Rivers turn into wild seas
                The breeze would storm,
                Skies will hurl fires in woe
                Doves will take evil form

And remember, this is the simplest poem in the collection. There are more thought provoking examples in ascending order that would delight the connoisseurs and readers. But before all this the cover suggests you what would be going through once you turn it.

“The poems, the absurd nightmares of the present will make you moan silently…or… The whole generation’s sorrow confined in an IC, little by little haunt unapproachable reaches of your inside…” – as mentioned in the blurb will take possession of your soul slowly but surely.

Get ready to experience that.
Go, enjoy the melancholy.

Title:                Silent Moments of Melancholy
Writer:             Amol Redij
Publisher:        Alethia Publishing, Pune
No. of poems:  66
PP:                   100
Price:               Rs. 145/-
Buy Online:


Sana Rose said…
Hi, I came across this review while I was checking out Alethias publishing. Seems like this is a promising poet we have here. And I can relate much to the gloom since my own first book of poetry was stamped as a cry or sad smile rather than joy. Thanks for the review. Might try the book while I work on my second one. :)

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