Page 52 - October 2020
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pain of womanhood, a profound regard for nature, our collective indifference
                 to the plight of the poor, all consuming passion of love and such other topics
                 The poet has been able to capture the irony and paradox of human experience
                 in these poems which are remarkable for its epigrammatic expression.
                 The first poem “Time” is a contemplation on time. The way the poet dramatizes
                 the  abstract  concept  of  time  is  remarkable.  The  encounter  between  the  poet
                 and  the  clock  seller  is  quite  significant  and  interesting.  The  silent  march  of
                 time,  its  mystery,  creation  and  destruction  is  narrated  with  masterly
                 craftmanship. The narrative flow of the poem and its philosophical texture will
                 delight  all  types  of  readers.  I  can’t  resist  here  the  temptation  to  quote  the
                 opening lines of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets :

                                               Time present and time past
                                        Are both perhaps present in time future,
                                         And time future contained in time past
                 Most of the poems are written in rhyme. The poet’s restraint and control over
                 matter  and  manner  deserves  a  special  mention  here.  Kottu  is  an  adept  in
                 using    fresh  metaphors  like  “Love  is  a  swamp”  and  also  creating  vivid  and
                 memorable images. The image of a beggar in “Tattered clothes and battered
                 souls,Resting on the pavement with metal bowls”      is unforgettable.
                 The  trauma  and  suffering  that  the  women  are  subjected  to  have  been
                 sensitively recorded. The title of the poem is “Heartbreak”. Another one carries
                 the title “Pain”. But the poet does not despair and wallow in self-pity. These
                 are the concluding lines of one of her poems:
                                           Young, hardworking, and dynamic
                                             She grasped every opportunity

                                                      With an iron fist
                                            For her, boundaries did not exist.
                 The  poet’s  honesty  that  shines  through  the  poems  is  another  remarkable
                 feature.  There  are  no  pretensions  or  tall  claims  anywhere  in  her  writing.  In
                 “Pandemic”,  she  makes  a  plain  statement  of  her  concern  for  all  those  who
                 can’t afford to stay home and stay safe.
                                                I wished to help their blue
                                                    But staying home
                                                 Was the best help to do.
                 Her final philosophy of life seems to be to choose and strive for “The Lavender
                 Way of Life” and  “The Softer Side of Life” (these are the titles of her poems). It
                 rests  solely  on  the  reader  which  way  to  choose  and  proceed.  The  author’s
                 attempt is to make the reader reflect a little on the intricacies, mysteries and
                 possibilities of life.
                 To conclude in a lighter vein, for Rohini Kottu, poetry begins in madness and
                 ends in serenity. Indeed, it is serenity and sanity that we require in all walks of
                 life in these trying times. One may naturally expect more poems from her pen.

                 True,  like  Frost  the  author  has  miles  to  go  and  these  poems  give  us  ample
                 proof that she will walk those miles enthusiastically and gracefully and would
                 make this world a better place.
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