I’ve always been entranced with words and the way they come together to make rhythmic sense. When I wasn’t reading them, I was bringing them together, even as a child. My writing journey started when I was around 10 or 11, when I decided to start writing poems. I didn’t know Frost or Dickinson or Gill at the time. All I knew about poetry was that the lines had to rhyme. So it began, with me maintaining notebook upon notebook of these poems. And then came a time when I stopped. Maybe because I grew up.
Santosh Nair’s poetry collection, Life, Living & Livelihood: Short Poems on Life, took me right back to that time, to that corner, to the pages of that notebook.
This poetry collection has everything in it – be it the poet’s longing, his tribute to his wife, his opinions about society and the world, suggestions to make the world a better place, his views of India as a country and as a society – there’s a little something in it for everyone. He pays tribute to the great poets, especially in the poem ‘Living Dangerously’, which seems like an ode to Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken.’ And given that it’s a short one and easy to read, it makes investing time in this collection an even more attractive prospect.
However, even though the soul and intention of the poems are mature and true to the heart, they felt childlike, given how the poet is prone to use rhyming the last words of every line as a writing device. When you force a rhyme, be it in a poem or in a song, it somehow becomes just a tad bit less impactful, something I realized when I read those notebooks of mine a few years ago. And this collection, took me right back to both, the times I wrote them in and the times I read them again, rendering me helpless in the face of both my personalities fighting for dominance. Child me told me to see the soul behind the collection, what went behind it. Reviewer me is telling me that structure and language are important. Who do I listen to, when both are right in their own ways?
And even though my job is to look at both and more, this book makes it a little difficult, given how earnest it is and how much heart it has. Yes, the structuring and the rhyming was jarring in most places. It doesn’t sit right, more often than not. But as I sit here, trying to recollect them, I find that I somehow have a soft corner for it.
I guess child me has won. By the skin of her teeth, but she won.
Let me leave you with a couple of lines from the collection that set off a lightbulb in my head because of how true they are:
Happiness is a direction, not a place,
You have to seek the route, enjoy the space.
If you’d like to buy the book, please use this link: Life, Living & Livelihood: Short Poems on Life.
So that was my review of the poetry collection, Life, Living & Livelihood: Short Poems on Life by Santosh Nair. What did you think of this review? Did you like it? Will you pick this book up after reading my review? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
I’ll see you in the next blog post.
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! ❤