Book Review: Thirty Summer Poems and Conversations about a Murder
The book deals with depressive survival, shadows of death, the darkest recesses of human psychology, loneliness, human relationships, murder, mystery, medical science, love, and hate.
Dr. Sabarna Roy writes prose and poetry in various forms since 2010. His first book “Pentacles” contained five long ballads apart from a novella. His second book “Frosted Glass” contained a poem cycle of twenty-one poems apart from a story cycle of fourteen long-short stories. “Winter Poems” contained two poem cycles ‘Winter Poems 2010’ and ‘Winter Poems 2012’. In “Random Subterranean Mosaic” and “Fractured Mosaic” there were bursts of occasional poetry amongst sharp prose. In “Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020” there was a poem cycle ‘Winter Poems 2020’apart from a novella on ideas.
“Thirty Summer Poems and Conversations about a Murder”, Dr Roy’s latest offering, which will hit the markets in the first week of March 2023, is a slim book that can be read within a time span of two hours, however, will leave the reader with very disturbing and agonizing thoughts for a very long time.
This book is written from a personal core of agony and anxiety. It deals with depressive survival, shadows of death, the darkest recesses of human psychology, loneliness, human relationships, murder, mystery, medical science, love, and hate.
For some reason, the words flow out with aquiline anguish as if the author/poet himself is drowned in a sorrowful state, and by writing he is wanting to achieve catharsis of sorts. The visualizations and imagery in the poems are vivid to the point of being akin to cinematic storytelling.
In ‘New Loneliness’ he writes:
You feel tired smelling of gelatine
You lie on the dried grass bed of the cemetery looking up into the sky
Reading through the secret signals of the distant stars
In ‘The Party’ he writes:
Your body turns black under the shower
Your head explodes like Chernobyl
You feel the pain
Images of humiliation rush through your mind
You are not that high anymore
The prose portion of the book which deals with conversations between three characters is fiercely minimalistic. Although the text of the dialogues is very, very sharp, however, the prose piece could have been more detailed to hold the palpitating tension of the events. The author revives his lady sleuth, Renuka, from “Abyss”though aged now over the years.
The author/poet dedicates this book to his friend, Agomoni, and on the dedication page he quotes from one of the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, “A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”
Some of Dr Roy’s readers contend he is a better poet than a prose writer while some others believe otherwise. In one of his interviews, Dr Roy said that he packs each of his books with some poesies and some prose for the readers to make a competitive judgment about his writing skills.
Author/Poet: Dr Sabarna Roy [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabarna_Roy]
Publisher: Leadstart INKSTATE
Price: Rs 399 [Hardcase with a dusk jacket]