Book Review: Signals

ISBN 978-0-9930315-2-6. Smallberry Press, London.

ISBN 978-0-9930315-2-6. Smallberry Press, London.

In this eclectic collection of poems about silence, Sumeet Grover echoes thoughts of nothingness, sublime, and disquiet. Personal and social concerns are expressed that range from moments of intimacy to alienation; his poems project empathy, sensuality, wrath and personal closeness. In the lead poem, Silence, Grover notes:

If silence is all there is,
it is all the permission I need
to think, to speak, to express, to imagine;
to walk, to sit, to weep, to hope.

Similar contemplative insight of one’s core essence is expressed in poem, Now:

Now cannot be touched:
it has no form
Now is emptiness:
even when it fills,
it cannot be seen.

There is a haiku-like brevity in Grover’s observations. In Nothingness, he tells us:

I pause, I wait
another day, another hour;
nothingness is a tiring job
in this body.

Feeling stifled by narrow interpretations of truth in faith based traditions, in his poem Religion he tells off a disenchanted character Darioush who is about to die, to abandon his fetish cynicism and instead choose to live:

I say to you to whisper
through that polythene bag:
“there is a single truth
a single faith,
a single scripture.”

In an ode to women, there is search for a deeper sense of the opposite sex:

Woman: I am a weary man convicted
of being woman. I burn every word,
every sentence: my spirit runs free.

The monosyllable titles of his poems are the signals of his insightful thoughts, that include self and the subject of his observation. In Tomorrow, it is a homeless on the wet street of London:

Memory is a distant home:
he has forgotten we spoke
three months ago….
His memory always distant:
everyday he asks for change
from me, from old strangers,
hoping to find his home
by tomorrow.

Grover’s poems have a profound meditative understanding and experience about our inner and outer worlds, and a poetic eye challenging that duality.

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Bill Bhaneja

Bill Bhaneja is a former Canadian diplomat. His two recent books are: Quest for Gandhi: A Nonkilling Journey, and Troubled Pilgrimage: Passage to Pakistan. He brings out a bimonthly Nonkilling Arts (NKARC) Letter for the Center for Global Nonkilling (www.nonkilling.org).

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