Sonnet Mondal

The book consists of paintings/sketches by Sukrita and poems by Sonnet Mondal. 

Sonnet Mondal is a poet who is based in Kolkata and who has been widely published in India and abroad. Details of his works can be found at www.sonnetmondal.com 

Sukrita is a noted poet writing in English. She has written extensively on cultural diversity and literatures of the Indian subcontinent. While her poems explore the inner terrain of individual experiences, she also views literature as an effective tool for social activism. She has published several collections of poems, critical books and translations, including Without Margins, Narrating Partition, Poems Come Home, Sleepwalkers. Her poems have been translated into many foreign and Indian languages. Born and brought up in Kenya, Sukrita currently lives in Delhi and has been an invited poet at the prestigious Iowa International Writing Programme amongst other poetry and literary events held in India and abroad.

Book Review: Sonnet Mondal's poems are loaded with heavy abstractions. There seems to be both a luring light or darkness, which the poet tries to evade, but finds himself entrapped in:

Sonnet Mondal's poems are loaded with heavy abstractions. There seems to be both a luring light or darkness, which the poet tries to evade, but finds himself entrapped in:

'' The hymns from hundred bee hives
keep my heavy head relax
ed''.

Throughout the poems there is heaviness, as the poet searches furiously for respite. There is the onerous, the responsible in his poetry which makes them attempts at some edification:

''...enrapturing distressful sea'', largely a symbol of disruption.
'' Many guess me to be a tree
from far, a cactus burnt
in the seasonal forest fires...''

Such images of the sea restless, the engulfing fire recur in the poetry as metaphorical requisites. It is the existential tribute as well as of a world in conflagration. His poems are meditative:

'' I am still stored in the
coffins of memories, virtually
mummified by potions
of magicians.''

Such death like haunted thoughts do give the poems an exploratory dimension - that of truth, honesty, attempting to live the fighter's life. The poems are not pallid imitations of others' poetry, but appear as broad statements on life:

'' I have failed to see trees, foliage
and all that decorates our life.''

The failure is the essence , the essence of survival in life. '' We have lost ourselves to the rush''. The poet overcomes, or attempts to overcome such '' rush'' by equipoise, meditation.

'' I wished ' Love' had been a trunk of
a Banyan tree- one, straight and strong''.

There is no direct anger or nostalgia in the poems, but a hurt expressed as a result of abrasions with life. Mondal has a way of twisting words out of seemingly unrelated contexts, and make things happen in his verse- a foreboding melody of love, recalcitrance, faith and even mistrust. The paintings by Sukrita Paul Kumar representing each poem sustain the poems with the melody- seeking here in life and hereinafter.

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Buy 'Ink & Line' by Sukrita and Sonnet Mondal here