The Invisible Visible By R K Bhushan Sabharwal #Book Review

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By Shamenaz Shaikh:

The Invisible Visible is the fourth book of poetry by Prof R. K. Bhushan Sabharwal (1947) of Kartarpur (Jalandhar), who is a powerful voice in Indian English Poetry and Criticism. The poetry collection is divided into two sections- ‘The Invisible Visible’ comprises of 35 poems and ‘Scattered Leaves and Petals’ consists of 32 poems woven beautifully and with craftsmanship.

The very first poem, ‘Design of the Dark’ is based on increasing terrorism in the present times as it deals with terror attack and the perpetuators of naked violence. There are some other poems in the collection which are based on problems existing in our country like- ‘Killing the Kins, ‘Cowardly Ruins’, ‘Twist of Time.’

He has used metaphor of spinning in poem, ‘Spinning Destiny’ which is quite similar to the use of metaphor by American poet, Walt Whitman. In the poem ‘I Saw the City in Flourish’ the poet gives description of the city of Konark, which is a place of the marvellous Sun temple but it is now overshadowed by misdeeds of people. Poems like ‘Drunk-1’, ‘Drunk-2’, ‘Drunk-3’ and ‘Hell Seeker’ are symbolic in nature. It can safely be concluded that unless different symbols used by the poet are not decoded, his feelings and thinking cannot be deciphered.

There are some poems which are purely personal or subjective in manner viz, ‘Poem Purely Personal-1, Poem Purely Personal-2, ‘I Also Live, ‘Roots’, ‘Range Deranged’ & ‘Quest Relentless’ expressing poets own grief, sorrow and hope of life. Some other poems like ‘The Beauty and Richness of Life’, ‘Life’s’, ‘Shadowed Vision’ and ‘Lyric of Life’ are based on meaning of life in various aspects as felt by the poet. Life is very beautiful according to the poet which he has expressed in Poem ‘Purely Personal.’

There are some poems which are based on the note of hope, optimism and positivity like, ‘Dreamy Shades in the Desert’, ‘Life’s’, ‘Lovely Lore.’ Then there are some others poems based on despair, solitude and melancholy viz. ‘Lost Dawns’, ‘A Wish’, ‘Bludgeoning of Chance’ and ‘Handcuffed.’ There are many poems dealing with personal loss or death namely ‘Lost Dawns’ and ‘Reflection Gone-Astray’. He wrote this lamenting the grief of the death of somebody dear and in ‘Glowing Dawn to Dusty Noon’; he is missing somebody who was very close to him.

Prof Bhushan is an ardent follower of Shri Sainathji, and he has written many religious poems in the collection which he has devoted to him. We can see his love and devotion in the poems namely, ‘Greetings for the Day- Everyday- 1, 2, 3 & 4, ‘Ecstasy of His Will’, ‘In All Fairness’, ‘Holy Shiridi’, ‘Oceanic Graces of Shirdi Sai Baba’ and ‘Marching to Retreat.’ He was also inspired by Shri Sai Satcharitra and has dedicated two of his poems to him viz, ‘Master in my Mission’ and ‘Shall I Remain Thirsty.’ Besides these, there are other religious poems which he has devoted to the Almighty God, like- ‘A Journey to Eternity’, Eternal Spectrum of Life’, ‘I Remember’, ‘, The Governing Truth’ and ‘Let Me Narrate.’

In the poems like ‘Love’ and ‘Forever Love’ the poet has laid stress on the significance of love in an individual’s life. Then there is also love for motherland reflected in ‘Motherland’, and ‘the Trial of Mother India.’ Some poems like ‘Live the Heaven’, ‘Stumps and Stubbles’, ‘Charming Endurance’ are nature poems. While the poem, ‘Live the Heaven’ is about coming of monsoon. It shows that the poet derives his inspiration and motivation from nature poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Yeats.

In poem, ‘Blissful Idol’, he compares a woman’s body with that of natural objects, which seems to be an inspiration of great poet Kalidas. The last poem, which is ‘Gaming God’, he has tried to express his concern about the commercialization of emotions by the show-makers of the reality shows to gain profit. Now-a-days it has become an effective means to gain popularity.

Poet has used diverse themes and crafted each poem beautifully showing his intricate emotions. There is a note of melancholy in most of the poems. Prof Bhushan’s use of alliteration in the poetry collection is a relevant and beautiful quality of his craftsmanship. Many poems in the collection are written in free verse and the poet’s use of diction is quite admirable. The poet has tried to show his innermost feelings on many issues related to our existence and survival on this universe and has dealt successfully with some religious, social, cultural, and emotional themes in the book. The poetry collection is forwarded by Dr T. Sai Chandra Mouli, who has very beautifully and artistically examined most of the poem.

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