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Updated: August 12, 2010 20:29 IST

A bilingual book of love poems

R. Madhavan Nair
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The Hindu

A bilingual poetry collection, ‘Pranayasatakam,' consisting of poems of Thachom Poyil Rajeevan, is ready for release.

Says Rajeevan about his latest poetic venture: “Bilingual publishing is very common nowadays in world poetry, especially in Europe and Latin America, as it enhances the reach of poetry as a medium. But, it is very rare in Malayalam. In Kerala, it was only Ayyappa Panicker's epoch-making poem ‘Kurukshetram' that had got a multilingual edition.”

Rajeevan's book contains 100 poems on love, originally written in Malayalam and translated into English by the poet himself.

The poems are supplemented with paintings by the Bengali artist Kabita Mukhopadhaya who lives in Kozhikode city. The book will be released by novelist Anita Nair here on August 17.

‘Pranayasatakam' is Rajeevan's seventh collection which includes ‘He Who Was Gone Thus' and ‘Kannaki' in English. The poet claims the poems in this collection are free from ideological straightjackets which, he believes is the bane of poetry.

“Poetry must encompass the totality of experiences and address the silence that often goes unattended in life,” says Rajeevan.

In ‘Pranayasatakam' he has tried to project love not as just a carnal desire but as a longing to be one with the ultimate, transcending time and space, capturing the moments of ecstasy, agony, weariness, sensuality and spirituality of life—“a metaphor for what is inexpressible, a celebration of the unique.”

He says these lines sums up his feelings about love: “There is no other sun /Other moon, other star/ Other Arali tree under which I wait for you; / There is no other you.”

Critics say the strength of Rajeevan's poetry is rooted in the authentic evocation of the landscape of Kerala. There are also critics who believe the inherent overlaying of the Malayalam and English tongues has lent a subtle, but an important linguistic texture to his free-verse poetry, found in‘Pranayasatakam.'

The book that begins with the images of a journey, ends with an evocation to the God: “Were I a god/ I'd create another god,/Entrust all my duties as god/ To that god/ Then I'll sit/ Just looking into your eyes.”

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