By Nilesh Mondal
When we talk about a poetry collection, the opinion about individual poems often contradict each other, which in turn makes it harder for the reader to take a stance regarding his/her feelings about the collection as a whole. These flaws become glaringly evident as one navigates one’s way through the new poetry collection of Amit Sharma.
My Elementary Life is a collection of poems with no dearth of ambitions. The collection contains 70 poems exploring a varied range of emotions — love, loss, spirituality and everything in between. The poems are short, and thus do not ramble or lose their way in a muddled narration of emotional outpouring. The cover is colourful and almost surreal, as if foreshadowing the circle of life and colours of different seasons that this collection tries to decipher. I say tries, because although the effort behind this collection garners applause, it unfortunately falls prey to its own ambitions.
Amit mentions in his foreword that this collection contains poems written in a span of 6 years. Although one must praise Mr. Sharma for being passionate and patient about this book for so long, this long time span of writing effects the consistency of the collection adversely. While some of the poems deal with concepts of love and spirituality in a commendable way, some fall despairingly short. To his credit, the poet uses simple and lucid language, which no doubt will find appeal with even the readers who don’t usually read poetry. But the biggest problem this collection faces is its lack of freshness in some of the poems. These poems thus appear blunt and don’t create an imprint on the reader’s mind, which leads to them fading away from memory with as much as a turn of the page. For example, here’s an excerpt from the poem “Those smiles of gay”:
There’s no end to my sorrows,
but the time of love in my heart
pulls me away from the scuffles of my mind.
Carrying these bewildered emotions within me
I walk nonchalant on the obsolete paths;
the path, they’ve crossed before me.
Without ostentations, I loved them all
not in the hope for recompose,
but for their own gay.