Diorama of Three Diaries
(A Collection of Poems by Sonnet Mondal)
Year of release:-2011
Review By: Dr Shamenaz
Dept. of Humanities
Diorama of Three Diaries
(A Collection of Poems by Sonnet Mondal)
Poetry is something which comes out from a writer’s mind, heart and sometimes even soul. This is true in the context of Sonnet Mondal, who is a rising star in the sky of Indian English Poetry. His Diorama of Three Diaries is a collection of poem based on many themes like- nature, spirituality, mysticism, problems relating to his country and world.
The very first poem, The Wait seems to reflect the agony of a person. May be Sonnet Mondal is depressed to see the present plight of his country and his state and he has tried to show the pathetic situation of the poor people but he is also hopeful that a new beginning will come.
The Poem, “My Pencil, Eraser & Pen” seems to be a subjective poem by the poet as it shows his attitudes towards writings. He is very passionate about writing poetry and this passion is reflected in some of his poem like- Suppressed, Stepping with Clouds, Flying Muse, and Oh Olive and You Realize It Now.
There are many other subjective poems like- Virus, I Am Not, Searching with Folded Hands, My Dismantled Room, I Want to Fly, Drunk, An Eve With a Stranger, Stay Alert For Surprises, I Won’t Run, Stoniness Turns Playing Cards, My Shadow, Grip Me, Turning Pages, My Style describing about different situations of his life.
He has written some love poems like, Those Soft Fingers, Love and Walnut and Make me Flow. While Those Soft Fingers shows his desperation of love for someone, Make me Flow seems to show his deep love for somebody. Here, he seems to be agreeing with Wordsworth’s belief that, “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, where emotions recollect its tranquillity.”
He sometimes seems to be inspired by Wordsworth as there are clear inclinations of his motivation which can be seen in the poems like- Seduced in the Sunderbans, Oh Olive, Southern Summer Winds, Butterflies and Mosquitoes, Snow in Spring. Southern Summer Winds shows his deep love and fascination for nature. In Butterflies and Mosquitoes, he has shifted his focus on tiny creatures of nature, butterflies and mosquitoes.
The poem, Seduced in the Sunderbans describes about a delta, Sunderban in West Bengal and Eyes and Skies is about a region in Karnataka (India), known as Donimalai which is surrounded by mines. The poet seems to give its description and his experience.
He has also shown sensuousness of human nature in some poems like- Lost in the Lust, Lusty, She-Fears, Kisses, Valentine Hides In Shadow, in which he has depicted the feelings of both men as well as women.
Poetry is understood by many writers and authors as an ‘expressive’ of the human soul. Mill has declared that ‘poetry, when it is really such, is truth; and fiction also, if it is good for anything, is truth: but they are different truths. The truth of poetry is to paint the human soul truly; the truth of fiction is to give a true picture of life. Sonnet Mondal seems to believe it as there are some mystical poems in the collection like- The Lovely Highway (also based on loss of faith & belief), Mythical Chain of Life, Fear, Last Life, A Call Through Misty Eyes, Darkness Inside, Dying Every Day For Life, Let Us Be Safe, Last Life, The Lonely Highway, Religion of Nomads and Fear .
There are some poems which deal with the change of human nature like- Springs, Volvo which shows that how man in present scenario is becoming lavish and ease-living day by day which seems to be inspired from Browning and there are some poems dealing with scientific advancement like- Virus.
He has written some poems keeping in mind the fast changing world like- Ashes Won’t Claim Honour, Comprehend Not Waste, Let Me Bloom, I Am Not. Some poems seem to be based on Arnoldian style like- Perforations, Two Faces.
“Plato believed that poetry and literature are inextricably tied up with the values and ideologies of the culture as a whole: art is not separate from the socio-political sphere. This is reflected in some of the poems of Sonnet Mondal like Shirts of Politics, High Time, Turn Back, Clear Your Home, all these poems are about today’s life. There are poems about problems existing in our country and world- Reforming Norms, Night of Appeal, Stay Alert for Surprise, The Blacksmith and his Diamond.
The poem Just A Last Peg For The Jobless is the description of the anxiety and desperation of the jobless people. Mondal seems to show his concern about people who are unemployed.
Poet has highlighted the importance of a little phrase in our daily life in the poem, Say Cheese. He seems to sometimes feel panic about the age-old customs and traditions and wants to reform the society, this he has reflected in his poem, Reforming Norms and Your Life Is Over.
He has shown various ages of human beings while writing poem on old age- Through Cracks and Wrinkles and on childhood- Childhood Sounds. Cracks and Wrinkles shows us the wretched condition of old people. In Ponds of My Tears he seems to be nostalgic about his childhood days when he uses to go to pond with his grandfather. But now as his he has grown up and his grandfather, who has become old and can’t go with him for fishing to the pond, so he seems to be feeling depressed about those days.
The poem, Drunk is about a person’s addiction to alcohol. It tells about the effect the alcohol on a person and An Eve with a Stranger, is about the meeting of the poet with a stranger. There are some poems which are symbolic to some situations like- Legs and Floor, Swaying Bridges of Senescence, Venom of Futility, Night of Appeal, The Dog in the ATM, Beware, Glasses and Who Is This Man . He seems to be agreeing with the views of Mathew Arnold in his famous book of criticism, The Study of Poetry. “Poetry”, according to Matthew Arnold, is a criticism of life under the conditions fixed for such a criticism by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty. And this he interprets as the application of ideas___ grand ideas- to life.
The poem, Two Eyes is about a bride which is being carried in a bullock cart. It also tells a story hidden behind the veil. The Story, of a young woman and a man in a village but now, who are married and have become two separate lives and Sliding Joy is also about marriage.
There is a beautiful poem, Earth Without Eyes, in which he seem to show his worry over the destruction of the natural objects like rivers, ponds seas and so on and he is deeply concern about the effect of this destruction. And again there is a concern for environment in the poem- Let Them Fly Away, in it he is trying to convey the message regarding the hazard caused by using polythene. The poem, Tears of a Window Pane is about the description of rain from a window of a house.
Showing his concern on health problems, he has written, Health, Deity of Spotlessness, After Rainfall, Last Flash Awareness in which he his reflecting his views on some diseases.
The Poet has shown his hatred towards the politicians and the dirty side of politics of his state in the poem, Shirts of Politics, which show his anger and hatred and at the same time there is hope that people will rise and fight against it. Having a deep regard for the soldiers, he has expressed his gratitude towards their bravery, selflessness and loyalty towards their nation in the poem, Turn Back, Clear Your Home. And he has expressed his deep love for his country in Your Name and Let My Tears Find You.
The poems- Lonely Book in Book Fair, Savour is about literary world. Lonely Book in Book Fair seems to tell about the present condition of attitude of society towards books. Poet seems to feel depressed about people’s attitudes towards books and Searching With Folded Hand is about his attitude, feelings and thinking towards his own writing and Expression seems to be about the plagiarism existing in the literary world today.
There are some poems which are memoirs like- My Garden in which he seems to remember his mother’s love for their garden and Years After seems to show his nostalgia about his College days. In the poem, he is expressing his desire to go back to those days when he had enjoyed with his friends in his Engineering College. He is missing the fun and excitement of the College canteen and other places, which he can’t do now, so he is longing to go back.
Mostly the poems in the Diorama of Three Diaries are written in blank verse and free verse. Poet has tried to show his innermost feelings for some issues and has dealt successfully with many themes in the book. All these poems are reflections of his intellect, creative mind and sensitivity.