Book Review | Eccentric Orbits: Poems Without Boundaries | The Literature TodayNovember 26, 2019
In a time when love is a dominant theme in today’s writing, Suman Sharma’s “Eccentric Orbits” is something more of an out of the box collection of poetry. Initially, it strikes as an unusual name for a poetry collection. He goes on to explain in the author’s note as to why and how he named the collection such. After reading the poems, anyone would agree with the title. Sharma’s poems are different in content and context. They have a uniqueness about them which is reminiscent of post world war modern poetry. They vary in lengths. There are poems as short as “A Seeker” and as long as “A journey”, but there is something distinct and individual about all th poems and all of them talk of different ideas.
The important fact is that like Pablo Neruda, he can write poems on simple everyday routine things. He writes poems like “A droplet” or describes the whole pleasure a person feels when he/she kisses someone in “Indelible Kiss” or how beautiful the feeling of hugging someone can be in “A Warm Hug”. He attempts to describe and give words to things as abstract as feelings. This highlights the true mark of a poet who can find beauty in the simplest and smallest things and write verses on them.
The titles of Sharma’s poems may be simple but the subject matter is deep and has more than the literal meaning. To read the poems on a surface level would be an injustice to them. He uses different poetic styles to load his words with meaning which adds to the beauty of his writing altogether. In the “author’s note”, the poet has himself explained the origins and meanings of some of the poems he has written. Poetry is all about exploring the literal and metaphorical meanings and the poet crafted his poetry in this light.
An interesting thing to note about Sharma’s poetry is that he can identify and understand the viewpoints and thoughts of both the male and the female folk. This is evident in poems like “Hey Dude”, “The Mother” and “Letter from a Daughter”. The poem, “Hey dude”, he addresses the males and it more seems like the male version of feminism where he is asking them to be themselves. “The mother” has more interpretations and can be read in the light of feminist perspective by which one can interpret it as being about the subjugation of females, girl child being unwanted and females (the mothers) being the sufferers. In “Letter from a Daughter” he takes up first person form and tells everything from the eyes of a girl.
At times the mood of his poems changes and he writes in the nostalgic mode in poems like “Puzzle”, “Nostalgia” and “My Valentine”. Sometimes he also writes poems which are light hearted and humorous. Some of them are “If I were a butterfly”, “Nascent love” etc.
One fact that catches the reader’s attention is the poet’s affinity and knowledge of Greek mythology. Off and on he keeps on giving references from Greek mythology in his poems like “Aha”, “Eccentric orbits” and “Bubbles of Tears”.
The author’s background of science is reflected in his poem, “Newton” and “A Journey”. Other than that, he writes on different themes and subjects.
“Eccentric Orbits” is not just an ordinary collection of poetry. The poems may not follow a particular genre but that is what makes the poetry diverse and interesting to read. Most poems are likely to appeal to adults while a few poems may appeal to the younger generation.