S. Siangshai | Book Review | The Literature TodayMarch 22, 2021
A heartfelt account of things and a person’s observation is what makes poetry more relatable than prose and helps readers develop an instant connection with both the poets’ minds and the things they try to convey. The exact relationship is established the moment the readers open S. Siangshai’s poetry collection, “The Journey of An Imaginary’s Mind.” As the readers begin the collection, they find a plethora of subjects that the author has attempted to explore in his poems which make the content of the collection multi-faceted and multi-thematic.
The cover of the book adheres to the journey motif that operates throughout the text in the background. It may be a literal journey or a journey of the poet’s mind or merely a journey of his imagination. At the same time, the poet’s attempts to open the readers’ minds towards the aspects that the poet has observed and which may have escaped the readers’ eyes. These include subjects that are both close and distant. They are close in terms of matters of social relevance or themes that are easily relatable or directly affect their lives. They are distant when the poet departures from the modern contemporary urban city life and takes a plunge in a Wordsworthian style by visiting nature in its various forms.
The subject content of the poems in “The Journey of An Imaginary’s Mind” has something or the other for all kinds of readers who have an interest in reading poetry which has both rhythm and the grace to hint upon the burning issues of the day. An example of such poems which may otherwise appear paradoxical include “The Echo of Duitara,” “The Village Kids,” and “Nature’s Call,” along with “Winter’s Beauty.” These and many other poems show how uniquely the poet keeps himself connected to both nature and human life at the same time. The poems carry the air of pre-romantics, romantics, modern and post-world war poets, which hints at the influences and moulding of the artistic talent of Siangshai.
“The Journey of An Imaginary’s Mind” shows themes that feature young children, village folk, or portrayal of a woman from the eyes of a man, things from nature that are as simple as the rain and birds, or childhood reminiscences, exploring human relationships, the dilemmas humans have in their lives and many more themes which are relatable for one reader or another. These diverse themes make the book one of the few books that every reader should have at their bedside and keep reading them time and again to refresh themselves and enrich their thoughts altogether. Siangshai effortlessly reaches the hearts of the readers and connects with them when they are through with just a few poems.
The poems vary in length as per the poet’s comfort. Some may be short like “Carried Away” and “While The World Turns Into Chaos” and may go on to become longer in “A Peek Into the Life of A Shepherd,” “The Village kids.” These poems suggest the different observations of the poet and the various thoughts he may have had on seeing different things around him. Such poems make them a recommended reading for grown-up readers who look for mature and content that is realistic instead of being fantasy-based. Although, younger readers can also try reading poems from “The Journey of An Imaginary’s Mind” as they are bound to open their minds to broader horizons, and they would certainly feel a difference in the manner in which they see the world after reading the poems. The readers who are interested in nature poetry like Wordsworth can take “The Journey of An Imaginary’s Mind” and keep it at their bedside. At the same time, readers who have an interest in reading poems that have more concern for humanity at large can also lay their hands on the collection. They would find the poet taking them on a journey in his poetic world where he tries to show various things through his eyes and express his perception about all that is pervasive in different times and situations.