P. Venugopal's Blow Again, North Wind is an anthology of short poems that beautifully captures the spirit of diversity in an archipelago of poetic expression.
It lures us to a world where the poems are part of the poet himself, and our own selves. Because deep down, Venugopal's poems weave in emotions akin to our own experiences -- like “dissipating mist.”According to Venugopal, "Poetry is similar to painting one's soul with colors — “unskilled with the brush to paint the fluid scene I see.”
For him, poetry happens as he goes through a “spiritual churning” and in turn, makes it into a “self-watch.”
Venugopal's poems do not attempt to portray the meaning of life. Rather it wafts into the myriad shades of the readers' persona, offering differing hues to decipher.
He also identifies in his poems the commonality of experiences we share in our lives. “People go through common emotions at different phases of life. It’s just that we perceive it differently,” he says. Poetic devices such as similes, metaphors and rhyme schemes are deftly intertwined with familiar, yet popular themes of love, sorrow, longing and memory.
Symbolic words evoke real images through a system of transformation that the poets mind has evolved over time. “Phenomenal indecision” is the core of most of his poems. The poet himself explains it as a tendency in which people tend to limit themselves within the frames of certain ideologies.
This limits your sensitivities to the world around. To understand life in all its essence, it is important that we detach ourselves from the reality, and look back. The collection of 54 poems thus delves upon multiple levels of the human mind, which often stays baffled with the baggage of life. Certain imagery's that invokes the fragrance of an eternal longing, perhaps born out of love, lingers in his poem Rainy Night. The banyan tree outside the window, swishing and swaying in the rain, encapsulates a passionate lover, who is probably waiting for her beloved. Her eternal wait is answered by her own thoughts where she questions herself:
“...did i hear
muffled in its rumble
your fumble at the gate
knock at the door?”
Amnesia revolves around two souls who have "misplaced" themselves in the art of remembering each other.
“...I have forgotten the entire way
I had flowed
reaching your side-
a river never remembering the meandering way from where...”
Here, the river is still flowing, to reach the lagoon it really wants to join. The poet places the reflection of the longing soul inside a “distilled tear drop” in a deep blue lagoon. The melancholic blue sets the mood for the poem, later toning down to a peaceful note:
...shall i, dearest, kiss it softly away?
though i know not your name?
Largely influenced by J. Krishnamurti, Osho Rajneesh, Aurobindo Ghose and Basho, Venugopal has followed the Japanese style of haiku, wherein poems are short, evoking symbols of the natural world. The tryst with verse is also an effort in unlearning, prompted by a conscious effort to distance his self from journalese, after he quit the profession.
Blow Again, North Wind is thus a laconic spread of lucid verse that is sure to enchant the discerning reader.