(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal
Devoted to English Language and Literature)
Bhushan, R. K. Nerves of the Verbal Art: Songs in Follywood. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2014. Price: 195. Pp.99. ISBN 978-81-7273-885-3.
Reviewed by Shaleen Kumar Singh
R. K. Bhushan’s Nerves of the Verbal Art is his fifth collection of poems with a foreword of Rob Harley and ‘Introduction’ by Patricia Prime. As the title suggests and Patricia Prime also asserts, “One would expect the volume Songs in Follywood to contain poems about follies and author’s idiocies and foolhardiness.” But, the truth is bit ahead of our expectations. To quote Prime again, “The world of R. K. Bhushan’s poems is in some ways a half and half world not quite this not quite that.”
Surely the poetic journey of the Follywood which is a “charming place” is the journey which each and every creative writer does to open our eyes around the world. The slender volume of 45 poems is actually various poetic halts where the consciousness of the poet matures by and by. On such poetic halts, sometimes the poet muses at the “chaotic din of daily dingdong or the Ping-Pong of the populace” and draws the inference that “it is a dreadful war/of intentional ignorance and sagacious pretense.” However, “hopefully” the poet has faith on God “who serves whose and which purpose and /only He- the omniscient –knows.” At times, the poet feels, “Centuries of waste/Gathered into heaps/ Of misery and wretchedness/And excruciating pains!” At another times, situations seem even darker when he says, “Shame is impeccably white/ Slur is status and high estimation/ scandals come to screeching halts.”(32) But reader will even find instances full of bubbling faith on God as-
Decide, guide and govern
Life, hither and of course, thither. (35)
The poet in Bhushan knows the value of each mentor and motivator of his life who “taught, inspired in him “diligence, honesty and commitment, /spirit of service ad sacrifice.” All such halts of life, where the poet stopped to ponder about his bygone days and meets his mentors “motivated” his “outlook” developed his vision, shaped “his personality/ guided his actions to refine the core” and the poet “couldn’t unlearn that (he) had learnt/ there was no crash!”
The poems are mixed in themes; spirituality, love, hate, activism, hopes, aspirations, and complexities of daily life. The language of the poet is charming and flowing. The style of the poet is as usual, impressive and riveting. The readers will also experience the blossoming of mature poetic acumen of Bhushan from his first collection Sentinels of the Soul to the present one both at the levels of language and content. The readers will definitely enjoy the perusal of the poems.
Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh is presently serving as Assistant Professor and Head of English Department at Swami Shukdevanand Postgraduate College, Shahjahanpur, U.P., India. His recently edited book From Home to House is published from Harper Collins, India. He can be contacted at email@example.com.