The Dance of the Peacock: An Admirable Ensemble of Poetry
A Review by Krithika Raghavan
‘The Dance of the Peacock’ is an admirable ensemble of poetry edited by Dr. Vivekanand Jha. It is a breath of fresh air with new outlooks and styles in Indian poetry. It features 151 poets from many different states of India as well as UK, Canada, Unites States and other countries around the world.
The poets range in age from 15 to 92 and the topics, the feel of poetry and their approaches make this anthology diverse in more than one way. It is also mentioned in the Introduction that the poets featured are from all walks and talks of life.
The title is fitting- seeing that the peacock is the national bird of India and its dance is herein displayed. In this review, I have chosen a few poems which have left a profound effect upon me. I have, however, tended to concentrate on descriptions and imagery throughout this review.
A poem with a marvellous simile and descriptive adjectives, ‘Not a legend’ written by Amarendra Kumar, has the perfect beginning-
“You’re not a legend
That grows like a beard…”
The poem “Cold Fury” written by Ambika Ananth (to those who perished in the floods in Andhra Pradesh) drives home its message of horror through the sheer power of its description-
“Cold, solid marble like eyes,
Open yet closed to the world..”
“Word(l)y Mess” written by Amol Redij is a witty poem skilfully written, cleverly curtaining the truth in its last few lines, giving more meaning to the poem than previously imagined.
“The Unborn poem” written by C.D. Norman describes the beginning of a writer’s block in the first few lines and effectively ends the poem by posing a clever question. The “Courtyard Tree” written by Charu Sheel Singh is a treasure trove of woven graphic imagery and intersected verbs. It ends with a most impressive metaphor- “Cocktails of heavenly creation”
“Drink Deep the Nature’s bounty” by D.C Chambial gives a relaxing description of the nature with astounding imagery. The Tankas of Debjani Chatterjee capture the needed emotions in five lines, effectively creating an image in our minds.
“Autumn” by Geetashree Chatterjee holds a most creative personification and has a ruminative end. “A Lovely Poem is like a tree” by Harish Kumar Thakur gives a poetic approach towards a tree and gives a beautiful end-
“But lo! The word, the verse has its edge
It prays, it sings, it soothes, and glorifies
The man, the life, the tree in pledge.”
The string of haikus written by Kanwar Dinesh Singh captivates a reader’s imagination well. “Gifts of nature” by Katta Rajamouly uses refrain effectively to convey the moral of selfless help.
“When Winter Comes” written by Monika Pant feels nostalgic and ends with a pang and a rather haunting end-
“An era gone, a mystery unravelled,
A city reborn;
We both cry for we remember too much.”
“Sleepless Nights” written by Nuggehalli Pankaja delivers an astounding comparison to drive home the poet’s feelings-
“Can one imagine
“Lackluster daze” written by Vitasta Raina paints a dull picture effectively using creative words like ‘droning night’, ‘unexcited stars’ and ‘pastel afternoon’. It creates a sense of background to the poem.
“Nature on Rage” by Vivekanand Jha painted a clear picture of destruction. The poem also has a creative usage of various figures of speech: The first stanza has a smattering of alliterations, followed by inventive personifications to end the poem with a subtle cacophony, effectively resounding destruction.
There are a few other poems which deserve mention, such as ‘Postcolonial Poem’ written by Usha Kishore, ‘Freezing Fantasy’ by Seema Aarella, among others.
Overall, this anthology has been an enchanting and jovial read. I congratulate Dr. Vivekanand Jha for accomplishing this rather arduous task fabulously.
Krithika Raghavan is 15 years of age, a student studying in Bangalore. She has been writing since she was 11 years of age. She is on Wattpad, poetry.com, Writer’s Cafe, Muse India, Mibba, and many more.