Monday, June 24, 2024

Poems of Shuchana Das

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Suchana Das wrote poetry bringing to the fore the endangered animal world and the growing existential crisis of humans

There can be many debates about what modern poetry or contemporary poetry should contain. But it must be admitted that the reader always finds in the poem a deep sense of life in the contemporary context. And so the talk of the contemporary becomes the talk of the great age in the language of poetry. The famous poet Yeats said, ‘What can be explained is not poetry’. Therefore, it is possible to express the message of the universe by referring to contemporary issues only through poetry. Suchana Das has written poetry in his ‘Reality: Utterly Uninhibited And Unhinged’ in the book, which has become universal.

Rabindranath cried out ‘Ebar Ferao More’ in the expectation of free air from the life like a worm in the city of brick and stone, with the desire to return to the lap of nature. Suchana Das’s poems show a strong compassion for nature, environment and animals. Speaking against environmental pollution due to unplanned industrialization in his poem ‘Earth’, the poet says, ‘We are sorry, Mother Nature; we have failed you/ when you need us the most’. According to the poet, animals have suffered the most due to environmental pollution. He said that animals are very little satisfied with leftover food. Yet some humans are inherently unkind to animals, and animals cannot express that unkindness in language. In the poem ‘Animal’, the poet says with infinite compassion for animals, ‘All they wanted was some leftovers!…/ All they wanted was some love!’ After reading two poems, the reader will feel compassion for the environment and animals of this world.

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Today’s modern people believe in individualistic virtues. So every person is like a distant island. Husband-wife-boy-daughter are all different worlds; No one gives access to anyone; Hence the degradation of family values and divorce is becoming a very common thing, for which the next generation is paying a heavy price. In his poem ‘Marriage’, Suchanna asks, ‘How can such a beautiful union of two people/ end in disaster?’

Family ties are a heavenly achievement in human life. Man grows up in his family and unknowingly reflects the family education in all his behavior in life. But children in many families are reluctant to keep family ties intact by sending their parents to senior homes. In his poem ‘Family’, Suchana Das placed family above everything and said, ‘Love your family, unconditionally, it will be a/ blessing’.

In this male-dominated society, women are the symbol of beauty, they are the bond of the world. Over the ages, poets have seen women in different forms – sometimes as a lover, sometimes as a mother, sometimes as a daughter. Although many poems have been written about the contribution of women in different forms, not so many poems have been written about the humanity of women. The rebel poet says that ‘all the great creations in the world are half made by women, half by men’, although he has tried to give dignity to women, but the sword of the socialists is still against women. With the increase in education and other opportunities, women today are very conscious of their independence. This awareness is also reflected in the opening poem. According to the beginning, women are sent to earth by god with all powers so women can easily become superheroes. What a woman can do, a man cannot do. Despite the immense contribution of women in every aspect of human existence, women do not get their due status. Acknowledging this war, Souchana wrote in the poem ‘Women’, ‘No man can do what you can do. How you can / take on multiple roles with a smile on your face.’ There is a song of motherhood in his poetry.

Motherhood is a wonderful journey in a woman’s life. This journey is different for different women. Some can easily become a mother, some cannot, and some may have to be content with being the mother of a foster child. But every woman experiences the same taste of motherhood, the same great journey of everyone. In the words of the poet, ‘Motherhood is beautiful in all cases, / whether it comes with adoption, surrogacy, / natural or single-parent.’ (‘Motherhood’)

Scientists say that there are 200 billion trillion stars in this universe and Sun is one of them. Other stars also have Earth-like planets where life is possible. And all those planets are thousands of light years away from Earth. Humans have not yet achieved the ability to reach those planets. If you think about these scientific researches, this world or human existence is very small compared to this universe. “Still, we continue to bicker and quarrel,/ About who is greater, who is wealthier, who is / more beautiful” is written in the poem ‘Universe’ at the beginning about the fruitless pride of these small powerful people. While reading the lines, the reader will remember the English poet William Wordsworth. He said, ‘We waste our power in doing various kinds of worldly work. The world is too much with us; late and soon,/ Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;/ Little we see in nature that is ours;/ We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!)

Social media is part of contemporary life. Regardless of men and women, everyone is now busy with social media, building their virtual world. Everything in that world is not true, everyone is busy with things that are false or shown by some people. Sometimes the privacy of people’s personal lives is also being damaged due to social media. Talking about the futility of social media, the poet says in the poem ‘Illusion of Social Media’, ‘I’d love to see your daily post, … /But wait, is that your exact real life?’

The poet lives in this society. So he does not write poetry with vocabulary and language games devoid of reality. So poetry is sometimes artistic, sometimes purely factual, sometimes a mixture of the two. Some of Suchana Das’s poems speak of philosophy in absolute reality. In this society, people are constantly running for money. According to the beginning, how much money people need in just 70 years! Money can’t buy happiness, can’t buy time, can’t buy health, can’t buy love, can’t buy peace. But man is trapped in an invisible cage where he runs after money. So in his poem ‘It’s All About The Money’ he asked, ‘When we die, when our time comes, what /happens to all of our money?’

Every poet grows up in his own world and the reflection of that world is found in his poetry. The reader will find the poet’s autobiographical elements in the opening poem as well. By reading his poem ‘Me, Myself and I’, the reader will get to know the story of first going to England from Bangladesh, then coming to Canada from England. The story of his growing up in two new countries, the story of adapting, the story of making friends, the story of finishing his studies. The work and research life of the poet has come up in the poem. The reader will also know about his interest in cultural activities in this poem. And at the end of the poem, Souchna says like a conscious poet with some advice for the next generation, ‘Keep striving for a better future, Keep working/ hard,/ It will all be worth in the end; you will not be /barred’.

The book is published by Book Leaf Publishing. In the preface to the book, the poet states that he wrote the 21 poems in this book by accepting his social media challenge of writing ’21 poems in 21 days’. This is an example of good work done with the help of social media. Suchana Dash has written poetry in very natural and neat language without the use of gratuitous similes or metaphors and without trying to create any wordplay. While reading, the readers will feel that someone is speaking their thoughts to their ears.

There is no table of contents in the book. Maybe it’s a book of poetry – or the subject has been avoided. But if there was an index, the favorite poem would be easily found for re-reading. On the cover of the book, a man is watering a tree growing on his own head. It would seem that the person is taking care of his own thoughts. The poems in the book will also serve the reader’s thoughts as the cover suggests.

Poetry is good only when it speaks to our life, to our heart. The opening poem speaks of the busy civic life of a multicultural world where we live with family, marriage, children, friends, environmental pollution. This kind of poetry can never be written by force, cannot be created and created by imagination, this poem is an expression of deep feelings of the heart. It is like Wordsworth’s ‘spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’. In the introduction to the book, Souchna himself wrote, ‘I just let the words flow and I poured them onto my keyboard when a topic came into my mind.’
Many thanks to Suchana Dash for gifting the book to the readers. May his life be blessed.

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Samina Chowdhury joined the teaching profession after obtaining a master’s degree in English literature from Jahangirnagar University. He also served in the Bangladesh UNESCO Commission while teaching in a government college. Joined Brac University in 2005. A total of nine peer reviews of Samina have been published at home and abroad. Samina, an immigrant to Canada since 2013, has been working in TD Bank’s customer care department for five years.

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