May 21, 2013 | 10:42 PM (BD Time)
21 May, 2013 Tuesday
The Mystic Inferno by Obaidur Rahman
Publisher: A Sleek Publication, Dhaka
As the name says the book which is a collection of forty-eight poems reached me mysteriously. My first copy was either stolen or lost. However, I procured a second copy and devoured many of the poems. It is difficult, really difficult sometimes to discover the hidden meaning of some of the pomes which is a common phenomenon with almost all the poems. The first poem of this collection titled 'Mystic Infinity' shows that the poet wants to seek divine pleasure closing his eyes and forgetting the pains, anxieties and sorrows of this modern age. He wants to immortalise this peace and tranquility of mind. I am sure the first poem will captivate the attention of any reader and retain busy to make him/her read other poems.
All the poems of the young poet Obaidur Rahman seem to be very confessional, personal in nature and written most probably at the middle of night. He has developed a very mystical theme in his poems, which might have happened consciously or unconsciously.
The poem "Thought Splinters" is about the magical power of writing and how the power of creative writing makes us more humane.
Poems like "Galactic", "Communion" , "The Edge of Eternity", "Cosmic Serenity" are about the connection with man and universe and how great, grand , impressive, awesome and spectacular the cosmos is and of course, how man thrives to be at one with the whole universe out of sheer respect. The writer seems to have gathered much astronomical knowledge which has been reflected in many of his poems in this collection.
Poems like "Mystic Infinity", "Aching Desperation" ,"The Rousing Imminence" , "Odepath", "Choice Abundance", "The Hour of the Owl", " The Mystic Rain", "The Light", " The Cosmic Seraph", "The Melting Obscurity", "On the edge and after", "The Pilgrimage", "Revelation", "Desire", " The Divine Frequency", "Wish-craft & wish-spell", "The Truth Eternal", "The Blossoming of Faith", are mostly about the writer's inner-spiritual quest. His efforts to find spirituality, strength, gallantry, honour and peace in m own self, within the great vicinity of this universe find their expression in this literary form.
The meaningless strife and war, political turmoil and hypocrisy , the sufferings of common men truly get reflected in the poems like "The Demise of Here-After", "The Chair", "Casualties of Now" , "Why".
The rest are more or less confessional, things that he goes through, his take and understanding of life, struggles, ambitions, dreams, longing for positivity and efforts to better himself as an individual by fighting off all sorts of negativity. Poems like "Sick-Tranquil", "Thrill Mesmeric", "Insomniac", along with their confessional nature, have some extensive word play comparing to other poems. He has tried to intentionally make the poems rhythmic and hard, very hard and very carefully make them as rhythmic as possible. Here he must mention that, he is determined to have poems that would rhyme and sound rhythmic, more like songs. The writer is a fan of music and his love for rhyme comes from all the musical and lyrical magic.
Some contemporary global figures in various fields have already learnt, gone through and passed comments regarding this collection. Ms. Nacy Schevell, fiancee of Sir Paul McCartney of the band Beetles managed time to read few poems despite of his busy touring schedule and liked the message of the poems. Mr. Bill Gates, singer/songwriter James Taylor , singer Annie Lennox , guitarists Eric Clapton and Joe Satriani have already got the copy of this book. Ms. Fiddy Henderson, PA to MS. JK Rowling, the noted author of the famed Harry Potter series also received copies. Very recently singer Norah Jones and British singer/songwriter David Gray appreciated the book.
Some of the poems received my repeated reading because of their catching title and because of their piquant smell of the present ills of the society. In the poem 'The pilgrimage' some lines really shake the civilised humans. They are-'Times are filled with blunder/ some say, ignorance is bliss, wisdom is a curse/ and consciousness is a struck of thunder/but all shall fade away when the night falls / Behold and reborn, once you are in six feet under. He seems to be very much optimistic when he says, 'Out of the wrath of spell, I know the light will prevail/ And I'll rule my realm of wonders."
The fair, vanity, metropolitan snobbery, covetousness and extreme greed of the present civilisation have made the writer thoughtful and he warns those who vainly take pride in indulging these evils through the lines' in the 'Demise of Here-After'- Blindingly chasing after riches/Power, vice and lust,/ If only they knew/All is but grave dust./ Really nothing will go with human dead body." Even then, the whole society is preoccupied with all sorts of vices and lust. These lines almost parallels with the lines of 'Dover Beach' of Mathew Arnold where he says, "Ah, love let us be true to one another/for the world which seems to lie before us like a land of dreams, so various, so beautiful , so new/ hath really neither joy, nor love, nor certitude, nor peace , nor help for pain/ And here as we are on a darkling plain, confused with alarms of struggle and fight / where ignorant armies clash by night."
In the poem 'The Righteousness' the poet says 'I know life is one of trial and error/But when all hope is gone,/ Faith slowly turns into terror. Life is one of trial and error is very much universal. Again the next two lines truly say the dark side of present situation of the country and even in the global arena. When humans find their hopes are shattered, they turn themselves into terrorists. So, the whole humanity must give a thoughtful view over the matter.
In the poem 'The Chair' he says 'Military suicides, welcome to the mass grave/ Humanity's genocide, born to die as slaves." It probably rings the situation of Afghanistan where civilisation was downtrodden by foreign introducers who commit suicide understanding the futile attempt of the powerful authorities.
The cover illustration of the book (the flaming heart with the blue background) is symbolic. It shows the writer's interest for Ancient cultures, their mythologies and interest in symbols and their deeper meanings. Some of those symbols used here are mostly from Al-Chemy, Buddhist, ancient Egyptian, Mayan, Aztech, Nordic, numerical symbols.
The lovers of literature along with social thinkers and professionals will enjoy reading the poems available in all the famous book shops of Dhaka and can escape themselves from the mischievous look of the present time and civilisation for searching a divine pleasure.
Reviewed by Masum Billah
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