Ravi Shankar a unique voice that is bold and honest, sensitive and rational. He writes spontaneously, from his gut, with guts. He is not ashamed to speak of man’s most elemental passion, of coitus, of self-gratification, of disease and deceit, all in the same breath. Here’s a review by Madhumita.
(An imprint of Paperwall Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd.
Number of Pages 79 Pages
Price Rs 225/-
Publication Year 2015
I have been a regular follower of Ravi Shankar aka Ra Sh’s poetry since long. And I am an admirer too. He writes with great prolificacy and ease, original poems and translations too of poems in regional languages to English and vice versa. Thus I was naturally overjoyed to have received a copy of his latest collection of poems, Architecture of Flesh. The poems here are as startling as the title of the book. As in architecture, the poems build up, in this collection, one by one, a structure, a whole body, formed by all the body parts, limbs and torso, down to kidney and heart.
Poetry is the oldest of the literary genres. As is man’s awareness of his physicality, that precedes his consciousness of his psyche and thoughts. Ravi in that sense emerges as the eternal, original poet. And yet, he is a new poet, of this new age. He has a unique voice that is bold and honest, sensitive and rational. He writes spontaneously, from his gut, with guts. He is not ashamed to speak of man’s most elemental passion, of coitus, of self-gratification, of disease and deceit, all in the same breath. He uses cuss words with such an ease that they never seem to be outrageous or out of place.
The body forms the soul of this book. The poems throb with an enticingly raw, almost primeval energy that draws the reader in, into the drama of the flesh working intrinsically into human life.
With unusual imagery woven in to explicate passion, emotion, lust and love, Ravi’s poetry is very metaphysical in a way. The physical transcends the physique to explore deeper human emotions to compel the reader to internalise, pondering and reflecting within. The body never becomes bawdy. The theme of the physique never becomes erotica in his hand, while the physicality yet being a throbbing vibrant presence throughout. In some surreal effects his poetry may even be said to be avant garde, where under the surreal images and themes in certain poems, an unmistakable love for nature and concern for the well-being of humanity are noticed.
Architecture of Flesh is startling in many ways. It jolts the smug poetry reader out of complacent ease, away from a familiar comfort zone and sets them thinking anew about poetry and leaves them wishing for more.
Architecture of Flesh
By Ra Sh (N. Ravi Shankar )
An imprint of Paperwall Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd.
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Professor Dr. Madhumita Ghosh is also a poet and editor. Her poems have been widely published in print, e-books, journals and magazines all over the world. She has authored four poetry books titled For All You Lovely People, Pebbles On The Shore, Flowing with the River and My Poetry My Voice, and also William Blake; A Prophet for Mankind, a critical study on the British poet. Madhumita has presently a novel and a book of short stories are in the pipeline.