Book Review The Stories in Verse by Sudharanjan Dey, Calcutta: Current Publishing Concern, 61 Surya Sen Street, 1990, 1st ed,

Within the limits of ‘frequently used words’ and grammatical rules’, writing becomes sometimes a challenge which is usually termed with the outcome of ‘inspired moments’ or as divine revelations of poets. Literature, that is also considered best when has moral vein in itself like the life of man, has effects on different persons of different age groups. At this crucial point, if we muse a bit more, we will find that a true literati who writes for all classes should also take interesting in writing for children esp. teaching morel education them through poetry so that thing may learn ‘practical spirituality’ in their lives. Story telling, the ancient art is adopted by Sudharanjan Dey in verse in his poetry collection The Stories in Verse which won him Michel Madhusudan award of Calcutta. In fact writing for children needs more care and skill and Dey, a veteran teacher of English has developed this skill by and by in his prolonged career of teaching who by his poetic stories wishes to develop the habit of reading in children.

            The book comprises of 20 storis of moral education and didactic nature. Each poem carries beautiful sketch which narrates the story. The graphic interpretations of stories with simple narration leave the lasting impression on mind as well as revify the stories modern times and serve the purpose in its totality.

            The language and diction adopted in these poems is simple, unpretentious and witty. The choice of words and phrases is peculiar the poet has remained cautious of the words of frequent uses as well as grammatical rules, and the art of narrating these stories is commendably well. For example, few stanzas commencing the stories are discernable:

                        An old man used to live

                        Once in a certain village

                        Where three sons of the man,

                        Began to have guessed always (15)

                        X         X         X

                        Once upon a time, there was a saint,

                        Who lived lonely in a deep forest

                        He spent his days in meditation,

                        Being a wise of quiet modest (23)

                        X         X         X

                        When it was a hot summer day,

                        In the branch of a big tree;

                        By the side of a small stream.

                        A dove was sitting in glee (13)

                        X         X         X

                        Once at night a thief stole,

                        Many things from a village.

                        In the jungle he left a bell,

                        Which he could not manage (11)

            The poet has attempted well to create a rhythmic sound and pictorial quality by his peculiar linguistic choices adopted in the poems. Simplicity and spontaneity are the hall-mark of the poems of Dey whose mission in these poems is to provide joy and moral lessons to the children who will be the future of our nations.

            In an age when much has been written by social conscious poets who write for the betterment of society and for the elders in whose dead ears the voice of poetry is little heard, the poets should concentrate towards the children’s literature where if they attempt, they will find favourable results much beyond their wildest dreams. Therefore the book The Stories in Verse by Sudharanjan Dey should be welcomed by all poets and critics of world as well as he should be encouraged for penning more and more in this stream.

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