Songs of The Fervent Years by N. S. Sahu is an additional volume of verse after Whisper at Mid-Night (1996) and Hymn to Radha and Krishna (2017). The poet, in the present collection, has attempted like all other poets, to exhort ‘candid comments on life, beauty, love, terrorism, dehumanization and atrocity committed to the innocents.’ He emphasizes on purity of heart and so he writes in the Preface of the book, “To me, the ‘Beautiful’ is someone or something joyful and inspiring- both loveable and loving, nor is dependent on my senses, nor on my intellect but on my clear and pure heart.”(v) The poet himself points out that the persona in these poems “has been ruthlessly frank and candid on the matters related to Man and Aesthetics.” (vi)
The collection carries thirty three poems of manifold themes and some of which affect ‘pataphysics’ and tend to ‘dwell with beyond the cosmos even beyond the metaphysical limits’. In the very first poem ‘To My Teacher: A Tribute’, the poet reminisces his teacher who ‘marched towards the subtle’ rituals of the soul/towards the finer heights higher that anyone would seldom reach…’ his teacher who has left to heavenly abode is now an impalpable phenomenon. He pens:
In the twilight with a great bundle of joys
You left us marching
Where to? What next? And, how to?
Nature has its way with you here
And life, too. (1-2)
Most of the poems of the collection are addressed to some material or abstract things yet all the poems transport the readers from mundane to non-temporal world. And at times, the man realizes that one should keep on loving each other till one is alive.
He writes very poetically:
Lets in God’s WILL have our peace
The innocents are sleeping hopelessly to shed the tedium and
Weariness of their day’s toil.
So Ay, Me! Lets with cheer go you and I
And love truly each other till we depart. (11)
In another poem, ‘Let’s With Cheer, Part’ he propounds the same panacea of love for ailing humanity:
Let’s in love have our peace
Love shall take its meandering path of labyrinthine goal
Someday or the other. (10)
Love is such a phenomenon that motivates the self of the poet to live life with zest and zeal. The poet feels the felicity of love to the deepest core and writes:
If beauty and love were young
And truth in every tongue
Such fair felicity impels me
To live with you and be your love. (31)
In the poem ‘Parting’, the poet laments the parting of two loving hearts in which ‘Two parted/ to unite for long our relationship/ pale and cold grew her cheek.’ The only alternative before the poet is ‘to get enthralled by her beauty. The poet writes passively:
She’s gone and lost into oblivion
Like Summer-dried fountain!
My fancy can never restore her. (35)
The poet, in these poems seems deeply impressed with romantic poems of Keats, Wordsworth or Shelley. The glossary employed by the poet in the poem seems borrowed from the age of Romanticism and so the themes. Love is the most chiefly talked about subject tackled by the poet here. For him, ‘Beauty without love is no beauty.’ God is the eternal giver of Ananda to each and every man or woman. He writes:
By the glory of the God
Its love, liberty, light
Harmony, odour or soul of everyman. (36)
Some poems of the collection like ‘To My Teacher: A Tribute’, ‘To A Flower’, ‘To Factitious Enthusiasm’, To Dejection’, ‘On Solitude’, ‘To The Cuckoo’, ‘To Sleep’ and ‘Despondency’ are exclusively written on some particular themes that are already tackled by poets of bygone era, yet the talk of the poet is afresh and anew.
To conclude, the collection is a worthy collection to be read and suggested to lovers of poetry who may also take some lessons of writing good from our senior contemporary poets.