My Songs by Arvind Kumar Chaudhary, Bihar: I.A.P.E.N.2008, ISBN-978-81-906165-1-5, Price-50/-, pages-34.

Dr. Arvind Kumar Chaudhary is a rising star of Indian English Poetry who from past few years has emerged on the sky of Indian English poetry with a new shine and luster. He is an editor of Kohinoor -a literary journal and presently he is hectically involved in his project of Encyclopedia of Indian Creative writers in English which will be a real milestone in the domain of Indian English literature. Being a critic of Romantic, Victorian and Twentieth century poets and essayists, Chaudhary edited a number of critical books in these streams and presently he is the Head of the department R. C. College, India.

The present collection My Songs carrying thirty four poems on various topics like Holi, The Ganga, Leader, Life, Love, Death, Nature, Man, Bird, The Poor, The Rich, Religion, Terrorism, Pride, Friend and Foe etc. in which the poet has tried his ‘best to peep into different facets of life’ in one poem after another with noble vision and keen observation.

The tone in most of the poems is invocation to ‘Awake, arise and be conscious of the rampant evils of the society when ‘Sita is bawling/ Ravan is singing/ Chastity is bleeding/ Raper is thronging’ and his poetry considers death as ‘slave of wound, weak and war of life,’ love-‘as the fragrance of life’ and ‘loveless life worse than Death’.

Most of the poems of the collection are romantic, delineation of Nature or of social concern in which the poet either seems enjoying the situation or criticizing the prevalent predicament. His poetry thus remains active in all the situations and looks at each with serious attention, so his vision of poetry is clear and reformatory. He looks at a thing with a definite purpose so that man may know about rationality and develop an optimistic and philosophical approach of the things. He, when looks at an owl finds enormous similarities with a man. So in a way, addressing the owl he says: “O Owl/ Do not play the foul. / To show white feathers/ is modern man’s feathers. /” (22)

The poems of the collection are written with a definite purpose, either to refine man’s outlook or to tickle his consciousness. The excessive use of idioms and phrases has created clichés and verbosity and it appears that poet is conscious at times in his choice of words while it is acknowledged that in a poem, words follow the expressions. The repetition and euphemism has soured the sweetness of a few poems. If the poet emphasizes on simplicity and prefers simple expressions to colloquial expressions his poetry will be more aromatic and effective.

To sum up, it can undoubtedly be said that the poetry of A. K. Choudhary is the mirror of our everyday social life which is cankered with corruption, immorality and cut-throat competition as well as it is a soothing balm on the bruises of civilization. The poet has ample prospects and if he honestly follows the path of nobility, he will twinkle magnificently among the other luminary stars of Indian English poetry.

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