Fusion Sonnets by Sonnet Mondal, Kolkata: Sparrow Publication, March 2010, ISBN 978-81-89140-31-1, Price-295/-, Pages-154. Reviewed by Shaleen Kumar Singh

In the last phase of 21st century, the experimental twenty one lines fusion sonnets of Sonnet Mondal are important not because they are experimental and trend setter but because they forecast of a century that will not be entirely devoid of poetry or other creative pursuits and also fill us with a sapling hope that the Indian English poetry has few rising columns who will shine and leave eternal source of bliss to their followers. Sonnet is now a well-known and acknowledged poet around the world who has already authored two books of poetry and has been bestowed with several national and international awards and prizes. His poetry is widely published, read acknowledged and recognized by many eminent poets and critics of India and abroad like Taslima Nasreen, Dr. Stephen Gill, Dr. Shubrendu Kar, Dr. Subodh Sarkar, Dr. K. Thiagrajan, Dr. M. Fakhruddin, and Dr. Sandra Fowler and now he should be included in the inventory of serious and top grade authors and poet of the Nation.

The present book Fusion Sonnets is beautifully designed with multi-coloured jacket and the luring paintings appended in the book display Sonnet’s impressive mastery over the genre and his love to Modern art and painting as well. The book is divided into two parts. In the first part, seventy sonnets of twenty one lines along with reviews and opinions of critics, Foreword and Preface of the poet and in the second part twenty three sonnets of fourteen lines of traditional type are included along with the ‘history of sonnet over the years of creation’ and a brief interview are included with a view to maintain a harmony between the two genre and rouse the interest of the fellow poets towards experimentation and innovation. He holds very candidly that ‘the best thing about being a writer is creation, innovation and invention….’ (154).

His poetry and specially the twenty one line sonnets are marked with the quality of invention and innovation as he is constantly vigilant in linguistic and thematic choices. His range of ideas is vast and his message is optimistic and sometimes didactic too. He has been subjective in most of his sonnets, yet his subjectivity is never exclusively personal or dull. His images and expressions are fresh and riveting and his rhythm and tone are decent. His language and diction are simple, yet figurative but his innovation never makes him obscure or obtrusive.

In brief, one cannot escape getting impressed with Sonnet’s poetry in his present book which is full of colourful images and equally colourful poetry. Sonnet knows well the responsibility of a good poet laureate ‘who maintains of strict and perfect balance between truth and imagination’ and also an additional responsibility towards society in restoring rich cultural heritage to any nation or land. Thus Sonnet should be considered as a mature and self realized poet who has forsaken the shells of self and has known the true aim of life and poetry. My hearty congratulations to Sonnet!

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