Book: ECLECTIC EMOTIONS by Debashree Basak
Genre: Poetry Anthology
Published by Ukiyoto Publishing
Having read Ms Debashree Basak earlier, I was looking forward to an immersive poetic experience when I picked up her debut poetry anthology – Eclectic Emotions. And sure enough, she did not disappoint me. The medley of emotions and expressions she has laid out for us is, indeed a literary treat! The collection boasts of 45 poems in all, distributed unevenly over two segments – Human Emotions (32 poems) and Nature’s Emotions (the remaining 13).
For some strange reason, I chose to read the book in reverse order, probably because I wanted to steal a peek at Ms Basak’s Author Bio. And there I found the words I was looking for – ‘Poetry is the fodder for her soul’ – a perfect description of the stellar poet that she happens to be. That, along with the vibrant tangerine cover bearing her young daughter’s painting of serrated leaves, set the perfect tone for the contents that were to follow. The acknowledgements to her parents and her daughter largely warmed my heart.
The first and longer segment, quite predictably, has numbers centering around the human heart, its moorings, its aches and pains, its deep-rooted apprehensions, and positive validations. The theme of ‘memory’ recurs frequently in these poems – soulful memories of the narrator’s mother, of childhood and its joys, of love and tenderness fading with time, of finding the self, of relationships cherished and later, lost. The sense of looking back and yearning for what is lost, surfaces poignantly with a marked regularity. The poet frequently reminds us of the irrevocability of time and tide, and the finality of death through her words. Some of my favourites in this section are – Lavender, Reminiscence, Kaleidoscope, Faded and Forlorn, Quiet Dreams, and Peace Lies Within me.
The sombre tone is intermittently leavened by a dose of positivity, motivation and exuberance that greet us in poems like Hide and Seek, The Sun Within Me, Doors of Positivity and Certitude, and Hope. The very contemporary and debatable subject of honour killing makes a surprise appearance in Eternal Love. Rendezvous stands out because of a unique feature – the first and last lines of each stanza are the same, thus emphasising the thoughts conveyed. The words ‘eclectic emotions’ find mention in two of the poems here – Reminiscence and Faded and Forlorn.
Among the ‘nature’ poems, I particularly liked Gentle Yet Chaotic, Tunes of Nature, Strength of Poseidon, Colours to Sepia, and Pearl Drop. In several of the pieces, we observe how turbulent human minds seek solace and find peace in the bounty and serenity of the natural world.
Ms Basak excels in describing the various features of nature in all their beauteous splendour and glory. Be it the breeze, the sun, the sky, the waves, the flora, the rain – every subject is captured and presented with precision and vivid detailing. Every single poem, in this segment, paints a pretty canvas before our eyes that lingers and swirls in our mind, even after we’ve put the book away. And therein lies the masterful poetic expertise of Debashree Basak.
The poems in both the segments are an even mix of both rhymed and unrhymed verse. The length of the poems, as also the metre, are varied. Put together, such poetic techniques help add multiplicity and unpredictability to the contents, thus heightening the joy of reading.
The First Person narration takes centre stage in this anthology, followed by the Second and occasionally, the Third. The poet, thus, adds an endearing touch to her offerings and establishes a direct and personal connect with the readers.
Debashree Basak is naturally blessed with the gift of ornate vocabulary, which shines through in this collection, too. The images she conjures through her immaculate word weaving are sheer brilliance! Quite a few times, in fact, I had to reach out for my sepia dictionary to comprehend the exact meaning of the expressions used. Which led me to momentarily wonder, if a marginally toned-down word bank would be slightly easier to comprehend, and contribute towards an uninterrupted reading flow…more so, if the reader happens to be a new entrant in the world of literature.
Ms Basak’s maiden published anthology offers everything that would satiate the soul of a poetry aficionado. From technical purity to a pleasurable reading experience, Eclectic Emotions ticks all the right boxes. I highly recommend this delightful melange of words and verses to all discerning lovers of poetry.