Bhaskar Parichha

Epitaph of the Falling Tree

The title of the poetry collection itself is fascinating. Satyanarayan Mishra writes poetry rather passionately. This being his fourth collection in a short span of two years, the frequency is noticeable. There are altogether forty-one poems in the collection – each of the poems has some message to convey.

One strong point of Mishra’s poems is their lyricism. As he writes in the opening, ‘the characters are taken from nature, society, and the surroundings.’ Read this:

‘The earth has a redolence and a piquancy
It expresses gratitude to the clouds
While petrichor adds to its fragrance
The soil soaks the water
It subsumes everything, everyone;
Even the benumbed bodies
Under the grave.'(The Soil has a Fragrance)

In ‘The flower’ the poet muses:

‘While a flower blossoms blooms a star
to be a flower
is that simple…
So many births with piety, so much torment, so much sufferance
Just to become a bud.
(To flower)

Satyanarayan Mishra’s approach to poetry is methodical. His thoughts are clear and cogent. As a sensible poet, he picks up subjects from his own environment. Sample this:

‘There dwelled a man in the slums
toiling hard with two kids
And a sick wife
Doing all kinds of quack remedies
He professed
God embodied his body
He claimed himself as the godman
And by the way, tried
To impress the mass in the slums.’
(The Slum God)

If poems are stress- relievers and provide amusement, there are a couple of poems in that genre.

After bagging the ticket that day
He made his first speech
in a gathering
He flaunted his prowess endlessly…
I’m your leader
I’m your Krishna
Your charioteer to progress.’
(Said the Leader)

And what it takes to be a poet? Mishra has the answer:

‘The poet is always immersed
Doused with poetry
His mind and body
Servile to literature.’

(The Poet)

Each one of the poems in this anthology is full of verve and vitality. The free verse is all-comprehensive and the themes that have been picked up are a spirited lot. He hits upon the right word as this one: ‘in relentless heat of the torturous sun, you sigh like the dried leaf.’ His imagery is strong enough to hold on to the interest of the reader and they are unfailingly so with the poet’s exploration of nature, love, death and myriad ideas. The symbolism here is amazing.

Several poems revolve around society and there is an element of comicality in each of them. The titles too are amusing, if not creepy: ‘Ghost, Autowalah, Ms. Maiti, Dealing with Dawdle.’ Together, they go to make sensible poetry and the intimacy is perceptible.

‘Epitaph of the Falling Tree’ is refreshing, to say the least. Metaphors are used plentifully to drive home the poetic idea. Many poems in the collection touch upon the widespread ills in society. Poems like ‘The Village I Knew’; ‘The Mad Woman’ is appealing. Taken as a whole, this anthology is exciting and at the same time it is undemanding.

‘Epitaph of the Falling Tree’

Dr Satyanrayan Mishra

Wolf Books