An engaging review of Dr. AV Koshy’s recent book of poems, ‘Birds of Different Feathers’ by Sunita Singh.
Poems by Koshy A V
This book by Koshy A V may be the first book of poems by an Indian author which is dedicated to birds.
The poet’s love for the winged creatures and his affinity for them is clearly visible in the book. While on one hand there are poems on the humble sparrows, crows, parrots, and pigeons there are also ones on the nightingale, eagle, swans and doves. In fact on page 14, there is one dedicated to the mythical Quetzalcoatl, worshipped by the Aztecs as their saviour bird.
The poet is filled with tender emotions for the birds and conveys it in the poem ‘You’re Gone’ on page 19, when he feels “..happy that there are no sparrows..”, where he lives since he would be pained to find, “..lying dead on the street, the small body of a bird.”
In another one, he, though delighted to find that a bird has ventured into his room, is anxious that the bird, “…May find itself imprisoned/ its beak kissed by a kind birdman/ who does not know that he is cruel..” [A Bird, page 27]
The book contains poems which are filled with the variegated colours of the human emotions, such as love, longing and also strains of melancholy.
To the poet these feathered beings are, ‘friends’ who cheer him up and he hopes they will ‘come every morning’ to soothe him and to sing to him.
In one poem, he talks about the pangs of parting, “…the mate it loved/ far away, flying/ against the moon in the night…” [ Today, the Birds are Silent, page 30]
His belief in love that it will ‘out-live & cast out/ every human frailty’ is heart-warming, while on the other hand, his poem ‘The Bird Of Death’ (page 16) talks about the transience of life and makes us ponder when the poet remarks, “…You fight to become someone great on this earth/ and all you end up is being part of the dust..” His advice is to “…Live and love instead while you can/ and be happy…”
However, it is his prose-poem, ‘Outside my House is a Guava Tree’ (page 49) which truly espouses his purpose in life, which comes to him, in a ‘moment of self-realization’, that he was “…the beautiful tree full of fruits in its season and could not but give liberally to all and had been grudging it but had finally come to this understanding...” that he, in fact “...lacked nothing of sun, air and water…”
The most endearing quality of the poems is that each one of them is beautiful and although they talk of birds yet it is a metaphor for different themes. It is the mastery of the poet that the verses though simple, are full of depth. They have been written straight from the heart and hence strike a chord.
I would recommend this delightfully slim and slight book, much like a small bird, to people who enjoy reading poetry which is emotion-filled and alluring. I wish Dr. Koshy much success and eagerly wait for his next collection.
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