‘Dew and Daze’ by Ananya Dhawan: A Foreword
A foreword to Ananya Dhawan’s recently released anthology of poems, ‘Dew and Daze’, available in Amazon Kindle and soon to be available in print.
“Poetry, like a dream far-fetched, touches those intricate strings of the soul, resonating them to just the right degree. It is a hive of sounds, created by noiseless voices, speaking to those who want to hear the reverberations.”
Ananya Dhawan, young writer, poet, Editor of Pepperscript, former Features Editor of eFiction India journal has very recently released her e-book of poems, ‘Dew and Daze’ on Amazon Kindle. A paperback version of the anthology of poems will soon follow, she announces. Sharing the foreword that I wrote for her poems of the collection.
“Love, the poet said, is women’s whole existence.”
The art and the act of writing poetry has generally been known to have emerged from the depths of complete solitude, which nourishes the recesses of the mind from which 26 syllables form their own permutation and combination of words, onomatopoeia and expressions. However, it is also true that these words, springing like a resonating wellspring, have no meaning, no resonance if they are not derived from, or churned by a creative, fervently passionate mind where love, both the joyous, idyllic kind and the more volatile, sensuous kind live and breathe, to create an endearing poetic symphony.
Ananya’s poems in this short, sweet and soulful collection of verses, titled ‘Dew and Daze’, are the cumulative outbursts of this inexplicable love for life, love for her womanhood, love for “the incredible journey/the moving, the falling/and the steps unseen” that she encompasses so succinctly through the depiction of her poetic emotions. They are the result of a spontaneous overflow of the intensity of her sentiments, which are crystallized in her delicate, yet lasting and poignant imagery which would haunt you, linger in your mind long after you turn the pages of the book and drift away in search of other realities.
The title, the first aspect that struck me when I started reading the collection of her poems, remains an enigma throughout. However, as I started delving deeper into the imploring images in each poem, I could feel that the poetess Ananya intended to celebrate the inherent freshness and quintessential rhapsody of human life, as well as find her lyrical voice in the dazed paraphernalia in which her existence as a woman, a creative being would fit snugly, and continue to provide hope and succor to many other kindred voices. It is her intensely passionate, lyrical voice that depicts a small wonder in her poem, ‘Glory’, “A beautiful face and imploring eyes”, inhabiting a “black and white and grey world”, a world where she “whined and pined”, “Until she got used to this unusual way of living without seeing.” It is the crumbling and the succumbing, the tugging of the heart and the extraordinariness of ordinary, everyday glories that makes her poetic utterance so real and sustainable.
On the other hand, she depicts the surreal and the metaphysical aspects of life in continuum which is “a chaotic rhapsody so red/ barely livable”, and also “a liquid symphony/ Tuned and pure/Spineless, yet defined, like a base, so sure, in which the imagery is sharp, darting, like a double-edged sword, in a trademark verse, short, simple, yet profound, which will surely make its way to the readers’ hearts.
Again, in her poem ‘Phantasma’, she is a mermaid “swimming across seas”, thrilled, apprehensive of the ways of the ocean, a nomadic girl flying across the skies, running across the mountains, for whom the thin dividing line between the real and the fantastical dissolve in quicksilver flashes of consciousness and extra-terrestrial sensations.
The consciousness of her persona comes in volatile spurts of rhetorical questions when she asks: “…am I slick beauty, nonchalantly winning days and nights, skies and oceans, curls and pearls, for my palace royals?” In the very next stanza of the poem, she asks: “What if I am, an entity inanimate-/plain, but playing/ slain, yet slaying hearts/ minds/ souls?” The delicate lyrical voice here bursts open into a flaming, lingering crescendo, which again manifests itself in the poem ‘Black’, where she writes: “Black is my voice/ and a void within;/blank space….Black is the melodrama/the unintentional nihilism,/yet meaningful;/backfires. It is this inherent power of the feminine voice, the strong and distinctive poetic utterance of a woman trying to break her shackles which characterizes the rest of the fiery poems in the collection, providing a breathing space to other voices who dare to dream, desire to transform the world and its rejections, withdrawals and exasperating stupor.
A book of poetry filled with small wonders, meaningful, profound revelations of the bursts of elemental energy of a young woman poet who writes about the travails of a woman and the delirium and excitement of an ultra-sensitive soul, it will be a cherished read for many poetry lovers.
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