Book Review: 'City Times and Other Poems' by Vihang A. Naik
Poetry is an expression of one’s heart and deepest feelings. Whether you use a thousand words or be economical in its usage you speak voluminously in those loaded words. Many say we can’t understand poetry and they are right. We can’t easily understand poetry until and unless we place ourselves into the mind of the poet or the poetry that flows without any restrictions.
‘City times and Other Poems’ by Vihang A. Naik are economically voluminous in character. He uses very less words but says abundantly more than necessary to inspire you. The book is divided into six sections titled; Love song of a journeyman, Mirrored men, The path of wisdom, Self Portrait, At the shore and City times.
The poet expressively explores themes like deceit, time, human beings desire for the truth, non-conformity of words and actions, double standards, patience, rejection, distance, illusion, failure, poverty etc. The poet has very interesting expressions like, “in the desert of my heart,” “pick up the race and melt away,” “put off the mask he wears,” “a relook at faceless world,” and “the world shivers”. The poet has his own style of writing and sticks to it throughout the whole collection of poems.
Vihang A. Naik is expressive and impressive in very less words. In a way there is a desire in the poet to inform human beings to introspect and live a purposeful life as a traveler. The poet makes it clear that time is transient and boasts on the richness of our ancestors.
Almost each and every poem was a gem but I loved his poem titled, “On Visiting Grandfather’s House” and it still happens to behold in my mind. It will happen to you too. If you love poems and poetic expressions, I think you should read this book and relish its pristine emotions in words.
I would like to do a literary appreciation on Vihang A. Naik’s poem from the second section ‘Mirrored Men’ Part II
Not only crab walks crooked.
Who has ever made man walk straight,
Where is that pathway,
The footage, the fixed mark?
He gives messages, speeches,
Lectures and lays out plans.
A sermon of great ideas
For others to follow.
The poet hereby is disappointed by the mere preaching that a priest or anyone who morally guides does. The poet compares the deviation of human being to the crooked walking of the crab. The poet questions whether there has been any standard or straight pathway that one can walk upon and live a pure life. Probably we are bombarded with numerous values and directions, but which is the authentic one? The question lies unanswered.
The poet makes a very important remark on those who preach, lecture, and give messages to attain the truth or walk on a straight path. That they do it all, for others to follow, but they themselves are far from practicing it. The poet’s usage of the crab walking crooked to compare with human beings perpetual fallout from the right path is what I liked in this poem.