Signals, by Sumeet Grover

REVIEWS, 9 Apr 2018

Balwant Bhaneja – TRANSCEND Media Service

16 Apr 2018 – In this eclectic collection of poems about silence, Sumeet Grover echoes thoughts of nothingness, sublime, and disquiet. Personal and social concerns are expressed that range from moments of intimacy to alienation; his poems project empathy, sensuality, wrath and personal closeness. In the lead poem, Silence, Grover notes:

If silence is all there is,
it is all the permission I need
to think, to speak, to express, to imagine;
to walk, to sit, to weep, to hope.

Similar contemplative insight of one’s core essence is expressed in poem, Now:

Now cannot be touched:
it has no form
Now is emptiness:
even when it fills,
it cannot be seen.

There is a haiku-like brevity in Grover’s observations. In Nothingness, he tells us:

I pause, I wait
another day, another hour;
nothingness   is a tiring job
in this body.

Feeling stifled by narrow interpretations of truth in faith based traditions, in his poem Religion he tells off a disenchanted character Darioush who is about to die, to abandon his fetish cynicism and instead choose to live:

I say to you to whisper
through that polythene bag:
“there is a single truth
a single faith,
a single scripture.”

In an ode to women, there is search for a deeper sense of the opposite sex:

Woman: I am a weary man convicted
of being woman. I burn every word,
every sentence: my spirit runs free.

The monosyllable titles of his poems are the signals of his insightful thoughts, that include self and the subject of his observation. In Tomorrow, it is a homeless on the wet street of London:

Memory is a distant home:
he has forgotten we spoke
three months ago….
His memory always distant:
everyday he asks for change
from me, from old strangers,
hoping to find his home
by tomorrow.

Grover’s poems have a profound meditative understanding and experience about our inner and outer worlds, and a poetic eye challenging that duality.

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Sumeet Grover is the founder of Global Poetry, dedicated to creativity, human dignity, dialogue and global citizenship. He is a winner of the Portico Brotherton Open Poetry Prize 2014 and was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize in 2014 & 2015. He has authored three books of poetry: Signals (2017), House Arrest & Disobedience (2015) and Change (2011). Grover is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.

Bill (Balwant) Bhaneja is a former Canadian diplomat and a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He produces the Nonkilling Arts Research Committee (NKARC) Newsletter for the Center for Global Nonkilling. A writer and peace activist, his recent books include: Quest for Gandhi: A Nonkilling Journey (2010) and Troubled Pilgrimage: Passage to Pakistan (2013). He is Vice-chair of Center for Global Nonkilling, Honolulu-Hawai’i (www.nonkilling.org). He lives in Ottawa, Canada.

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 Apr 2018.

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