Book Review – A Monkey Mind’s Log by Pradeep Gopalan

The debut collection of poems A Monkey Mind’s Log by Pradeep Gopalan is simple and straightforward. The poems follow a simple narrative offering insights into author’s mind and life.

The contemporary style poetry collection will resonate even with novices like me who are starting out into the visceral world of poetry reading. The simple narrative in continuous thought allows for a comprehensive understanding of the author’s ruminations.

The lines in the poem follow seamlessly connecting to the reader’s emotions. The poem A Season has arrived with simple imagery captures the beauty along with the transforming horror of the modern day rainy season.

The poem Scarecrow with its strong imagery without a doubt offers a sublime take on how information in its various forms affect our life. Meanwhile, the poem Crosswords draws an interesting parallel between navigating through life and solving the crossword puzzles.

The squares almost rightly filled in
but still incomplete,
is the stuff of life as well.

The author in particular details events from across the world; the short poem Aleppo-2011 is powerful in its brevity exemplifying the carnage of war. Credo is also a 12 line verse that illustrates the power within us to bring about change.

Anger Management is definitely a find, offering much needed life lesson on handling disappointments and anger in our life. He writes:

Buddha decreed long ago:
most things are powerless
without your reaction.
What, then, is the point of
any rage or restlessness?

Moreover, the author’s passion for music is revealed in several poems like the Landing Notes and Life Beats, illustrated beautifully with everyday happenings of life. Signature Tunes also spells out a beautiful analogy on life viewed through the spectrum of music.

The inspirational immortal power of art is powerfully narrated in Musings at the MOMA, N.Y. The poem Gallery takes us through the greatest artistic pieces from Lucian Freud’s Two Plants to Magritte’s pipe. Magritte’s pipe gets a poem of its own in Art Lesson from Magritte highlighting the power of perception.

The last part contains Fan Poems by the author which are particularly touching tributes to the author’s favourites Shreya Ghosal, Nilanjana Roy, Mira Nair, A. R. Rahman, Pratap Banu Mehta and Viijay Raaz. The fan poems also make for a relatable, enjoyable reading experience.

The maiden collection of poems without a dout offers intimate appreciation of life with universal messages. The poems on varied subjects clearly offers a nuanced understanding on the different facets of life. Altogether, a refreshing collection of poems that one can always return to as they will continue to resonate with you.

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