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Editor: Manohar Khushalani

Copyright © 2011

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'Penumbra of Indian Verses'
Review by Sandra Fowler

Penumbra of Indian Verses 

by Sonnet Mondal ;

Publisher- Cyberwit Publishers; 

92 Pages ; ISBN-10: 8182531837



Sonnet Mondal is a citizen of two worlds. He defines it in this way, “Writing is my passion engineering is my profession."

He has only lived on this planet for a little over two decades, but in that short span of time he has made poetic history and accomplished what most of his colleagues would consider to be their life work.
In the beginning of this book, he reveals the source of his inspiration. It does not reside in India’s glorious past.
It draws its creative strength from the harmony between temples, mosques and churches, the joining thread between several cultures and the unending scope to experiment with islands,hills,rivers and seas. Mondal may be an Indian poet to the depths o his soul, but his poetic voice is truly universal.
The poems in this collection reflect his catholicity, his compassion for humanity, his love of nature, the strength
and nobility of his character, and his unique ability to achieve empathy with people from all walks of life.
Seniors and children, miners and fishermen, cancer patients and young academics, poets and painters will find their pen portraits in the pages of this book. It is a celebration of the humanness that binds
us all together.
It is rare to find a person who delights in being reserved and introspective, but this poet does. He tells us that he likes being shy for it forces him to pen. And indeed it is true that it is in the solitary landscapes of the mind that fine art has its genesis. We catch a glimpse of Sonnet's private world in, ‘No More Poems'
     I had not been able to decipher my within-
       Not in idols,worship...Always a tight frost
            have gripped my hand: my poems melt it
              gives a way out of the world I had lost
I like his rhymes. Mondal's dedication to classic values keeps him in tune with the great song smiths that have  preceded him. 'Conscience' is a fascinating blend of the darkness without and the emptiness within. Poe could have related to the melancholy mood of this piece. But darkness finally arrives to dispel the gloom.
     Then came a narrow beam of light
     From the moon that sat upright
     In the sky to light the outer sight-
         But there was none to fill
               my hollowness till...
Conscience placed a hand upon my shoulder

Sonnet runs easier in the harness of his creativity these days. As I read these brilliant offerings replete with vibrant imagery, Yeats words came to mind. ‘Poetry is blood, imagination and intellect running together.
The sheer joy of being is artfully depicted  in, ‘Who’s the musician?' On a perfect day at the beach, the poet is suddenly captivated by the eternal rhythm of nature at its finest. Without reservation, he dances to its psalm and the music of himself. I love the way he paints the experience.
     Who's the tireless musician?
        who's the composer
     I want to hear more-
I want to dance with the
dancing sands and pebbles
till i fall into the black hole of knowledge

All artists wish to live beyond the calendar. 'The Painter or the Poet?' provides a good example
of this desire. The poet is already famous. The painter is unknown. With remarkable clarity of vision
for one so young, Sonnet muses over which one will be burnt in time's flame.
'A New Gift' is poignant, wistful and endearing. In this one the true poet gives himself away in words.
          You told me to gift something
That has not been used as a gift before.
           I have chosen a very common gift.
                     I had torn off a rose,
           peeled off its skin from the core,
      named in 'Soul' and it was a new gift.
                 I hope you weren't bored

'Vision' is a masterpiece. in this extraordinary offering we hear the mesmerizing music of the nightscape in which we are told most of these poems were created. Mondal's words swirl across the page.
    Not dreams but thoughts in a dark room
                   Had made me dream of
Flowing through the nude woods: I knew it not to come so soon-
                    the end I haven't seen:
I wish to see flower petals with colours of rainbow to bloom.

'Penumbra Of Indian Verses' is engaging, profound and universally bright. I believe Sonnet Mondal will survive time's flame. I wish him strength for the journey. May his pursuit of excellence never falter till the candle burns.