When poetry takes the garb of real, the product that is the result is far more closer to reality than the words of fiction. The poet Tirtho Banerjee creates this realistic product in his third title, “Love Knots.” After his earlier collections, “Beyond Words and Between Lines” and “Cityscape,” the title “Love Knots” would seem a bit intriguing and baffling to the readers who are familiar with his style and manner of writing. But that does not restrict them or stop them from picking up the new collection and reading it.

Banerjee keeps his book cover simple and without much elaboration to keep the readers in suspense and thought of what is to follow. Even when they check the 4 sections that the author divides his poetry into, they do not get many clues of what they have laid their hands on. As they read, they get to explore a different side of the poetic talent of the author. While broadly dividing the book into 4 sections, the author keeps the titles of his poems limited to one word mostly. He gives just the exact detail that has to be given through that one word, and the rest is done when the readers read the poems. At the same time, the 4 sections show the progress of thought, how things unfold, and the different stages that define life. “Love Knots,” as a title may, for once, sound a bit oxymoronic when examined from a different perspective, but this clubbing together of these two words sums up the reality in life altogether.

Perhaps one of the most attractive features of “Love Knots” is the precision with which the poems have been written. They are simple, clear, concentrated, and objective. Even though the author deals with a powerful emotion in his poetry, yet he approaches and attaches an objectivity which is a rare feature to be found in poetry on the same subject. This gives his work and style a uniqueness and makes it stand out from any other work written on the subject of love. It gives the readers an altogether different dimension and to observe love as something much beyond the cliché manner in which it has always been projected.  While the poetry is straightforward and concise, it is also cryptic and makes the readers ponder over the words the author uses. It opens his poetry to multiple interpretations and perspectives to examine the few words the author uses. Although, most of the time, he shows things through the eyes of a male, yet there is a certain universality that pervades the work. This universality strikes off all gender boundaries, and any person reading the poetry can relate to it. At the same time, this also opens the poetry to be read by anyone, irrespective of who they are.

After his earlier two collections, the poet breaks ground by going in a different direction in terms of his subjects. Yet, his precision features the complexity, which has been a defining feature of his work. For those who have read “Cityscape” by Banerjee, “Love Knots” comes across as a title that is different both in terms of content and the subjects it talks about. While the readers see him sharing his views on city life and city inhabitants in “Cityscape” in “Love Knots,” the author talks about the experiences through personal and observations. He resorts to sarcasm at times and talks about human behavior. Here, the situation is quite different, though. Staying true to his style, he writes in his usual crisp and compact manner. This makes his poems short and loaded with imagery and meaning. He uses few words but conveys the thoughts which resonate far beyond the imagination.

The readers would certainly come back to the poems with fresh new eyes every time they read. This is the dynamism of Banerjee’s style, where his words can invoke new thoughts every time a person reads them. He may have opted for a language that is free of heavy vocabulary or even long stanzas with elaborate and exaggerated references. This compactness would help him expand his reader base and appeal to more readers due to the features of his practicality which keeps the spark of the natural alive too.

Author: Tirtho Banerjee
Book Title: Love Knots
Print length: ‎ 236 pages
Publisher: Ukiyoto Publishing
Reviewed by: Akhila, Criticspace Journal

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