Poetry comes to Akhil Kumar Mishra naturally. Having already brought out five poetry collections in his native language Odia, here is the first anthology of poems in English. A career civil servant, Akhil Mishra’s zeal for poetry is simply unputdownable. ‘If Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language’ as held by Lucille Clifton, ‘The Painted Silence’ is undeniably a celebration of life in its speckled hues and colors. As he himself says in the foreword, this collection is the ‘result of years of conversation with the never ending process called public life’.
The poems are fully rooted in reality. They have all the elements of ‘betrayal, sorrow, happiness, loneliness’ and the saleable existence of man. Thirty poems spread over sixty-odd pages give you a touch of simplicity and modishness. Some poems have a deeper connotation while some are tranquil notes of a human being. The poet has taken subjects from the closet, and at the same time provides the readers a kind of reality check.
Some of the poems have an overriding message of continuance: ‘You are a prisoner of time/pondering over the path you have taken/and the direction you have set for yourself’ (The Wall).Or take this one: ‘Sorrowful waves rise from the sea and ripples seem to be tearful/In your anticipated arrival, I gather the sand pebbles from time/My sand hose keeps collapsing/I try again and again, but it remains incomplete’ (The Painted Wall).Then this little hilarious piece of canine behavior : ‘Dogs bark at each other/never listen/When the road gets crowded The dog barking gets louder/In the dead of silence there are no dogs ,There are no barking’(The Dog In The Road).
The other poems to one’s liking are: In The Restaurant, Shimla, One Mid-day In Bhubaneswar, A False Summer, In Absurdity, Konark et al.The cover and design is by Saroj Bal.
As a media professional Akhil Mishra has been travelling extensively from one corner to another, one state to another and that has given him a sort of wherewithal to write poetry. Poetry for him is a sense of ‘mutual solidarity, justice, fairness and dignity.’
The poems in the anthology are coherent and easy to grasp. In this journey of verse, Akhil Mishra wants to explore various tones of life even farther. His commitment to rhyme is irreversible. Mark this confession: ‘Poetry never ends in me /I never end in poetry/for moments words take shelter under a cover/Just to begin their journey again/my poetry never end.’
The Painted Silence
Akhil Kumar Mishra
950, Green Villa,NK Marg