Book Review: Emerging From Shadows by Balroop Singh

When you have such accomplished friends as Maniparna who respond with a brilliant review of a book…you can just be as spellbound as I am right now. I am enthralled by the richness of her language, the choice of her words, the profound understanding of poetry and her in-depth analysis of my poems. Gratitude seems to be a meaningless word to thank her for her serious endeavor to interpret and bring out the subtle meaning of my poems.
I am blessed with such a blogger friend (an outstanding poet) whom I met online when I was struggling to find a foothold to survive in the blogosphere. She has kept her promise of reviewing my latest book ‘Emerging From Shadows.’

Scattered Thoughts

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Balroop is one of those first few bloggers I got acquainted with since the beginning of my blogging journey.  I’ve been reading her blog Emotional Shadows for quite a long time and, the depth and profoundness of her words never have failed to amaze me. So, when she offered me an e-copy of her newest publication, Emerging From Shadows, (her fifth book) a collection of poems, it was quite a pleasure.

Forty poems, composed and curated by the author herself, adorn the book. All the poems, though not related to each other, seems harmonious to me as I finished reading. As if, they are pearls of the same string and, together they exude a feeling that resonates with your mind in more than one way.

Balroop’s poems liberate the mind of the reader from darkness to light. Life, for us, is not a bed of roses. It is a roller…

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#Haiku Life Watchers #Writephoto

watchers

Hanging from the cliff

I could watch the antithesis 

Life is powerful.

© Balroop Singh

… …

Mute watchers warbled

Fluttering fervently around me

Stirring hopeful messages.

© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring #photoprompt.

If you have liked these poems, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

How Poetry Makes Us Positive Minded

 

Positive power of poetry

If you are a poetry lover, you must be familiar with the positive power that a poem can provide us. I have quoted many inspiring lines from the famous poets in one of my earlier posts. ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling being my favorite.

Poetry soothes the writer as well as the reader.

Recently I stumbled across this gem, an outstanding poem written in 1932. It demonstrates an incredible power to assuage loss and anguish. Though the poet had written it for her friend who could not visit her mother’s grave due to disturbing times, its popular appeal can be judged from the fact that it was read by the father of a young soldier, who had been killed by a bomb in Northen Ireland.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die. – Mary  Elizabeth Frye

The poem conjures a thousand images of nature to lift the gloomy mood, which fades away in the wake of so much positivity. Read it twice and you would be transported into a different world.

Those who consider reading or writing a poem a difficult task have probably not been introduced to poetry at an impressionable stage of life when emotions and sensitivities are forming.

It is just like book love; some of us are passionate readers while many people don’t care for a book. I know many persons who have not read a single book in their life. When you try to understand the reasons behind this habit, most of the times you would discover that they had no exposure to reading in their childhood.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.” – Walt Whitman 

From Rumi to Rudyard Kipling to Maya Angelou, poetry has always evoked images of romanticism, realism and Sufism and we get carried away with those images depending on the phase of our life.

Poetry can convey the emotions most succinctly:

“Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs” – William Shakespeare

A renowned Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib says, “Love is a river of fire and you have to drown in it to reach it.” Love could perish you, that’s what Ghalib’s quote is trying to convey through just one couplet and he is talking about romantic love.Poetry of earth

Poetry holds the most profound thoughts:

“The poetry of the earth is never dead,” John Keats has compressed all pervading beauty of nature and its subtle sounds just within one line.

Poetry clasps our sweetest and saddest thoughts:

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. – P.B. Shelley

Poetry carries the wisdom of the world; much can be learnt from it as every aspect of life is depicted through it:

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

Poetry inspires us to look at the beauty around us:IMG_3370

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
– Robert Frost

I have picked up those lines of poetry, which are very easy to understand. In vain do we get scared by this splendid genre of literature, which has been called “the crown of literature.”

Have you felt the positive power of poetry?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

My Promise Of Becoming A Better Person…

Last year when I was intrinsically inspired by the resolutions of my blogger friends, I had made just one promise and that was ‘to become a better person.’

This one thought ushered in a host of memories, which revealed to me my true self and I felt the need to record some of my struggles with the enhancement of my personality.

It was not an easy endeavor as many of those memories were fraught with fears of facing monsters lurking around me but the way I have dealt with them single-handedly, removing all the cobwebs in which I was trapped has convinced me that there is always a light shimmering at the horizon.

As the curtain was coming down on another year, I got the opportunity to introspect… how much could I come up to my expectations?

The definition of being a ‘Better Person’ could be different for all of us but I had set 6 benchmarks, which I have been working on.

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I am delighted to tell you that a single resolution has helped me immensely in putting together my observations and experiences in the form of a book, which I am ready to release. Some of the chapters are the same that I have shared with you but this book is for all those readers who don’t come regularly to read my blog and even those who would like to ascend the steps of personality building, one by one.

My conviction is that self-help is the best kind of help as teachers and therapists can only show us the way. We have to move ahead with our own steps, if we stumble and stagger, we have to rise with our own efforts in whatever journey we undertake.

When I self-published my first book, I was not a blogger and was unaware of the challenges of wading into the realms of publication. Ignorance is bliss and so I didn’t even realize where I could have floundered!

Then I discovered blogging! The happiness of sharing my emotions and reflections was enough to keep me afloat! On the way I met some wonderful blogger friends who guided and supported me with their wisdom and expertise. Some even reviewed my books.

My thoughts go back to some of my oldest blogger friends Vishnu, Harleena Singh, Marie, Lisa and Somali, who stood by a newbie to offer valuable advice and reviews. Alka went a step further by uploading one of my books’ cover on her blog to help me in its promotion. Christy invited me to tea at her blog to talk about my poetry. Dear friends, I take this opportunity to express my gratitude once again and look forward to your support this time again.

I have many lovely author cum blogger friends whom I met recently and would request all of them to be a part of this endeavor.

Please spread the word. Share this post at your blogs and all the social networks please.

Give a shout out to your friends who would like to become a better person.

My book is now live at Amazon.com

You can click on the link to look inside or grab your copy.

Thank you for reading this. I look forward to your love and support.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.


 

Dealing With My Dearest Buddy And Reprimanding Bully

creativity

The hangover of travel still lurks around me though I am back on my favorite couch, trying to wake up my creative critter, which seems to have gone into hibernation. Having failed to fuel my imagination for almost a month, I know I can’t pass on the responsibility to my dearest muse who responds spontaneously to stimulus.

When I struggle with self-doubt, Maya Angelou’s words reverberate around me
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Lately I have been spending too much time with the antagonists of creativity, seeking pleasure in the festivities, lounging around with family and friends and gathering some golden moments of delight.

‘Do you want to stay in your self-obsessed boundaries?’ I ask my creative buddy.
She just looks at me irately and closes her eyes.

‘You are my only love, my solace, my dearest confidant.’
She eyed me with a sneering satisfaction and dug deeper into its acrimonious abode.

‘Please come and sit with me, I have some interesting escapades to share.’
‘You have been selfish and unkind. You got mired in self-doubt. You are a procrastinator.’

I was taken aback but I knew she was right. I nodded a little, refusing to agree whole-heartedly with the indictments, trying to keep my vacillating valor intact within me.

‘Your complacency irritates me, your attitude is so annoying and your priorities are paradoxical. I have failed to understand you.’

‘But I love you. You are my only island of amity and tranquility.’
‘Love is not enough. You have to be consistent. You must know that love means ‘loyalty’, ‘obeisance’, ‘venerating’ and ‘eloquence.’

‘If you are not loyal to your words, they become elusive. If you lack obeisance, reflections fritter away. If you don’t revere your ephemeral ideas, they lack coherence and if you are not eloquent enough, your touch with your subtle self becomes feeble.’creativity-quote

The daunting discourse didn’t die down till I agreed to hold the hands of my reprimanding bully, nodding to all her diktats and flying away with her to cross the boundaries of horizon.

She reminded me…‘You have to be intrepid to jump off the cliffs, quit rational thinking and develop wings whenever wanted. You have to keep the fire burning and redefine your priorities.’

I didn’t like her preconditions because family has always been my priority. I have never looked beyond my practical responsibilities but I agreed, as I wanted to win her confidence. I know she is just cross. I know she too knows me well. She appreciates space but when it starts creating wedges, she possesses the potential to bridge the breach.

I sincerely hope I would come up to the expectations of my dearest buddy.

Have you ever been admonished by your creative self?
Thank you for reading this amalgamation of emotions. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.
Balroop Singh.