Book Review: Looking through the Prism by Sujata Chatterjee

Rating: 4.5/5

A collection of poems cannot be read like a novel, covering several chapters a day. Each poem is to be savoured and mulled over. Think—How do YOU feel about it? What does it say to YOU? I believe that the magic of a poem lies in the manner in which each person interprets it in a slightly different way. “Looking through the Prism” is a collection of 17 delightful poems that can be easily covered in a day, but I chose to give each piece time to sink in.

Sujata Chatterjee has covered a wide range of subjects in her poems, from descriptions of nature to the meaning of freedom to hope, love, memories, and beauty. I found “Exhaustion” to be most relatable as it deals with the futility of memorizing facts as part of the current school education system instead of learning life skills and developing one’s personality.

Another poem that I felt compelled to re-read was “The Rosebud.” The contrast between cruelty and compassion is depicted so sensitively and beautifully. Each word in “The Freedom” gives one a sense of being free of the many chains that hold us captive and feeling breathless in one’s newfound freedom.

“Loving You” is an endearing dedication to one’s beloved—each word is filled with love, longing, and deep fondness. Chatterjee manages to convey a gentle sadness in “Gateway to Memories” without making the poem sound melancholy. The longing in one’s heart is classily depicted via the use of imagery. Autumn, sunsets, whispers, winks, and shedding leaves are put to good use to portray the pain of remembering bygone times. “The Forgotten Cottage” is a poem that deal with similar feelings—of long-lost laughter, longing, burning fireplaces, dancing, and music.

There are several happy and hopeful pieces in the collection – A Rainbow, The Blessed Fairy, Musical Notes of Nature, Come O Spring–and all make use of the beauty of nature to draw a picture of the ups and downs of life.  

The collection ends with the sombre “Destiny: Faith Or Reason” and is a fitting end to a book that traverses the entire span of human emotions.

(Literoma Publishing Services offered a copy of the book to me in exchange for an honest review.)


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