Book Review: The Wind Knocks at My Door (Rupesh Singh) | Shamenaz Shaikh

The Wind Knocks at My Door & Other Poems : A Synthesis of Romance and Mysticism

Rupesh Singh | Authorspress: New Delhi | ISBN: 978-93-5207-120-3, 195, 2015

The Wind Knocks at My Door is the maiden poetry collection by Rupesh Singh who is a budding poet, a PhD scholar of English Literature in University of Allahabad. Writing poetry is a passion for him as he is writing since his teenage from16 years. He writes in English and his poems have been published in many literary journals and anthologies across India. He is greatly inspired by nature which is being reflected in his poems. In his quest for deeper truths, he is inclined towards reading religious texts not only of Hinduism but Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and other religions of the world.

Rupesh has dedicated the poetry collection to his mother with respect and dignity. He has divided the collection into two parts. The first part is entitled as ‘For Love’ comprising of 18 love poems and the second part is ‘For God’ consisting of 22 spiritual poems dedicated to God.

The very first poem of the section, ‘For Love’ is ‘She Walks in Beauty’ shows an intense love, eagerness and passion of a lover to meet his beloved. As the lines reflects:

Where have you gone? O Lovely Oleander!

I am searching for you in this vacuum and vast sky

Where are you? O’ life giving sun!

My heart has been thirsty for long ages

Would you not come? Like the flowing river!

The poem also depicts a heart longing to meet his beloved. This love, longing, passion and eagerness are further carried in other poems of the section as, ‘With Palpitating Breaths’, ‘Search of Beauty’, ‘Beneath the Blue Carpet’, ‘Without You’ , ‘At My Open Casements’, ‘The Evening Flower’, ‘Separation’, ‘I Miss You’ , ‘The Consecrated Love’ and so on has the same theme running parallel in it. It seems that poet is greatly inspired by romantic poets especially by John Keats.

In the next section ‘For God’, each poem has been crafted beautifully with philosophical blend of mind telling us about the spirituality and divinity of life with a simple and mystical tone. This shows the philosophical attitude of poet towards life. As the lines of the poem, ‘Invocation’ depicts:

I do need not other pleasure or weal

All I need is your love and Bhakti

Which is perennial and eternal

And the utmost truths till the burial.

The poem is highly philosophical in tone and reflects the Indian spiritual tradition of writing poetry. It seems that he is greatly influenced by Vaishnav Cult of Bhakti movement as many of his poems seem based on this philosophy. The other poems of this section, ‘Invocation’, ‘O Light! O God!’, ‘Let Me Confess’, ‘Rekindle’, ‘O God!’, ‘My Annihilator’, ‘My Cuckoo’, ‘My God’ and some other verses reflects his divine love for God and he is pursuing the almighty as a seer and a devotee.

In some poems, he has defined love for mother and his country, as in ‘Mother’, he misses his mother and is full of gratitude for her expressing his love and devotion towards her. He expresses his ethereal love for her in the following lines:

O Sweet Mother!

You gave me light and life

And I saw the unseen world

Through your humid eyes.

In the poem he seems to be melancholic and nostalgic about the days he spent with his mother. In his next poem, India, he has exhibited his love for his motherland, India. In all his verses, he has used nature either as symbol or as addressing note to express his love and devotion.

Poet has deep love for writing poetry which is quite visible and his poems are enriched with passion and emotions. He seems to believe in emotion rather than intellect. Almost all the poems in the collection are written in free verse. In every poem, there is longing and pining either to meet beloved or to meet God. Reading love poems of The Wind Knocks at My Door is like watching a medieval romance and reading spiritual poems is like going on a mystical journey. All the poems in the collection highlight poet’s imagination, feelings and mystical attitude reflected in the form of beautiful verses. As a maiden poetry collection it is highly appreciated.

Shamenaz Shaikh

Shamenaz Shaikh

Shamenaz Sheikh is Associate Professor of English in an Engineering College-AIET, Allahabad. She completed Phd in English Literature at University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.