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A Review in THE CYCLIC LITERARY LETTER (CLL): IF WINTER COMES

By Dr. Satyapal Anand

Satyapal Anand began writing poetry in the fifties of the last century, that is almost six decades ago. The poems in this volume, though different from their original Urdu version in which these were originally written, carved a name for him as a celebrity in his native land (Pakistan and India), are more cerebral than emotional. He excels in using the format of a dramatic monologue in which the speaker draws his persona from history, mythology, or folk stories of the East and the West alike. His method is to place the two archetypes, one from the past and the other from the present, and juxtapose them to draw out the best drop of meaning. In doing this he doesn’t sacrifice the essential traits of poetry. The celebrated poet’s method is the use of the metaphor of a play ‘within a play and juxtaposes them to draw out the last drop of meaning. The result, indeed, is prodigious. 

Satyapal Anand makes abundant use of Hindu, Greek, and Roman mythologies because with this viewpoint dictating the expanse and reach of poetry, he can draw near meaning applicable to today’s human situation. Readers and critics alike have admitted these archetypes in his poetry. The cultural studies movement of 1980a shrouded itself in a prophylactic mentality.” says an article in South Atlantic Review. In recent years, poets in India or Indian poets in England have found fresh pastures by recovering the extra cultural and mythopoetic ground for their poems. Two of them have won the Nobel Prize.  Anand’s celebrated method is classical and contemporary at the same time, in its soul and body, as it were.

The book has seventy poems that exhibit a unique method of seeing and treating a ph phenomenon, a person, or an incident at once with the immediacy of occurrence and also with its mythological-cultural background. The result is prodigious because the reader also feels like the spectator-poet. 

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