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Solace and Meaning in Nature: "Words from Nature" by Shahid Abbas

Solace and Meaning in Nature: "Words from Nature" by Shahid Abbas

Book Review by Dr. Shalini Yadav

"Words from Nature" is an enchanting collection of poetry by Shahid Abbas, a Nature poet who beautifully captures the essence and beauty of the natural world. Through his evocative words and imagery, Abbas weaves a tapestry of emotions, inviting readers to embark on a journey of self-discovery and connection with the natural world. The collection is published by Cyber Clerical Associates, New York, USA owned by Maxwanette A. Poetess/Maxine A. Moncrieffe.

In his poem "Sojourner of Faithful Seeking," Abbas showcases his ability to inspire and ignite passion within the reader. His words act as a guiding light, leading us towards the wonders of nature. It is apparent that Abbas has drawn inspiration from renowned Nature poets, as his work resonates with themes explored by poets like Wordsworth, Emerson, and Thoreau. Much like these poets who found solace and meaning in nature, Abbas reminds us of the healing power of cool breezes, the joy of singing, and the birth of hope.

Abbas employs vivid imagery and metaphors in his poem "The Bewitching Hour" to capture the intensity of emotion and the power of memory. The universes colliding and mysteriousness depicted in this poem bring to mind the works of Rumi and Hafez, renowned mystical poets who celebrated the cosmic and spiritual connections that permeate our lives. Abbas skillfully transposes this mysticism into his poetry, leaving readers captivated by the otherworldly nature of his verses.

In the poem titled "Freedom," the poet uses strong imagery to depict the transformation and hope for freedom. "The dove" flying "on the backstage of the cosmos" symbolizes freedom and "the raindrops" falling "on the face of humanity" represent the refreshing and rejuvenating power of nature. The use of metaphors such as "the blue iris" springing "from worthy dry soil" and "the rainbow" appearing "on the roof of faithfulness" further enhances the beauty and the positive impact of nature.

Abbas' poetry is not solely focused on the beauty of nature but also highlights social and environmental issues. In the lines "The black town shall be cleansed without prejudice for others" from "Freedom" poem, Abbas expresses the need for compassion and understanding, subtly advocating for unity and harmony among humanity. This aligns with the beliefs of poets like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, who used their poetry as a tool for social change and justice. This line also echoes the works of nature poets such as William Wordsworth who often championed the idea of unity and equality in nature.

In the poem titled "Dear Morning," the poet expresses a sense of awakening and hope. The morning is portrayed as a catalyst for new ideas and goals. The line "Dear morning, Let's surround each other, So, that I could light up like the sun’s light" suggests a desire for growth and transformation. The metaphor of lighting up like the sun implies enlightenment and motivation. This use of figurative language adds depth and evocative beauty to the poem.

In "A Whisper in the Dark," the poet creates a sense of mystery and unease through the imagery of mist, rain, and fog. The fog is likened to an attacking unruly mob, portraying a sense of danger and confinement. The line "despite heavy outer clothes, the fog seeps through as a relentless burglar" effectively conveys the invasive and suffocating nature of the fog. The metaphor of the fog as a silent war underscores the disruption it causes to daily life. This poem explores the darker side of nature, reminiscent of the works of Edgar Allan Poe or Robert Frost.

The Haiku poems in the collection also showcase the poet's appreciation for nature's beauty and the use of vivid imagery. In these Haiku, the poet paints a picture of an ocean of sand waiting for the tide, petals being crushed underfoot, and a desert coming to life after the arrival of water. These Haikus capture moments of tranquility, destruction, and transformation, demonstrating a keen observation of nature's cycles.

The inclusion of Haiku adds a delightful touch to "Words from Nature." These concise and delicate poems offer a glimpse into the transience and beauty of nature. In particular, the Haiku that describes "the icy autumn winds" and "frozen bones" demonstrates Abbas' ability to capture profound emotions within a few lines. The brevity of the Haiku resonates with the tradition of Japanese Haiku masters such as Basho and Buson, who believed in expressing the essence of a moment in the simplest yet profound manner.

Throughout the book, Abbas showcases his mastery of imagery, metaphor, and wordplay. His ability to create vivid landscapes and touch upon diverse themes demonstrates his versatility as a poet. The striking imagery, such as "the elegant caress of nature's gifts" and "the sweltering bird in search of water", leaves an indelible mark on the reader's imagination.

Shahid Abbas's 'Words from Nature' incorporates metaphors, similes, and vivid scenic imagery to convey themes of freedom, hope, transformation, and the power of nature. The poetic lines showcased that Abbas draws inspiration from nature poets such as William Wordsworth and explores an array of emotions and perspectives.

"Words from Nature" is a testament to Shahid Abbas' talent as a Nature poet and his ability to evoke emotions and capture the intricacies of both natural and human beauty. With references to the works of renowned nature poets, Abbas has firmly established himself among the ranks of these celebrated figures. This collection is a must-read for poetry enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

(Dr. Shalini Yadav is a Professor, Writer and Columnist.)

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