LEI - PATH TO ZENGenre is immaterial for me when it comes to poetry. Cadence cannot be imprisoned in any prescribed format. Beauty of poetry lies in freedom of choice of expression. Freedom, which the poet enjoys, by way of his personal preference towards a mode by which he/she wishes to voice his/her thoughts, or in absolute contrast, reinforce reticence. This mode may be a rhyming or a blank verse, a Haiku or a Tanka, an Etheree or a Sonnet, or simply prose poetry.

One may, at this point, ask how or why the poet can reserve his/her views while in the process of explicitly wording his/her thoughts. To this I say therein lies the magic of poetry – that beatific amalgamation of  the said  and the unsaid, the story expressly told and the tales implicit in the untold, what is spoken in so many words and what remains unspoken in deliberate silences, in between the lines, left to the readers to interpret in his/her own way. It is this allowance for individual interpretation of the poet’s innermost feelings that endows a distinct flavour to poetry. It is in this process of understanding and appreciating a poet, without having even an indirect acquaintance or established intimacy with him/her, that essentially an ethereal bonding is forged between the reader and the read.

As the noted Urdu poet Nida Fazli says,

“Meri aawaaz hii purdah hai mere chehrey ka

main hoon khamosh jahaan mujhko wahaan se suniye”

Loosely the ethos of the “sher” stands translated (gustaakhii maauf…my apologies!) thus:

“My words are a camouflage of my thoughts

Fathom my silences to glean my soul”

The great poet has miraculously and magnificently intertwined his silences in words. What more can be said of poetry?

So, when I got hold of my co-blogger, Somali K. Chakrabarti’s “Lei, A Wreath For Your Soul”, I was actually intent on deciphering the pauses interwoven in her eloquent word craft. Lei is Somali’s first born. While she tags her anthology of short verses as A Wreath, all along while experiencing the wizardry of Somali’s word play, I was acutely conscious of what lay beneath the garland of fragrant blooms, and by the time I finished reading, I was deeply inhaling the intoxicating fragrance of her soulful musings.

Yes, some of her verses have lyrical quality. While in others I find an uncommon fusion of a scientific temper with a poetic flair. Exceptional indeed!

In verses, where she talks of Fractals and Schrodinger’s Cat, an unusual matrix leaps up where Nature and her infinite bounties are measured with the precision of engineering skill. By the way, Somali is an Engineer by qualification and a Poet by heart. Needless to say, this two dichotomous sides of her persona get evenly blended to divine perfection in her verses. There is no faction between illusion and reality as there is no friction between her vocation and avocation.

A few examples to cite those infinitesimal pauses which make way for the exclusivity of poems, in Somali’s own words:

seeing the sun eager to

meet its shadow, the lone ferryman

makes a retreat


This one which has a compelling influence of Tagore:

while I was seeking

the world far and wide, it

shrunk in

the tiny water droplet

Lei is replete with impactful visuals which highlight the essence of each verse. But remarkable are the imageries that Somali’s verses create, with almost a reckless abundance, which is picture perfect, to say the least:

does not heed to the dark

with its shimmering light

moon quietly bathes the ocean


feathers tickle

in silence

the moon smiles

Wisdom compressed in cadence is a poetry-lover’s delight:

dazzling with a thousand stars, the gorgeous diva

beams each night,

those who went up to the moon saw

vast vacuum she held inside!

And this one:


bathed in dewy light

a splendor in marble white

floats in the morning calm

with memories i bring back

the enigma on my palm!


Lei comprises of fifty five Haiku and Tanka. It is the breeziest read than one can expect. However, the limitless depth of the verses make one aspire for more. I have already read it twice, or thrice? Don’t know. But I, especially, relate with the epilogic verse where Somali elaborates why she writes. Her experiential realization is exemplified thus:

sucked in spiral

of life, realization dawns one day

standing at the edge, all the while, I forgot to

look within, and traverse the way

Lei  has a Zen-like essence. In the foreword of the anthology it is described as a garland of micro-poems inspired by Nature reflecting on Life.

A must read for all poetry lovers.

Before signing of, let me share some of my favourite verses from the book:


colours of heaven

blend, make splendid sight,

none says

‘hey look, I’m the most bright’

And this one:


pliant love subtly unfurls;

elastic are the way of heart;

in proximity it yearns to possess, firms up grip

yet, contends with sense of being

when pulled apart



looking back in time,

joining dots, I find, a few

moments, which seemed

once mild, have surreptitiously

shaped and bent the course of life

Lei is available on Amazon.

Its one of those thought provoking bed-time books which make you relax as well as prod you to ponder on life!!

I wish Somali All The Best for her future writings!!!


With Love & A Very Big God Bless to All My Readers!!!



About gc1963

A working woman with interests in reading, writing, music, poetry and fine arts.

31 responses »

  1. Rakesh Pandey says:

    I agree that it’s a very beautiful compilation of haiku and tanka. A great collection with awesome pictures.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you so much Geetashree for reading between the pauses and bringing out the essence of the book. The book is my first born and is a result of the encouraging response that I got from my co-bloggers, many of whom are exceptional writers whose writing never fails to inspire/enlighten/cheer me (including yours). Besides the review I would also want to thank you for corroborating the choice of genre for Lei. Thank you once again for the effort taken and for this very kind gesture.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I absolutely agree with your words on the book… 🙂 Nice review…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jmathur says:

    Somali’s poems appear to be an excellent blend of nature’s beauty and the feelings in her own heart. This review is no less poetic than the work of the poetess. ‘Main hoon khamosh jahan, mujhko vahan se suniye’. Bilkul theek Geeta Ji. Lekin is tarah se sunna bhi har kisi ke bas ki baat nahin hoti. Iske lie bhi bhaavnaaon se bhara dil chahiye. Hearty thanks for introducing me (and others like me) to the wonderful poetic world of Somali Chakrabarti.

    Jitendra Mathur

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bikramjit says:

    I loved the sher ..It’s awesome.. and what a lovely review. .

    I think in all the busy life we have forgotten how to listen to the silence..

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Amit Agarwal says:

    An absolutely great review of a lovely book!
    …and yes, the favorites quoted by you match with those of mine:)
    “Lei has a Zen-like essence”..oh definitely, for sure!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. gc1963 says:

    Thank you Amitji for the appreciation of the book. Somali has really done us proud!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maliny Mohan says:

    When I read a good poem, I feel that I dissolve myself in it completely, lost and helpless, but at the same time, ecstatic and refreshed. Zen like essence has lured me in to reading the book! Your review has hit the bull’s eye:)

    Liked by 3 people

    • gc1963 says:

      I believe poetry touches one like no other piece of literary musings. You are right…even I have that all encompassing feeling when I read anything good or close to my heart. Please do read Lei and let me know your views …shall be looking forward to it..

      Liked by 2 people

  9. umashankar says:

    Th trouble is, you quoted Nida Fazli at the outset. I enjoyed the excerpts.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Reblogged this on Scribble and Scrawl and commented:
    Geetashree Chatterjee is one of those few writers, who write amazingly well in three languages – English, Hindi and Bengali, to the extent that it is hard to point out the language in which she expresses herself the best. With an impeccable diction and in her distinctive style, she gracefully echoes her thoughts through her poetry, short stories, reviews and commentaries.
    I am very grateful to GC for sparing the time to read and write a review for my book ‘Lei: A wreath for your soul’ on her blog ‘panaecea -A Series Of Soul Bytes Just For You’
    ‘One of those thought provoking bed-time books which make you relax as well as prod you to ponder on life!’ is how Geetashree describes the book. Thanks a ton GC.
    Here is a reblog of the post. Check it out for yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hey GC….you have done so much justice to what Somali has written. I re-lived my own experience of reading her book. This review is so enriching that I am sure many will be encouraged to pick up her book and read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hummingwords says:

    what lovely verses! will check this book out!


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