Loneliness Squared

Review of Songs of a Solitary Tree: Graphical Verses of Sublime Snippets; Arun M. Sivakrishna, Partridge Publishing India 2014; pp 104
– Shana Susan Ninan

As the anthology’s name suggests, most of the poems in this book seems to stem from a solitary person. Words such as ‘lonely’, ‘alone’, ‘loneliness’ and ‘solitary’ abound on the pages. Even when we are surrounded by friends and family, are at work with a team, we tend to feel lonely. It’s a state of mind that we often find ourselves in, for varied reasons.

Sivakrishna’s words are evocative and are intense with Imagism. Symbols and metaphors are plenty – one I liked was ‘haunting memories are birds with clipped wings’. The first paragraph of ‘Shaken Skies’ reads:

It was a grizzly sky indeed
So dull and drab
The Kind, that reminds you of a
Middle aged mistress, deeply in despair
Puffing up a ballooned put.

Each poem is an unfinished feeling, a life that the poet still lives at times. There are a few photos that go with some poems. Some of the entries read like a part of a journal. ‘An eventful Day, Sometime Back’ starts off with:

Had marathon client meetings,
Productive, some not so great and
Towards the end of the day a reluctant
Revisit to a very difficult customer.

The strength of the poems is paused when a longish sentence creeps in, leaving the reader almost holding her breath, pondering over the meaning of the poet’s words. But, the clichéd symbolisms and general neglect of punctuation mars the reading. Not to mention skipping over typos. Unlike prose, poetry should flow, seamlessly almost.

Poet Arun M. Sivakrishna is a management professional, a cricket and motor sports enthusiast, who’s also interested in photography and travel. Based in Mangalore, his poems tell of severance, pain and agony. And he has done it well.


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Rating: 8.1/10 (8 votes cast)
Loneliness Squared, 8.1 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015 at 2:09 am and is filed under Poetry, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. September 4th, 2015 | Arun says:

    Dear Ms Shana Susan Ninan,
    Thank you very much for your time.
    It was indeed a nice review and such feedback helps a long way in ironing out the rough edges.
    Thanks a lot to Indian Book Reviews for providing a space for this forlorn tree.
    Happy Reading.

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