S. Kumaran, ed. Philosophical Musings for a Meaningful Life: An Analysis of KV Dominic’s Poems. Ann Arbor, MI 48105 (USA): Modern History Press, 2016. Pp. 219. USD $29.95.
Dr D. C. Chambial: Editor Poetcirt, Maranda – 176 102 (HP)
(Published in 29.2 (July 2016) issue of Poetcrit)
Dr. Kumaran has done great service to the contemporary Indian English poetry by editing this book on our contemporary poet, Dr. K. V. Dominic. The book has 24 articles by various critics and one interview with the poet that throws light on his poetic philosophy and creative art. He tells his interviewer: “The main objective of our life is happiness and we can attain this happiness best by serving others” (210); besides, “Man has to learn a lot from Nature, especially from the animal world” (211). In his introduction, PCK Prem observes that “Workers, farmers, laborers, and the exploited encourage him to write and write” (15), and in his article on Winged Reason, he observes that Dominic’s poetry manifests “a humanitarian view of men in distress” (53). Kumaran traces Dominic’s humanism in Winged Reason and observes: “the analysis reveals the poet’s faith in didactic poetry and ascertains the relevance of his writing” (23). Sudhir Arora also explores Winged Reason critically and affirms: “The poet in Dominic is an angel who searches for the angelic qualities in men” (29). In Multicultural Symphony, Dr. Arora finds that the poet “is grieved when he sees the present India that has now become ‘a hell of intolerance and religious fundamentalism’”, and the poet is resolved “to win the hearts of his readers by virtue of his ‘content’” (39). Chambial studies Dominic’s book, Write Son, Write, and infers, in his study, that his poetry is full of “humanitarian philosophy steeped in contemporaneous societal consciousness” (45). TV Reddy, in his study of Winged Reason and Write Son, Write, argues that “his poems are a strong testimony of his socialistic ideas, to his leanings toward communistic ideology, and to his earnest zest as a social reformer” (61). Sugandha Agarwal opines that Dominic’s poetry addresses “the entire humanity about its prevailing issues and problems in society . . . and [he] believes that the real wealth of a nation is its citizens” (78).
Rob Harle, in his paper on Dominic’s poetry concludes that his “poems are important additions to literature and to the growing global movement to bring about positive change and equality for all individuals” (84). In her article, Dr. J. Pamela holds that “His requiems are therapeutic, for they console the losers; they are philosophic, for they impart truths of value; . . . which inspires the reader. . .” (94). Bhaskar Roy Barman has discussed some poems in his article from Multicultural Symphony, Winged Reason, and Write Son, Write and finds these poems as Dominic’s “representative poems” (105). Dr. S. Ayyappa Raja also studies the same three volumes in his analysis; he comments that “the readers could understand the social consciousness of the poet. He is very much concerned about the evils of the society which affect millions of people” (115). For Arbind Kumar Choudhary, who compares Dominic with several contemporary poets in a passing reference, “His forceful voice will remain ever ringing in the womb of time” (122) and also studies his poetry from the perspective of ecology and social issues (197). “Dominic’s poems have a strong philosophical base, as his mind is steeped in the doctrines of Advaita Vedanta philosophy,” (123) observes Anisha Ghosh Paul in her article; and, then, says that he “never romanticizes Kerala nor aggrandizes his fellowmen, but gives us a rather realistic portrayal of his home State” (186). Joe Palathunkal interprets Dominic’s poetry with reference to Pablo Neruda’s definition of poetry as “rebellion”. Dominic’s poetry “is an all-encompassing world view . . . [where] reticence will be a corollary of rebellion because you cannot really rebel against the other as the other is part of you” (136). For Patricia Prime, his “books reveal Dominic’s curiosity about the things people do and say, . . . ” (143). “Through his poems, Dominic motivates humans to realize the value of God’s gifts. Man should preserve nature instead of destroying it” (153), observes Mahboobeh Khaleghi.
Sangeeta Mahesh feels that his “poems are full of feelings and emotions and directly touch the heart, compelling the reader to think and act” (155) and that he “is the poet of humanity, peace and harmony” (165). Radhamany Sarma is of the view that Dominic establishes oneness with the society “by projecting the primary, the necessities, pitfalls to be ameliorated and redeemed” (179). S. Barathi explores his poetry from eco-critical perspective and points out that Dominic “looks at men as ego-centric and wants them to become eco-centric” (189). Rincy Mol Sebastian also examines his poetry from the same perspective and says: “Here the poet’s purpose is to convey the inner and outer connection between nature and humanity” (194). According to Kavitha Gopalakrishnan, Dominic stresses the “need of coexistence and the need of cultivating empathy and benevolence for a harmonious, peaceful life” (208).
The book is a milestone in the evaluation of KV Dominic’s poetry.