Sunny Rain-n-Snow: An Olio of Poetry for Pleasure

Reviewed by: Dr. Pramod K. Das

Sunny Rain-n-Snow: An Olio of Poetry for Pleasure
By U Atreya Sarma

Publisher: Partridge India, 2016
ISBN-10: 1482868547
ISBN-13: 978-1482868548

Pages 158
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For a world full of meaning and vivacity
The garland Sunny Rain-n-Snow has the privilege to have sixty three varieties of beautiful flowers to offer a unique experience once you come across such a fragrance those wings of poesy would render.  As William Wordsworth puts it correctly in Preface to Lyrical Ballads, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings that takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquillity”. The strength of this garland lies in its breadth of the experiences which is portrayed in extraordinary simplicity of the use of ordinary language. Beauty lies in simplicity. It can be best proved with such a collection of poetry where the selections of varied human experiences play a pivotal role in framing the structure of the garland impressive and   attractive.
The twelve subheadings of the garland has its different constituents which include ‘Femina,’ ‘Facets of Nature,’ ‘Epiphanies, ‘Americana,’ ‘Musings on Poesy,’ ‘Relationships and Equations,’ ‘Romantic Peeps,’ ‘Reflectively Yours,’ ‘Social Bristles,’ ‘Tongue-in-Cheek,’ ‘Occasional Voices,’ and ‘Metrical Forays.’
In the first poem, the poet highlights the liberation of women from the daily household chores. How small things in life can make a better relationship between husband and wife. For instance in “A Housewife’s lib” see how a homemaker speaks out her simple wishes:
“Once in three months, give me a day off;
And cook and serve me delicious home-made food
With your handsome hands.”(P, 3)
The other poems of this section also emphasize a cry for liberation of women in many ways.
In the section titled ‘Facets of Nature’ the poet celebrates the flora and fauna offered by nature and how humans try to destroy them because of their vested interests. For example, see the small poem titled “Hills”:
“God turned
All hardness
Into hills.

Harder-hearted man
And began blasting them.” (P, 13)
In another poem titled “Cerulean cornucopia” the poet is amazed with the beauty and grandeur of the creation as he succinctly portrays:
“Wow! The monsoon sky! A colourful cosmic cornucopia!
A tonic from the infinite divine pharmacopeia!
I bow to you in speechless awe, oh, the Divine Creator,
Architect, bowyer, fletcher and engineer rolled into one!” (P, 15)
Here we find “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” as he watches from the terrace of his apartment building.
In the section ‘Epiphanies’ the poet captures the satori of human experience. For instance, in the poem “Nocturnal Bliss” the poet describes:
“I, the lone creature on the road, felt
I was an extra-terrestrial on this earth
Or a terrestrial on some other planet;
I was the monarch of all I espied…” (P, 37)
The nest section titled ‘Americana’ captured the varied adventurous experiences of human endeavours in a subtle manner. For instance, in the poem, “My Swan Queen” the poet describes the ship as a swan queen:
“When I saw a wild flower beautiful and gay
I enjoyed its bouncy smile and toss, bob and sway…
I didn’t desire to pluck it or suck its honey any way.” (P, 46)
The next section titled ‘Musings on Poesy’ muses on the world of poetry and how the words do the magic on the pages of poetry. As Dr Sunil Sharma writes in the foreword
“Atreya’s style is lyrical, enchanting! English malleable and sweet! It yields to his expert hands and shapes up into verbal units of sheer delight-aural and visual.”(P, x) For instance, ruminate over the poet’s concept of poetry as in in the poem “Cradle of Poesy”:
“When flight of fancy
And a worthy wreath of words
Cohabit on a bed of aesthetics
The labours of their union
Conceive the baby of poesy…” (P, 55)
Highlighting on the theme of human relations, the section titled ‘Relations and Equations’ emphasizes the varied shades of human bonds.Have a taste of it in the poem “Ah, What a Friendship!”
“Well, friend, you’re then my tree, sun, and candle;
It’s how I’d always love you to so handle.
Giving is your nature, talking is mine.
Isn’t then our friendship mutually fine?!” (P, 61)
The section following titled ‘Romantic Peeps’ talks about the romantic aspects of human life. For instance the poem “Lip-lapping” titillates us with the various function of lip:
“Oh, your lips!
 Lips-full, inviting, tempting!
Your lovely, cosy lips…
What you and I want is not
The candy kiss or the Scotch kiss
But the deep kiss, the soul kiss, the French kiss…”

“Lips full, what a pull!
This labial liaison!
What a connubial celebration!” (P, 70)
The next section titled ‘Reflectively Yours’ highlights the nature and its artefacts and how we humans can learn a lot from the galaxy of resources available. The poem “Tantrums of Nature” showcases the various facets of nature. For instance:
“Wind is erratic –
It’s scalding hot now;
And biting cold then.” (P, 86)

In another poem of this section the poet mentions truth as a casualty. As he writes:  
“Truth is a casualty
Where mind and hearts refuse to meet,
Where artifice and interests
Glibly play their role.” (P, 88)
The section ‘Social Bristles’ has poems dealing with the theme of social problems. The tone seems to have elements of revolt. For example in the poem “Let’s succour our Nepali brethren” the poet advocates tangible help:
“Lip sympathy won’t do, only acts can-little or big.
Is it enough if a poet trots out and trolls a threnody?
No, charity should begin at home.
If I didn’t give my humble, honest mite,
I wouldn’t have a right this poem to write.” (P, 103)
The next section of the collection consists of poems that give us a sense of pleasure as we go through these. For instance, see the representative lines from the poem titled “Facebook escapades”:
“Those scared to squarely face the call of life
Escape into the endless pages of the Facebook.” (P, 114)
In another poem titled “What’s in a name, Ms Rosie?” the poet lists out a few examples of names and gives a different flavour to it. For example:
“Hi, Ms Rose, if I beckon you as Ms Rosie
You may answer, It doesn’t prick; it’s good and cosy.
But, Ms Rose, if I call you out, Come here Ms Sore,
Won’t I on my face end up for sure with a gore?”

“By changing their name some people gain fame;
They don names fake or pen, ev’n of a dame.
We know well of Mark Twain but perhaps none
Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens woebegone.” (P, 115)
The next section of the collection titled ‘Occasional Voices’ captures the essence of different festivals of India such as Holi, Rakhi, Sun-kranti. See what he has to say in the poem “Holi Voice”:
“The lights of colours
Celestial and terrestrial both
Found one another blush
But couldn’t fathom
The reason why.” (P, 120)

And here see the gaiety of the “Sun-Kranti” scenes:
“What a thrilling scene everywhere to sight
That makes our hearts aright and light!
To make them happy let’s try day and night.” (P, 124)
The last section of the collection titled ‘Metrical forays’ highlights different types of verses we come across in our adventures into the reading of poetry. For instance let us take a look at a couple of the nine “Limericks” –
“Every trick up his sleeve – tried Patrick
To somehow compose a limerick;
But it never did a click.
So he became damn sick,
And turned an early geriatric.”

“In college there’s a guy so sinister,
Any new girl, he boasted, “I’d pester.”
He then pawed a slim girl
Who jabbed him with a twirl
And a kick- until he called her ‘Sister!’” (P, 131)
Overall one will really have a trip to enjoy the collection once he/she holds the book and turns it page by page. It is hoped that the book will give a different joy of reading as poetry like music acts as a therapy to forget our day-to-day sorrows in order to embrace a world full of meaning and vivacity. As Dr Sunil Sharma succinctly writes in the foreword of the book: “A masterpiece is born! Spring arrives. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the poet of substance- U Atreya Sarma! Like vernal showers the effect will continue long on you...” (P, xii)
Sarma, U Atreya. Sunny Rain-n-Snow: An Olio of Poetry for Pleasure: Partridge India. 2016. Print.
Dr. Pramod Kumar Das is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the School of Business Studies and Social Sciences, Christ University, BGR Campus, Bangalore. He has a doctoral degree in English Literature from the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India on the study of Anita Desai’s fiction.