Setu in May - Sunil Sharma

May comes with a certain existential sadness, inevitable and typical of organic existence; a state caused by the prolonged illness of an old mother and the attendant shadow of mortality looming larger by the day. You feel finite and vulnerable before a force higher than you. Stare into the face of uncertainty. Agonizing!  Despair sets in. Out of the dark mood is born the acceptance of human fate in a vast universe--- the pragmatism of survival in a bleak condition; such awareness aided and heightened by the great arts by providing helpful insights.

Keats captures the fragility of human condition so beautifully in this deathless song that continues to resonate across time and space:

Sunil Sharma
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget 
  What thou among the leaves hast never known, 
The weariness, the fever, and the fret 
  Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; 
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
  Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; 
    Where but to think is to be full of sorrow 
          And leaden-eyed despairs, 
  Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, 
    Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

The personal can tinge the impersonal; the subjective, the objective, in a strange dichotomy. The immediate context shapes up the perspective. Sometimes, it is rosy; sometimes, it is melancholic. Together they constitute a process---called life!
It is like that--- sadness alternating with joyous hope.
Shadow followed by light…ceaseless manner.
Change is the only constant.
Motion is eternal.
Arts capture this essential realization most delicately... like a hypnotic Turner painting. 

This issue---the XII number---is replete with both the contrasting moods of a hot-n-humid May: Summer coming to an end soon; the hint of the rains on the darkening horizon---and a promise of rejuvenation. And,  a new start.

As usual, lot of variety is packed here. The special focus is on the recent Irish Writing curated by the talented poet Margaret O’Driscoll---a lovely symphony of voices from that land of Joyce and Shaw. So fascinating!

Gary Beck talks of Shakespeare and the theater for a different audience and conditions with a masterly flourish. 

Poet Janine Pickett takes us down a great journey that is both personal and literary, expertly revealing the inner and the outer environments, operating within works of an author-thinker.  A rich amalgam!

Versatile Scott Thomas Outlar is on You Tube, reaching out to global lovers of poetry by experimenting with this most popular medium, thus extending the reach of words in the cyberspace. 

Venerable critic-author John Thieme unveils a mini-epic poem, delving deep into many myths of creation, thus serving his own unique vision. 

Jay Stephens uncovers the Nimbin Mardi Grass for those interested in this unique rally, protest and celebration of a noble cause and lifestyle. 

Regular editor/contributor Rob Harle talks of the world of Leigh Arnold in his inimitable style. Being an accomplished artist Rob deconstructs another in a fluent way, unraveling meanings that only an expert can do.

Senior author Patricia Prime reviews prolific Jaydeep Sarangi.

Florence, Italy is visited by young Apara and caught on the film for posterity. The feature announces the arrival of a great talent.

Fiction.Poetry. Essays.
Interviews and reviews.

All are seamlessly presented to make it a rivetting read.

So, on any given hour, unwind and enjoy the May flavors with these great authors and artists from many parts of the world, ushered in by your favorite Setu!

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Setu, English
Kalyan, Mumbai Metro Region, India