Book Review: Sudeep Adhikari

by Sudeep Adhikari
2022, 84 pages, $10.00
Weasel Press (USA)

An impressive work of scholarship and poetry: investigation, exegesis, commentary on the thought of acknowledged great thinkers, philosophers, theologians, etc., both east & west, ancient and modern. A sort of compendium, in poetic form, of intellectual discourse, from Socrates and Diogenes to Foucault and John Cage; Buddha and Dogen to Naropa and Krishnamurti.

     Despite the esoteric nature of the subject matter, this work is not a dry analysis only, but a mix of highly specific terminology and poetic phraseology, with an occasional nod to the modern Zeitgeist. In the poem “diogenes” Sudeep writes “in the annals/of the least amount of f**k/that has been/ever given by any person; diogenes in always THE MAN” (my capitals, his lower case usage) “standing next/ to the great Jeff Lebowski, the dude.”

Sudeep Adhikari
     Some of these poems can be formidable for those, like myself, with only a nodding acquaintance to the work of some of the philosophers under discussion. The scope of this book is awesome but occasionally floats above understanding—skirting limits of my comprehension. This is the work of a philosopher-engineer-poet with an anarchic disposition (Sudeep has worked as a structural-engineer).

     In the following, I give synopses, in paraphrase, of poems that are, oftentimes, themselves synopsis.

     ARISTOTLE: “the greatest logician that ever lived”—he who “inspired” the species in realization that though logic is not everything, “without it” we are no better than “mindless brutes.”

     EUCLID deduced a world “logical and coherent”—which is not the world we live in, but his deduction, in his time, was a “novel world-view”—that found voice in Aquinas, Spinoza, and Kepler.

Wayne F. Burke
     DEMOCRITUS understood that “matter… is an assemble/of microscopic atoms, swirling/autonomously in a matrix of a deeper void”—which has held good for 2500 years; thus, Democritus is the “atomic King.”

     FREUD looked into the “darkest nooks/of our psyche” and tried, but failed, to “make a science of mind,” because, the world—“an interconnected whole”—“is an ever-moving mess.”

     KARL MARX “dreamt/of collective emancipation/of the proletariat/and the understanding/of history—scientific and rational… /but the thing is… there is nothing/we can learn from history:/because what is/in store, is what we will never know.”

     DANIEL DENNETT: “consciousness is nothing but the noise/of a super-computer/we haven’t invented yet.”
    WOLFGANG PAULI: “the world is a continuity/between our/unconscious and our awake thoughts.”

     FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE said that we have “forgotten to dance”—have lost “ourselves/in… dionysian frenzy” and become “bound” by rules of a dead god. New men, with “will to power” will create “new values—a new world-life.”

     SOCRATES “the seeker” did not try to “find the truth; but to live/in a state of watchful delight.”

     These encapsulations, as superficial as they are, hopefully give the reader an idea of the broad range and depth of the work. Work that, as I’ve written above, is impressive scholarship… The poetry adds savor to the thing.

Sudeep Adhikari is from Kathmandu, Nepal, has a PhD in structural-engineering and works as a structural engineer/Lecturer: His poetry has appeared in many literary journals/magazines and a few anthologies around the world. Also a Pushcart Prize nominee for the year 2018. AUTO DISRUPTION is his sixth published book of poetry. Sudeep digs punk-rock, good beer; industrial hip-hop, noise-rock, dark memes, philosophy, dubstep, poetry, and science.

Wayne F. Burke's poetry has been published widely online and in print. He is author of eight published poetry collections and one collection of short stories (TURMOIL & Other Stories, Adelaide Press, NY, 2020). Two of his book reviews have previously appeared in SETU. He lives in the central area of Vermont, USA.

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