Review of Abel Johnson Thundil’s Poetry book “Wilted: Poems of Modern Tragedy” Book Review by Spriha Kant
The title of Abel Johnson Thundil’s book “Wilted: Poems of Modern Tragedy” reveals the conversation that this book can have with the hearts of the readers about the sensitive issues prevailing at a global level.
Showing the epigraph of this book below:
“For all those drenched in fire, For all those burnt in rain…”
The epigraph reflects the poet’s tendency of expressing poignantly pummelling feelings as an “oxymoron.” And the ability to use oxymorons in poetries is what most poets and poetesses even lack today. In the following words, the poet has bared his heart to his readers for what compelled his conscience to write this book as well as about the content of this book: “Based on all that’s happening in the world right now, I decided to give this work an antiwar theme. It portrays the horrors of war through the thoughts of a soldier called up to fight for his country. There isn’t one clear narrative. This is an anthology of poems, and not a novel. But I hope you’ll enjoy the joyful uncertainty and thoughtful ambiguity that poetry brings.” The poet has stood by the words he told his readers which is justified in the succeeding stanzas. The poet began the journey of his poetries with the poetry “In the beginning” in which he stated the nature of the warmongers. Quoting the following few words from this poetry:
“In the beginning, There were human beings; People who came together For their own pleasures, But nonetheless Created life… In the beginning, There were human beings. And now, There are monsters Who think the life created Is too much… Now, There are monsters Who bleed without wounds, Through ugly pores on their skin, And complain That they were attacked. They compel us To aim guns and shackle chains For them. They compel us To keep our hearts in ice So we ourselves Can’t feel it beat… They compel us To whip our old horses To charge at guns we do not know, Held by men who’ve caused us no harm… They compel, And we become the old horses Ourselves…”
The poet in some poems pointed directly to how war-mongers transform peace into wars, each such poetry states a different tactic used by the war-mongers. Quoting a few stanzas from one such poetry “Lawful Theft” below:
“They give me a jigsaw And tell me to arrange it Into the image of the national flag…” “They give me a jigsaw And tell me to arrange it But I forget to count the pieces. There is one piece; The one at the heart of the flag. There is one piece missing, And they say I should search for it At the battlefield. They can make another piece To replace. But they won’t… They want me to shed unnecessary blood By stealing the piece instead From the others…”
In some of the poetries, the poet has described the pathetic conditions of the war. Such poetries acting like burning furnaces are enough to melt the hearts of the readers, this trait is reminiscent of the poetries “War” and “War (Part two)” by K.P. DeLaney in his book “Swill and Daffodils”, even though the poet’s way of expression is on the different alignment. Despite expressing all these pathetic conditions, the poet managed to observe and point to the irony which is evident by the following words he used in his poetry “Silhouettes of Soldiers,” this work deserves admiration:
“A flower still white and smiling Amid the grey wreck.”
Quoting below a stanza from Ann Bagnall’s poetry “The Ocean Whispers to Me” from her poetry book “The Ocean Whispers to Me”:
“The phantoms of night shifting like waves”
The next two stanzas illustrate that death like the “phantoms of night” has shifted like waves in each poetry of the poet as the death has a different form in each poetry of the poet. Quoting a few words from the poetry “Burning Buildings”:
“I see the building burn Like a lady on fire, Moving around screaming; A wobbling flame with a mouth Sometimes opening for air, Yet taking in nothing but flames… I see the building burn Like a lady on fire, Running towards the well And eventually falling in… Now Everyone is relieved, For they’ll say it was not the fire they caused, But the water that killed her. Now They can burn another lady Near another well And say the same.”
Through the poetry “Torture,” the poet reminds of a few words by K.P. DeLaney’s poetry “Monumental” from the book “Swill and Daffodils” as quoted below:
“our names become cavities, mere plaques on some cemetery’s teeth. nothing but grooves in a row, a plotted line. and we become nothing in time, cemented in the crosses of our tease, and the dots of our eyes.” The similes, metaphors, and personifications used by the poet have made the poetries impactful, quoting a few of them below:
“I shoot one, Then I shoot another. I shouldn’t stop, Or else I would realize my madness. And those who know they are mad Are probably not. So I shoot one, Then I shoot another Until I kill my soul too, So that I’ll become nothing but action And sound And profanity I don’t even know the meanings of. I’ll become nothing but a mannequin with glasses, Unable to see…” “It is quiet, But there is strength in it; The same strength you see in the eyes of a tiger Lying in the grass, With noiseless intensity; Like a fire that burns in one place Without spreading through the grass…” “The guns retire to museums, And corpses to their graves. Canons kiss the ground And rise up With no more blood on the barrels…”
The poet’s poetry “What’s happening” is reminiscent of the grieving done in Ratan Chouhan’s poetry “Carcass” from the book “Leopards and other poems.” However, both the expression and intensity of grieving differ in these poetries.
This book can be easily read and understood by even non-poetic minds as it is the general public that suffers the most during wars or any other emergency so it is obvious that they can connect emotionally with this book.
Bios (Abel Johnson Thundil & Spriha Kant):
Abel Johnson Thundil:
Abel Johnson Thundil is a young poet from India. He runs a poetry blog called ‘Amaranthine, an original poetry blog. His poems are sometimes sentimental, sometimes dark; but always with a madness that’s very enjoyable. His works have appeared in Terror House Magazine, The Pangolin Review, and Luminescence (Rosewood publications, India). His first anthology ‘The Bleeding Rose: Poems of Love and Loss’ was published by Allbooks.inc. Purchasing links Blog: https://www.abelamaranthine.com/?page_id=9
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.in/Wilted-Tragedy-Abel-Johnson-Thundil-ebook/dp/B0BG95TGHP/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=H0CIVL4UV8D3&keywords=wilted%3B+poems+of+modern+tragedy&qid=1666888623&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIwLjcxIiwicXNhIjoiMC4wMCIsInFzcCI6IjAuMDAifQ%3D%3D&s=digital-text&sprefix=wilted+poems+of+modern+tragedy%2Caps%2C277&sr=1-1
Spriha Kant is an English poetess & literary book reviewer.
Her first published poetry “The Seashell” was published online in “Imaginary Land Stories.”
The poetries of Spriha have been published in the following anthologies:
- Sing, Do The Birds of Spring
- A Whisper Of Your Love
- Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan
- Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the mind
- Hidden in Childhood
- A Glitter of Miles
“Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan” & “Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the mind” have been published in fourteen countries, namely:
- United States
- United Kingdom
“Hidden in Childhood” became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon. This book consists of poems from about 150 globally acclaimed poets and poetesses, out of which most have been featured on NPR (National Public Radio), BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation),andthe New York Times. The wonderful Japanese painter “Hikari” featured this book in her exhibition in Tokyo in Japan.
All the proceeds of the anthology book “A Glitter of Miles” went to the “Senior Staffy Club” (UK), a charity that helps older Staffordshire Bull terriers.
Reviews on the books of critically acclaimed poets and poetesses by Spriha that have been released so far are as follows:
- The Keeper of Aeons by Matthew MC Smith
- Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow by Jeff Flesch
- Washed Away: A Collection of Fragments by Shiksha Dheda
- Spaces by Clive Gresswell
- Silence From the Shadows by Stuart Matthews
- Breathe by Helen Laycock
- Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose by Gabriela Marie Milton
- These Random Acts of Wildness by Paul Brookes
- Othernesses by Paul Brookes
- Turbulent Waves by Verde Mar
Spriha has collaborated on the poetry “The Doorsteps Series” with thewell-known Southern Indiana poet “David L O’ Nan.”
Spriha has participated in the following events celebrating the launches of the books:
Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow by Jeff Flesch
As FolkTaleTeller by Paul Brookes
Shedding light on the details about Spriha Kant’s quote published as an “Epigraph” below:
Her poetic quote “An orphic wind storm blew away a sand dune that heaped all our love memories upon one another.” has been published as the epigraph in the book Magkasintahan Volume VI By Poets and Writers from the Philippines under Ukiyoto Publishing in the year 2022.
Features of Spriha Kant (Interviews & Others):
- Quick-9 Interview on feversofthemind.com (Interview Feature)
- #BrokenAsides with Spriha Kant on the brokenspine.co.uk (Interview Feature)
- Creative Achievements in 2022 on thewombwellrainbow.com
Invitation to Spriha Kant as a guest of honor:
Spriha graced the award-winning show “Victoria in Verse” as a “guest of honor” in “Bloomsbury Radio, London,” hosted by Victoria Onofrei which broadcasted on January 29th, 2023 at 6 P.M. as per the time standard in London in which she recited her poetry “The Tale of a poltergeist”.
Encomiums on Spriha Kant:
The Nepalese poetess “Mingmar Sadhana” praised her highly for her literary achievements through her following words:
“There is a saying in Nepali, ‘Hune biruwako chillo paat’ (meaning a plant with potential for growth has glossy leaves), and I feel it fits you perfectly, Spriha! Sharing in the joy and pride of your achievement, poetic milestones”
The American poet “Verde Mar” said the following words about her in praise:
“Spriha Kant has a wondrous ‘force of nature’ spirit that shines like the North Star and her poetry are revered by our fabulous writing community on social media.”
Links to features of Spriha Kant: