Order Now Odia Book Sabdara Akasha By Sitakant Mahapatra From OdishaShop
Sabdara Akasha or Shabdara Akasha, literally ‘sky of words’, is a collection of poems by the noted Oriya poet Sitakant Mahapatra, published first time in 1971. This is his third collection, the first two being Dipti o dyuti (Radiance and glow, 1963) and Ashtapadi (Eight steps, 1967). Shabdara akasha won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974. Almost all the thirty-five poems in the collection had appeared earlier in periodicals, drawing quite some attention to their serious thematic concerns, and their use of myth to examine and interpret contemporary experience. This volume was followed by two more collections of poems, Samudra (Sea, 1977) and Chitranadi (1979).
The poems in Shabdara akasha have one theme in common: the individual mind’s efforts to apprehend reality beyond the ordinary wordly experience. The distracting actualities of life are presented in such poems as ‘Aerodrome’, ‘Kothari’, and ‘Yatra o samaya’. In the first poem, for example, an airplane’s taking off and landing suggest to the speaker the unending process of birth and death, the soul’s movement from heaven to earth and back. But the experience lacks drama, and the speaker a well-defined identity. The final question, ‘Where is the end of this journey?’, comes so very abruptly that the reader is hardly in a position to grasp the full implications of the experience.
Further, the image of the fish brings in the mythic associations of Lord Vishnu’s matsya avatara. All these elements make the poem top-heavy. The other poems suffer from similar defects. There is so much of generalisation everywhere; ideas are stated rather than dramatized. As such, the poetry lacks the urgency and immediacy of personal experience. Far better in this respect are the poems like ‘Palurprayagi’, ‘Gotie Aparanha’ and ‘Ratnamali o samudra’, in which the ideas grow out of the experiences of the two dramatically conceived protagonists: the man driving a jeep in one and the suffering Christian girl in the other.
In the poem ‘Kurukshetra’, the eternal conflict of life and death is presented through the metaphor of the epic battle in the Mahabharata. The success of the poem rests on its fusion of imagery drawn from the familiar world with those drawn from the battle. But the poet’s tendency to seek mythic parallels in every experience is a little over-stretched. The poem ends on a note of hope which is characteristic of all the poems in Shabdara akasha.
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