Poetry of Moods

“Restless Soul” by Ravinder Ravi. Indo-Canadian Publishers, Surrey, Canada . Pp.96, 4 dollars


No two poets should be more different from each other. Ravinder Ravi and H.K. Kaul are

the same age but how different they are! Indeed one finds it difficult to believe that they

are contemporaries of North Indian extract and write in English – which is not their

mother tongue. While Ravi is an experimentalist, a painter of moods and moments in the

surrealistic mode, Kaul is a solid essayist in verse.

“Restless Soul” is a slim volume by a poet who has already made a name as a poet in

Punjabi. A gifted poet, Ravi believes that: “creation is a creative self of the writer”and

his poems invariably are autobiographies of the moment of creation. In this he is more

akin to the continental poets of the post-War period than with his contemporary poets in


“I went down the drain

Stiff, I plugged it.”

This is how the title poem begins. Going through the inevitable tangle of “muscular

thighs” and the “rainbow breaking a spectrum”, the poem reaches the crescendo of

orgasm, where :

“Ï could not hold

Like a fountain

I gushed out

Like a volcano I erupted.”

A graphic account of the coital spasm, says the uninitiated. A good poem, says the

modern non-academic critic. But Ravi is not always the orgasm-seeking sex-maniac. He

is a nihilist. Sex to him is but a drain, albeit an essential one. He shatters values, pulls

down traditions, kills orthodoxies. He is “anti” – incarnate:

“Let us go

Burn the city

Make the forest green!”

could be said only by a whirlwind.

From “Restless Soul” to “A New Journey” is a change from the Lawrencian religion of

the blood to the macrological pleonasm of a speech writer.

Satyapal Anand,

-Excerpts from: “Poetry of Moods”-

The Tribune, May 19, 1979

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