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Book Review: The Purple Jacaranda and Other Poems by Ranjana Sharan Sinha

The Purple Jacaranda and Other Poems by Ranjana Sharan Sinha is a delightful collection of poems that take us through the various moods and observations of the poet. This collection is poignant in making readers emotional and they will be able to relate their everyday life through the facets of poems.


“A Janus-faced city

Under a blue-black vault,

The burnt out ends of

A million smoky days

Seem to conspire to a wasteland

Ravaged by uncertainty and solitude.”

The collection opens up with the poem ‘A City of Strangers’ and it immediately casts an impression that deep inside the book there is more to savour and understand and feel within your heart.

Like many other contemporary poetry collections, this book too is segmented into various aspects and the poet has placed poems rather randomly. Major themes presented in the book are vagaries of life, despair, memories, childhood, hope and resurrection, plight and exploitation of women, love, and dark themes like death and hollowness, and more.

Another gripping aspect in the book is its ability to offer poems with soft approach on serious and grave issues like destitution, servant discrimination, loss of life, and Covid pandemic. The poems are simple to read and understand, however, at the same time, their meaning says a lot about things that matter and concern us, but we tend to ignore in our day to day life. For instance, in the poem Potpourri, the stress has been given on changes in life for no good reason. Ageing is a process, one has to embrace it. First two lines in the poem sums up the exact feelings of the poet who is lost in a bygone time. But she is happy to share her experiences rather than just getting disappointed at it.

In the book, initial poems are more about innocence and childhood and memories, while the last ones are powerful and they are about women, pandemic, isolated cities – in fact themes that deal with grief and loneliness. The poem, Ode on Nangeli is a masterpiece. It has been put in the most contrasting way. Lucid yet powerful. It will tell you about the misdeeds of the human mind in pursuit of desires and superiority, but it also introduces you to the villainy of the human mind.

The collection is so powerful that it will leave you with mixed emotions. Don’t hesitate to re-read some of the poems to extract the true meaning and real juice off them. Without doling out much, we can say that the themes in the poems resonate well with the contemporary lives of us, covering joys and miseries of our lives with an artistic stroke.

Just like music changes us as per our mood and situations, you can have this collection to sooth, to look back, to remember, and to see yourself in the mirror. Absolutely, a collection to read and treasure.

About the Author:

Poet-author-professor of English, Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha is a well- known voice of Indian Poetry in English with international recognition. Her poems have been included in the postgraduate syllabus of (English), Purnea University, Purnia. Honoured with a number of awards for her contribution to literature, she has received a commendation from the former President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for her poem 'Mother Nature' contained in her collection of poems 'Spring Zone'.

Her recent awards include 'A Citation of Brightest Honour' by International Sufi Centre and 'Order of Shakespeare Medal' by Motivational Strips for her poetic achievements. She has authored and published nine books in different genres and 50 research papers. The books are: 1. Spring Zone (a collection of poems and haiku) 2. Midnight Sun (a collection of short stories) 3. Nature in the Poetry of William Wordsworth and Sumitra Nandan Pant (comparative criticism) 4. Feminism: Times and Tides (A historiographical and theoretical commentary on Feminism) 5. Different Dimensions (a compilation of research papers) 6. Scents and Shadows (a collection of poems) 7. Rhymes for Children (Nursery Rhymes) 8. The Purple Jacaranda and Other Poems (a collection of poems) 9. Ek Sita Main Bhi (a collection of poems in Hindi). Her poems, short stories, articles and research papers have been published in highly-acclaimed dailies, magazines, e-zines, archives and journale both in print and online.

Her poems have been published in global anthologies of Inner Child Press, U.S.A, Atunis Galaktika, Sufi International, etc., and has been a part of the Poetry Project like Kali Project of Indie Blu(e) publishes, U.S.A. She is a research supervisor (English), RTM Nagpur University, Nagpur and is associated with many national and international literary organisations and poetry groups. One of the members of the Editorial Board, Our Poetry Archive (OPA). She lives in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.  

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