Nepal | January 16, 2021

Book review : Shades of social self

Tulasi Prasad Acharya
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Poet Rajendra Chapagaee pens bitter reality in ‘The Collage,’ an anthology of 27 poems. His poems are the result of his experience of life and world; absurdity of life, futility of worldly and materialistic life, effects of modern technology, existential questions and identity crises.

An academician by profession, Chapagee has attempted to mirror the contemporary Nepali society and its social, cultural and political milieu. His lines speak vividly of the social maladies

eating into our society. His poems are testimonials to the trials and tribulations confronted by

the postmodern man. ‘The Collage’ is truly a mixture of multicoloured experience that we get in day-to-day life. The poet is more down to earth in his poems because he writes what he witnesses. The power of his poetry lies in its objectivity rather than personal reflection. Like ST Coleridge’s objective correlative that means a set of object, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formulae of that particular emotion, some poems of Chapagaee are a blend of emotion and intellect. Some of his poems are written in free verse and some of them are in heroic couplet (a-a, b-b rhyme scheme). All of his poems have adopted the principle of simplicity and clarity. The diction is easily understood. The poet is at his best with parody and oxymoron. However, symbols and images are used less. Throughout the book, the poems speak to draw the attention of readers towards the need to promote human values and to preserve indigenous culture and the Nepali land. A brave effort!

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