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K. V. Dominic Essential Readings and Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women's Rights, and the Environment Hardcover – Import, 15 Jul 2016
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Dominic's address to the marginalized communities and the deprived segments of society get a full-throated clamour in his poetry. Catering to the "South Asian studies curricula," the book "gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry form this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: Winged Reason [39 Poems], Write Son, Write [30 Poems] and Multicultural Symphony [47 Poems]. A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic's prolific and profound verse" (Blurb). Thus, the book is, in fact, a collection of four books. And each "book has its own Table of Contents internal to itself and includes original front matter [Foreword, Preface/Introduction] and poems" ('Contents of Essential Readings'; v). In totality the book contains 138 poems written by K. V. Dominic and each poem "includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula" (Blurb). The major themes of Dominic's poems in all his four books can be summed up as: humanity, the sorrows and pleasures of life; the woes of the poor, downtrodden and the marginalized; exploitation of the masses by the corrupt political parties, the misuse of religion, terrorism, communalism, nature and its degradation at the hands of man, the difference between urban and city life, etc. Book I, II and III have 'Prefaces', one to each book, written by the poet, K. V. Dominic. They give a brief history of the story of the creation of the free verse, the number of poems in each book, the themes, the inspirations and the motivations. The subjectivity and the personalized tone of the prefaces reveal important insights about the poet and his poetic journey as an Indian English writer. For example, at one place the poet talks about "the immediate provocation which fired . . . [his] imagination" and, at the other, he says: "The poetic muse-let me call it cuckoo, the bird which I like the most-started to sing in my mind. Thank God, He sent the cuckoo to sit on the branch of my mind before it dried by old age" (xvii). The Forewords to book I and II have been authored by Pronab Kumar Majumdar and PCK Prem, respectively. The former gathers: "Prof. K. V. Dominic . . . is a sensitive and compassionate man whose sensitiveness and compassion are abundantly manifested in his poems. The following lines: I wish I had the claws of a vulture to fetch the skeletons from Iraq and build a bone-palace to imprison Bush in it. ('A Blissful Voyage') demonstrate how much he is pained by Iraq war massacre" (Foreword xi). In the latter preface, PCK Prem believes that in "Write Son, Write K. V. Dominic is truthful and gracious to artistic ingenuity like his earlier collection of poems Winged Reason. He refers to these "emotionally disturbing fulminations" as "genuine when he watches apathetic people" (71) and holds that there "are very few poets who have shown so much anxiety and anguish towards the poor and the exploited. Dominic is a poet of the masses it is evident but he is not a philosopher. He wants social status with prestige to the poor and the miserable and thus he is a poet of the downtrodden" (72). K. V. Dominic: Essential Readings and Study Guide is a bible for scholars of K. V. Dominic's free verse. It is a priced possession for anyone interested in his poems. Most importantly it is a pleasure read for anyone who enjoys poetry on social issues, humanity and environment. Owing to the unique blend of Indianness and the Universality of its themes, the book rightfully claims its place in the libraries of any school, college and university in India and abroad. --Dr. Sulakshna Sharma
Dominic's address to the marginalized communities and the deprived segments of society get a full-throated clamour in his poetry. The major themes of Dominic's poems in all his four books can be summed up as: humanity, the sorrows and pleasures of life; the woes of the poor, downtrodden and the marginalized; exploitation of the masses by the corrupt political parties, the misuse of religion, terrorism, communalism, nature and its degradation at the hands of man, the difference between urban and city life, etc. K. V. Dominic: Essential Readings and Study Guide is a bible for scholars of K. V. Dominic's free verse. It is a prized possession for anyone interested in his poems. Most importantly it is a pleasure read for anyone who enjoys poetry on social issues, humanity and environment. Owing to the unique blend of Indianness and the Universality of its themes, the book rightfully claims its place in the libraries of any school, college and university in India and abroad.
---Dr. Sulakshna Sharma, Critic, reviewer, short story writer. Lecturer in English, Lahla, Palampur (HP)
This poetry book is one of those which stays with you long after you finish reading the poems. The poems deal with the real issues of our present society and have been written in very beautiful language. The poems deal with real emotions too, arising out of those issues. Women's issues, cultural values, globalization, its impact, all these have been dwelt with strongly and hit us hard. We are aware of what is going around us yet we turn a blind eye. The poems in this book brings us back to those and we are forced to confront. I recommend this poetry book to all those who the world to change for the better...
--Gautami Tripathi, Everything Distils Into Reading
We need more of this in the book community. This masterpiece had to be written, not just for the sake of empathy but more importantly for awareness. I always challenge myself with the books I read, there are books that are easy to read and will be forgotten in the years to come, but also there are books that would stay with you - this book is one of them. The beauty of how it depicted the pressing issues in the society that we live in, lyrical yet with impact. Something that had to be said over and over drilling it into the minds of the closed-minded ones. I commend how rich and how it was able to show the other side of what people usually miss out. It wasn't just promoting awareness, but immersing ourselves into the reality that we face day in and day out. It was more of an invitation to do something about it, to finally stand up for what we believe in. Stand up for the things they often shut us out.
--Eunice Moral, Nerdy Talks Book Blog
The authors topics and themes he used for his poetry had me gripped from the first to the last page. The useful question's at the end of each one, checking for understanding, is an additional bonus. As for any poet the subject matter is key, the author writes from his heart and is not afraid to challenge and test the reader with his beliefs. No situation or emotion is left uncovered, from birth to death and love to hate, politics and religion and the one thing that touches everyones heart our love for our pets. When you read each individual poem it will strike a chord and make you really challenge your own morals. The honesty and integrity of the writer shines through. Scholars will love the scripts as it will lead to endless discussions over their interpretation of the words and meanings.
--Sharon Martin, Beck Valley Books
About the Author
Dr. K. V. Dominic, English poet, critic, short story writer, and editor is a retired professor of the PG & Research Department of English, Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala, India. He was born on 13 February, 1956, at Kalady, a holy place in Kerala where Adi Sankara, the philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, was born. He got his PhD on the topic "East-West Conflicts in the Novels of R. K. Narayan with Special Reference to The Vendor of Sweets, Waiting for the Mahatma, The Painter of Signs, and The Guide" from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala. In addition to innumerable poems, short stories, and critical articles published in national and international journals, he has authored/ edited twenty-four books so far. Prof. Dominic is the Secretary of Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors, and Critics (GIEWEC), a registered non-profit having more than two hundred members mainly consisting of university/college professors, research scholars, and professional English writers. Prof. Dominic has conducted several national seminars and workshops all over India. He is a SAARC writer and participant of SAARC literary festivals. He is the editor and publisher of the international refereed biannual journal International Journal on Multicultural Literature (IJML) and Editor-in-Chief of the Guild's international refereed biannual journal Writers Editors Critics (WEC). Both the journals are abstracted and indexed by Literary Reference Centre Plus, EBSCO Host, USA for Worldwide reference. He is also the publisher of the international refereed annual on fiction New Fiction Journal (NFJ). Dr. Dominic has been interviewed by the reputed Italian Professor, Prof. Elisabetta Marino, and it appeared in the renowned Italian journal MOSAICO in Italy and Brazil as well as its English translation in the international refereed quarterly journal Labyrinth from Gwalior. He is in the Advisory and Editorial Boards of several leading journals in India. The International Poets Academy, Chennai, conferred on him its highest award-Lifetime Achievement Award-in 2009. He can be contacted at: email@example.com, His website www.profkvdominic.com, or blog www.profkvdominic.blogspot.in.
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These were poems about real people. Some were sad, some joyous and celebratory. There were poems about death and dying. Political poems and poems about nature and cats! Poems of equality and inequality. These are the kind of poems that make you go Hmmmm.. then go back and read it again.
This book is divided into four sections - Winged Reason, Write Son, Write, Multicultural Symphony, and A Collection of New Poems. I think Multicultural Symphony was my favorite section but I really loved them all.
This is definitely a collection I will read over and over. It is writing that will make you think and re-think something different every time you read it. Parts of it are graphic and very sad, but it is all real! This is what is going on in the world. There is a lot of sadness. K. V. Dominic just dared to write it all down for us to read.
I voluntarily posted this review after receiving an audio copy of this book from Poetic Book Tours. Thank you!
The poems varied from important social issues, to culture, women’s rights and yes even environment. You would easily notice the author’s persistence to make all these problems and all these issues be relevant, to be talked about and eventually resolve them, in whatever for it may come from. I commend that the author used his vast knowledge and experience in concocting a truly revolutionary work. I loved how he used the written words as medium to send the message across. It is as if it is a summon to awaken one’s sense to see past the veil of oppression and passivity. It was more than a collection of poems, it is a voice that demands to be heard.
Take the poem Mother’s Love for an instance.
Maternal love, love sublime
Noblest of all emotions
Visible both on human beings
and other beings
Maternal love is transcendent emotion
Both human species
and other species possess
I am perplexed
by some sporadic disasters
A mother offering her
to please her lover’s sexual urge
How could she throw her dead child
to the hungry wold?
How could she suppress
the divine emotion of maternal love?
also the poem I Can Hear the Groan of Mother Earth
I can hear the groan of mother earth
being raped by her own beloved human sons
Having sucked all milk from her mountain breasts
quarry deep out of construction mania.
and this passage from the poem “A Nightmare”
A lavish wedding feast was served in the town hall,
rich delicacies heaped on the plates,
were relished by the pompous guests
I could see two ragged girls outside
struggling with the dogs in the garbage bin.
Now this poem is my favorite: Pleasures and Pains
Pleasures and pains;
two sides of a coin.
We toss it early morning;
majority gets the pains side.
Pleasures come like sprinkle,
while pains fall like deluge
and continue like monsoon.
Happiness is a mist
while sorrows shower like snow.
There was something so haunting about his poems. KV Dominic’s poems were written in such a manner that it is easier to grasp and fully digest, it was straight to the point without any reservations whatsoever. It was as honest as it could get. My ultimate favorite would be the whole collection of poems under Write Son, Write.
Now I could highly recommend this one for someone who wants to branch out to poetry and at the same time would want to immerse himself in social awareness and the present predicament that the humanity faces. This would be the perfect book.
As for any poet the subject matter is key, the author writes from his heart and is not afraid to challenge and test the reader with his beliefs. No situation or emotion is left uncovered, from birth to death and love to hate, politics and religion and the one thing that touches everyones heart our love for our pets.
When you read each individual poem it will strike a chord and make you really challenge your own morals. The honesty and integrity of the writer shines through.
Scholars will love the scripts as it will lead to endless discussions over their interpretation of the words and meanings.