Saturday, December 18, 2010

Daily Statesman

Some Moments of Love: Poetry of desires, aspirations and sentiments

Reviewed By: Aftab Ahmad, Gandhara News Network (GNN)

Published in: Daily Statesman, Peshawar. 23 August 2004

The proverb Dera Tey Phulan Da Sehra (Dera Ismail Khan is the garland of flowers) is often quoted by the Seraiki and Hindko-speaking population of the province to point to the culturally rich land of the talented people that lies at the southern end of NWFP. Hamza Hassan sheikh is a new voice from the same area whose first collection of poems Some Moments of Love has hit the market in June this year.
The 72 page poetic collection has 45 poems on different topics. The compositions are loaded with desires, aspirations and sentiments. The poet has mostly tried to compose the love and pathetic poems. Though at times he has adopted the rhyme scheme in some of his poems, mostly they are in blank verse. However, meter exists. Some of the poems can be measured as one line from top to toe.
The reflection of classical poets of the English literature can be traced in some of the compositions which overshadows the individuality and beauty of the poet. Hamza does not care for the symmetry in some of his parallel and comparative lines perhaps to express his ideas the way he likes.
The poetry in ‘Moments of love’ is totally subjective and personal. He looks around himself. There are no cosmic worries and problems. There are no touches or pinches of humanity, no burning issues of today. He prefers not to bring new topics to the readers. He has aptly created a new building on the remains of the old foundation.  
A great critic, Walter Pater says style is the man. It is the combination of subject matter and manner. In Hamza’s poetry, the subject matter is the same old one. We can see the oriental love experiences, though the mode of communication is occidental and his style is not peculiar to his own sort as well.
In the whole poetic anthology of Hamza, the depth of ideas, pondering and meditations; search for the unknown. Some mystic and spiritual experiences are the characteristics of Hamza’s poetry. The same fact has been felt and described by Ejaz Rahim, a bureaucrat-cum-poet who has Urdu and English poetic collections to his credit and has written the preface of the book under review.
Of the poet’s diction, Ejaz Rahim writes “There is a Keats hidden in every person. Poems with sensuous touch are Hamza’s favorite vocation. He reveals in his instinctive desire to love and to be loved, and that appears to be fountainhead of his muse. Hamza has taken the first step (of journey of a thousand miles). In due course, instinct, emotion and intellect will bear fruit and add new dimensions to his poems.”
Commenting upon the poetry of Hamza, professor Dr Ram Krishna Singh, Head of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian school of Mines, India, writes: “Hamza’s lyrical poems bespeak a heightened awareness, turning his love-thirst into spiritual search. The ‘astrayed gipsy’ in him promises joys of a Sufi wandering against the colours of rainbows, or moon in ‘lake deep eyes’, or embraced with the beloved ‘in rain drops’ or view of ‘decorated garlands in her hairs.’
Further explaining his style, the professor writes: “Writing with a sense of form and rhyme, Hamza shares with us different moments of beauty, affection, hope, happiness, dream and disappointment just as he contrasts various themes in varying moods-from spring morning and winter evening to falling of snow and astraying in the desert.”
Some Moments of Love can be termed a good effort by a young man who is trying to soar higher and higher behind the curtain of delicate poems.  

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