Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

A Phantom On Platform No. 3

For all those who say "But I don't understand poetry", this is a perfect book of verse to cut your poetic teeth on.

A Phantom On Platform No. 3
A Phantom On Platform No. 3
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
On a rather distressing day while I was grappling with tax troubles, travel plans and several such irritants, A Little Night Music—a collection of verse by Ruskin Bond—arrived on my desk. Seeking distraction more than reprieve, I did a quick look-through and chanced upon one of the most delightful poems I have ever read: All is Life.

Perhaps it was how I was feeling then. Perhaps it was that there was a world of wisdom in that short poem. Perhaps it was the innate compassion that shone through. All poetry is subjective and it seemed as though the words spoke to me. Me alone.

Be kind, my friend.
Hold on, in times of pain and strife;
Until death comes, all is life...

Bond’s first collection of poetry, all written by the author-poet in the course of this year, is a combination of light verse for both adults and children. While all may not sparkle with the luminosity of All is Life or Don’t be Afraid of the Dark or even The Phantom Lover, there are also some remarkable poems with marvellous comic timing. Like:

‘Do you believe in ghosts?’
Asked the passenger
On platform number three.
‘I am a rational man,’ said I
‘I believe in what I can see—
Your hands, your feet, your beard!’
‘Then look again,’ said he,
And promptly disappeared!

Unpretentious yet accomplished and suffused with a yearning for times gone by, Bond’s verse is very much like his prose. As I read the poems, I couldn’t help thinking of the man with his wide smile and impish glint in his eyes and an ability to use an old-fashioned word like ‘tiddly’ with an inimitable style.... That much forgotten art of delicate irony.

In fact, the only poems which I did not care for are attempts at social commentary. But what make poetry collections interesting is...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Live: Aryan Khan Not Just Drug Consumer But Involved In Trafficking Too, NCB Tells HC

Live: Aryan Khan Not Just Drug Consumer But Involved In Trafficking Too, NCB Tells HC

The Mumbai High Court is hearing Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail petition following his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Oct 3.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

The BCCI on Monday named RPSG Ventures Limited and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) as owners of the new IPL teams from 2022.

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar strongly asserted that the voters cannot be wooed with false promises and money as people are deeply rooted in the Congress.

Advertisement