Dancing with Gravity: To languish in a mystical land | Book Review

'Dancing with Gravity' is an anthology of poems and short stories that delves deep into the intense emotional battles waged among intangible forces of human psyche.

The self-published book by Manu Premkumar is not just an ode to the pangs of life but a vignette that holds aloft many a humanitarian issue, especially the social neglect of the mentally frail or feeble.

The title of the book itself is significant as it draws a comparison between the impalpable aspect of gravity and the emotional quotient of human brain.

Influenced by poet Sylvia Plath, the verses and the prose illustrate the writer's personal struggle in a confessional pattern. The lines paint despondency in its robust and prime form and nowhere they do tend to slip into pale and plaintive denouement.

Dealing with the theme of mental health, the book shows the writer's brilliance in giving concrete and defining shapes to abstract nuances. Manu explores various forms and patterns of prose and poetry. The mellifluousness of the verses ranges from rhythmic cadence to deepest thoughts as seen in the poem 'Stellar Evolution' for instance. The lines:

"I would be searching

for eternities in the world."

or the imageries in:

"...that Nebula I loved

was blowing away

Like leaves in the wind..."

are examples that demonstrate the power and freshness of Manu's poetic intellect.

Though the thoughts appear to have emanated from an emotional delirium, the psychedelic illusions are nevertheless sized to perfect metres and metaphors.

The poems and stories can be antidotes to the emotional heft of readers and the book might enthrall readers like a menagerie where limitless hues and shades of life are on display.

The beautiful rhyme schemes of poems like 'Fall', the lyrical beauty and the musical finesse of poems like 'A pandemonium of Perturbation' display the versatility of the author and might linger in the readers' mind long after they are are read; even as they reflect excruciating agony.

Whether it's for the pathos as in the story 'Turquoise Fronted Amazon', the delusions as in the poem, 'Crossroads' or the filial feelings in the story, 'Dancing with Gravity, all her writings turn out to be literary isles where waves of thoughts daubed with mastery of the language and churned out imageries crash and produce musical notes of entrancing emotional strains.

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