I had originally intended a poetry emphasis in my MFA studies at National University. Unfortunately I got into to rather heated exchange with the professor leading the Advanced Poetry Workshop - an Iowa School for Writers graduate - and was subsequently ejected by the department chair. Looking back - this was rather a tragic incident - as poetry was the reason I undertook the MFA in the first place.
Anil CS Rao as a Poet
by Dr. Santosh Kumar
Convolution: A Chapbook of Poetry and Visuals by Anil CS Rao,
While reading Anil CS Rao’s poetry I was reminded of a very apt observation made by the great Romantic poet Keats. In one of his letters, Keats says: "First I think that poetry should surprise by fine excess and not by singularity-it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance. Second, its touches of Beauty should never be half way, thereby making the reader breathless instead of content: the rise, the progress, the setting of imagery should like the sun, come natural to him, shine over him, and set soberly although in magnificence, leaving him in the luxury of delight." This is very true about the poem "Soma". Rao affirms that Soma has no physical entity. It is ‘a state of mind’. Similarly, the following lines are the pure magic:
Don’t write it.
Don’t send it.
Listen to your wife
"Hate" p. 6
Moreover, the greatest
This term is relative to:
Help me here and now!
"Evil" p. 2
The above observation by F.R. Leavis is aptly subtantiated in the cocluding lines:
The Tao of the rice paddy replaces the
Adharma of the Beef Factory.
The collection includes very artistic 37 pictures that add to the beauty and amazing charm of the book. Like D. G. Rossetti, Rao is both painter and poet. He presents the immense variety and panorama of contemporary life-Goody Goody people devoid of style and imagination, London in the winter season, Spencer’s in Vijayawada, a small village in Andhra, Red Light District in Eluru, tobacco, sex, booze, zazen, samadhi, Bodhisatva, BR Films, Julie Andrews, Zen, Art of Breathing, JFK Birthplace, Heart Chakra, K. Balachandar, K. Viswanath, Bollywood, Sridevi.
"Here is God’s plenty".