Friday, June 22, 2012

Hip Hop Nature Boy and Other Poems - by Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond recently visited Bangalore to launch his new book of poems, Hip Hop Nature Boy and Other Poems. I had decided to visit the venue but couldn’t. However, later I visited the bookstore Bond had launched the book at and bought the book. Some of the poems the book carries were written by Bond in the past and some are new and have been written particularly for the book. The poems are for children but I liked them anyway. Some of them tell short autobiographical stories and some just are stray thoughts on various things related to nature.

Not many people read poetry because they think poetry is about esoteric profundity. That’s partly true – poetry is about profundity dealt with brevity and wit. And I like such poems, but what I particularly look for in poems is simple truth and observations told with easy language and occasional peppering of wit; it should read natural and not forced. It leaves you feeling light and easy just how peppermint leaves you feeling after you have finished sucking it.

What the poems have in common with Bond’s other writings is that the poems are about the ordinary and the hum drum. Bond has made a career out of writing about ordinary things, people, places. Even a history book I had read by Bond was not about kings and leaders but ordinary people who lived their lives in times that were historically significant.

A few lines of a poem:

The simplest things in life are best

A patch of green,

A small bird’s nest,

A drink of water, fresh and cold,

The taste of bread,

A song of old,

These are the things that matter most.

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